Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Sense of Space- Travels To Tati...






The city of Dehradun greeted me with open arms on monday evening after a twelve day trip to the himalayan mountains. The journey was fun filled and jam packed with multiple expeditions and program changes. It was a challenging, tiring and trying time. Schools were being built, students were learning, teaching, drawing and playing. Ferocious storms brewed and later boiled. Kids came to school without pencils, without paper, without kicks. Each sported the one school uniform purchased, months, perhaps years old- tattered, dirty, ragged. Teachers were smacking when the kids were slacking.

In another village there was dancing in the streets, cows were on the loose causing havoc, disrupting jelebi frying, burning ankles and plastic tarps. The nights were alive -with thanks and praise to the Lakahmandal Ram Lila Committee- three in the morn' lavish productions of the Ramayana. Family reunions, beds filled with four fellas and four more on the floor. Boys were flirting with girls and girls with boys, the likes of I've never seen before in India.

But this is all on the way, day by day...

The first five images from my voyage are a sense of space and might require a click on each photo for better enlargement, for better understanding and feeling.

One image is from the hike to Tati school. The school is being built fifteen kilometres from where the road abruptly stops and within a few kilometres from the border of Himachel Pradesh- the neighboring state to the west/northwest. To get to Tati, we had to walk a trail going straight up the mountain. The image shows a spring emerging from the mountain. The local villagers have carved a beautiful greeting for the arrival of the sacred water. Just up the trail I met a young shepard.

Another shows blooming sarson flowers (mustard seed plants) and the higher Himalaya in the background. The scattered village of Tati is on the hill to the right. The school is being built over on that hill.

More images are of the village of Tati. Every day, donkeys carry bricks to the site where the school is in the progress of getting built. The village of Tati has perhaps, the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. The roofs are covered with exquisite stone and each home is built with local wood. I didn't see a nail the entire time I was there.

Love to all & more to come...

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your writing is just so beautiful.
love,dad

2:51 AM  
Blogger John said...

Ben,

So happy to hear you had a great trip. Can't wait to see more pics.

The trees in Minne went from barren to bursting with impressionistic leaves seemingly over night.

The rain is starting to pick up, which portends a great May.

Hope this message finds you well,
John

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