A Travellerspoint blog

Merry Christmas

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This is my final post for the year as I'm off for what will hopefully be a fantastic trip around Kerala where I can get a lot more pictures for the blog.

As you can see Christmas is definitly celebrated over here and these are some pictures of our christmas star and the wonderful carol singers who visited us on Friday and gave us renditions of classic carols such as Boney M's 'Mary's Boy Child'!

So have a fantastic Christmas.....

Feliz Navidad
Joyeux Noël
Glædelig Jul
kristhumas aaSamsakaL

....and a Happy New Year xxxxxxxx

Posted by carlala 04:38 Comments (2)

Sadhya

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One of the Manevedaan school teachers, the lovely Jyothi and her husband Balabaskar asked us round for lunch on Sunday. They live in a beautiful and secluded part of Nilambur and Jyothi promised to serve us the famous sadhya - how could we refuse! Sadhya is the Keralan feast saved for special occasions such as weddings and consists of a small selection of different dishes served together on a banana leaf. The placement of each dish on the leaf is set and this leads how the meal is eaten; starting with  the top left and working round. I can't tell you all the details of the meal - only that it was very tasty - thankfully wikipedia can help out http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadya. The appearance seems to be almost as important as the taste and it was certainly spectacular to look at.

For afters we were served a thick sweet drink called payasam, which traditionally you would drink out of the used banana leaves. Thankfully Jyothi realised this may have caused a bit of a mess and she served it in glasses instead. The main ingredients are milk, rice, cardamom, saffron and pistachios and what tasted like a few hundred grams of sugar! It was delicious though, tasting like warm carnation milk with rice noodles, nuts and fruit mixed in.

After lunch we headed down to the river for a quick paddle and I discovered the wonder of the churidar - while the sun was beating down I could wrap the shawl around my neck and head while still keeping cool. Perfect - roll on the uk Indian summer!

Posted by carlala 21:40 Comments (0)

Introducing....

...the kids

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I've realised that in all of my blog posts I've hardly written anything about the students or the school where I'm teaching. The pictures above are my four classes - well the majority of them who had turned up for the photo! Standard 11 (15-16 yrs) are in blue and standard 8 (12-13 yrs) are in brown. As you can see we're in petty dark and dismal classrooms with the odd cow or monkey wondering by - but we make the most of it. I've got to admit it has been a real challenge for me to find ways to keep their interest, while also teaching them something useful (any suggestions are welcome!). Initially they were happy with anything I did (e.g. wearing a sari to school), now they're a bit harder to please. On the plus side this means their characters are coming out much more, so i'm learning who the comedians are, who the angels are and definitly who the devils are! I love them all to bits tho :)

Posted by carlala 23:13 Comments (0)

Spinning Around

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We often get taken off to see the sights and sounds of Kerala without really know where we're going, but it's normaly some gem. This time we were driven down one of the long meandering roads of Nilambur to a small dark shack where a man was making beautiful pottery on a hand turned wheel. In the space of  10 minutes we watched him turn and finish a delicate vase which was ready for the furnace next door - a huge open cavern in another dark wooden shack. It's amazing what wonders we keep finding in these unassuming places.

Posted by carlala 02:52 Comments (0)

Challs Dayana

Antique museum

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These pics might be lost on all my non-museum friends but I thought the museum folk would appreciate them!

Posted by carlala 03:03 Comments (2)

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