On Sunday night, the cousins and I went to visit our aunt and uncle in Pavoorchatram, a small beautiful village about 12 hours from Chennai. It wasn’t my first time there but I haven’t been back since I was a little girl and it was so nice to return and really appreciate the town. We took the overnight train which is not my favorite mode of transportation but in all fairness it wasn’t that bad. I think had I been traveling on my own it would have been much worse. Pavoorchatram was fantastic – my aunt and uncle have done some really amazing things there. About 25 years ago, my uncle felt called to move there and start a school. My aunt was nervous about it, but trusted and followed along. Today, they have a fantastic school with all grade levels and many, many kids running around. We were able to take a tour of the school, and peek into some classes. It reminded me of Japan and sitting in on Neetha’s class – I really enjoyed it. This past year they also opened a women’s hostel on their house property (which is next door to the school) for some female students. They are doing great things there and impacting the lives of so many children, I’m so proud.
My uncle also took us to his farm where we got to check out his mulberry crops, see his silkworm room (kinda creepy but really cool), take pictures of the many animals hanging around, and walk through a massive chicken coop. Yes, I actually walked through it. I went in first to get up close and personal with the chicks (the things a novice photographer with a mediocre lens has got to do!) and then actually got locked IN the coop by my uncle and had to follow my crazy cousin down the long coop of chicken poop (and who knows what else) to get out. Not cool, guys, not cool.
Later that night we went to Koutralam Falls, a huge beautiful waterfall in their town. I was especially impressed with this one because of how wide it was. They say the water has healing powers that is known to help psychological disorders. Also, many Hindu men do pilgrimages barefoot to Kerala and stop at these falls. There are also separate areas for men and women to bathe in the water. Too bad I forgot my bar of soap!
We were only in Pavoorchatram for 48 hours but I really enjoyed my time there. During down time, baby Taran and I took a walk in their large front yard where I pointed out chickens, roosters and a mongoose family. You definitely can’t find that in New York! The electricity was down for a good part of the day, and we even had dinner by candlelight. It was such a different experience from everything else I’ve seen these last few months and I’m so glad I was able to return for a quick trip.