Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dinner Party

Grandma Kathi and Grandpa Bob has invited some friends over for dinner. So we went to find a couple of chickens. Grocery markets here don't have a meat market because they are all vegetarians, they don't eat meat or any animal products. So you have to go out to the streets to find some meat. As we pull up I didn't think I wanted to get out of the car.

Raju means chicken. Grandma Kathi had our driver Gorark get us 2 chickens.

The blue van had fish, so we had Gorard get us 2 fish.

Grandma Kathi had Gorark drive us to a floral shop and Grandma Kathi got out and went into the flower shop and bought the coolest center piece for her table. It cost her 320 rupees, $6.93468 USD. 1 dozen red roses and 1 dozen peach roses.

Holli, also called the Festival of Colours

Tomorrow is Holi Festival!
The main day, Holi is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other.

The festival of colour is celebrated with great festivity and joy. On this day, people come out wearing pure white clothes and gather together in a common place where they play and throw the colors on each other. People walk down their neighborhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another,

Bonfires are lit the day before. Grandma Kathi and I got to attend one of these bonfires. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2009, Holi (Dhulandi) was on March 11 and Holika Dahan was on March 10. In 2010, Holi is on March 1 and Holika Dahan was on February 28.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Eating In India

Most of the food here is way to spicy, but Grandma Kathi takes me to McDonald's every once in a while so I can have Chicken McNuggets.

The chocolate milk shake was 24.00 rupees / $.52 USD
2 - 9 piece Chicken McNuggets were 328.00 rupees / $7.13 USD
Total bill was 352.00 rupees / $7.65 USD

They don't eat beef here so there are not any hamburgers, they eat veggie burgers. The French Fries taste the same, it was just a little like being home again.

All the dessert are different here, too. They are vegetarian's and they don't eat eggs, Grandma Kathi just doesn't know how they can bake a cake without eggs.
Grandma Kathi treated me to a "Chocolate Fondue". That was really good!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Staying with Grandma

The best part of this trip is sleeping in Grandma's BIG BED

She has people that cleans her apartment and washes her floor everyday.

People that driver her car.

Grandpa Bob's Office

I was at the SearchKing Techno Labs of India office today.

Grandma and I in the employees work room of India

Grandpa Bob has finally got his office decorated,

so he was proud to take a picture with me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is for Aunt Kimi:
This is like a Walgreen's in the USA. Everything is behind the counter. Dove lotion, soap, tissues. You have to ask for everything. Not much theft here. There are "Chemists" almost on every street. They are not hard to find.

All pharmacy's are open with no store front. You don't have to have a prescription, just know the name of the drug you want and they will sell it to you. The cost is very low. You can see the plastic containers in the background.

Each one of the plastic containers has 100's of pills in them.

Pharmacies that speak English are few so this is our favorite pharmacist that speaks English. There are not very many that have computers, everything is written down in a ledger book.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Incredible India

Jenni I am so glad that you sent me to India to visit Grandma Kathi. I have experienced some of the most amazing things in this world. It's hard to describe how I feel so far away from you, halfway around the world. As far away as I can get without starting back around the other side of the world, but it is an experience that I have really enjoyed. It really makes me appreciate home.

It's hard to believe that people in this world still live on so little. Most people earn only 10 rupees as day. That's 0.215958 USD. These are where most of them live in these 1 room huts along the streets. They cook on fires outside their huts.

There are children that beg on the street.

School bus

This is the way the kids get to school.

See the backpacks on the back of the rickshaw? The rickshaws are packed full of kids. It doesn't look very comfortable.

Camels and elephants

There are alot of working camels in Ahmedabad.

They pull carts for of crops. Most of them are painted and have beautiful decorations on them.

The streets that you drive down have camels, cows, elephants, goats, horses, dogs, water buffalo, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, vegetable carts pushed by men or women, cars, trucks, tractors, and people with not many traffic laws. Police are only stationed at the corners.

Elephants are used in weddings to bring the groom to the wedding. But most are used to haul crops.


Ahmedabad has a lot of animals that just wander thru the city. Monkeys are one of those animals. They are everywhere, they can even come into your apartment.

Baby Monkeys

Can you believe that Grandma Kathi did this. I was too scared.

People in India

Jenni I found a new friend. Do you see the smile on his face. He really liked getting his picture taken with me.

This is an Indian woman.

Do you see the red dot between her eyes?
The bindi is arguably the most visually fascinating of all forms of body decoration. Hindus attach great importance to this ornamental mark on the forehead between the two eyebrows -- a spot considered a major nerve point in human body since ancient times.
In southern India, girls choose to wear a bindi, while in other parts of India it is the prerogative of the married woman. A red dot on the forehead is an auspicious sign of marriage and guarantees the social status and sanctity of the institution of marriage. The Indian bride steps over the threshold of her husband's home, bedecked in glittering apparels and ornaments, dazzling the red bindi on her forehead that is believed to usher in prosperity, and grants her a place as the guardian of the family's welfare and progeny.
These women are going to work. Look at all the colorful sari's.

Most all of the women in India wear the most beautiful colors and patterns of Sari's.
A sari is a strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine meters in length that is draped over the body in various styles. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder baring the midriff. The history and origin of sari seems to date back to the period of the establishment of civilization.
Grandma Kathi's Sari and Granpa Bob's Kurta. They had them made for a wedding.

January and February is wedding months, because the weather is cooler and all wedding are outdoors.


Grandma Kathi took me on a shopping trip for some food.
First we bought Bananas and they cost us 10 rupees. Jenni do you remember what 10 rupees was in USD? 0.215958 USD

Then we got 4 oranges, 4 apples and 4 Pomegranates and they cost us 140 rupees = 3.02342 USD

These markets are all outside on carts and they all want you to buy from them. It was alot of fun and I meet some really nice people.

This was a cart full of grapes, green and purple and some oranges.

Grandpa Bob is walking past a vegetable cart.

They push these carts of vegetables up and down the street and yell out the vegetables that are on the carts and the cooks in the apartments come out and buy the vegetables just for the day. In old days there were no refrigerators and they could only buy enough to keep for a day. They have fruit carts, vegetable carts and some have kitchen utensils.

Temples, Ashram and Mausoleum

Grandma took me to a temple.
ISKCON is the abbreviation for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This temple depicts Lord Krishna with his beloved lover Radha, who is regarded as the epitome of true love. Also called as the Hare Krishna Temple, ISKCON temple situates in a vast area with lovely trees, which gives a serene and tranquil environ to the devotees.

Can you see the bull and cows in at the temple?

I was told that this is a Jain praying place for the people and not a temple but women have to cover their head when they enter, so we didn't go
Jains eat vegetarian food and are not suppose to eat food after sunset. The reason for not eating after sunset is because it carries the risk of accidentally ingesting insects that come out after dark. They also do not eat any root foods, like carrots, onions, potatoes, etc. for the same risk of accidentally ingesting insects.

Gandhi Ashram

For many years Ahmedabad was the center of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle for India’s independence. The most important ashram was established at Ahmedabad by him in the year 1925. This ashram is now converted in to the national monument by the government of India and is called Sabarmati Ashram. Many visitors visit this ashram, located on the famous Ashram Road, at the bank of River Sabarmati in Ahmedabad around 4 miles away from the main city of Ahmedabad. The location of this ashram is so peaceful that sitting here quietly at the ashram, gives you lot of internal peace and solace. The ashram is called Hraday kunj now since the year 1988. All the tourists visiting Ahmedabad make sure to see this most vital monument of Indian freedom.

Taj Mahal
One of the most famous buildings in the world is the Taj Mahal and is located in Agra, India.

The Taj Mahal is the greatest monument to love and the only tomb that the woman is in the center and the emperor to the side.

It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (reigned 1628–58) to immortalize his wife Mumtāz Maḥal (“Chosen One of the Palace”). The name Taj Mahal is a derivation of her name. She died in childbirth in 1631, after having been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage in 1612. The plans for the complex have been attributed to various architects of the period, though the chief architect was probably Ustad Aḥmad Lahawrī, an Indian of Persian descent. The five principal elements of the complex—main gateway, garden, mosque, jawab (literally “answer”; a building mirroring the mosque), and mausoleum (including its four minarets)—were conceived and designed as a unified entity according to the tenets of Mughal building practice, which allowed no subsequent addition or alteration. Building commenced about 1632. More than 20,000 workers were employed from India, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe to complete the mausoleum itself by about 1638–39; the adjunct buildings were finished by 1643, and decoration work continued until at least 1647. In total, construction of the 42-acre (17-hectare) complex spanned 22 years.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday in Ahmedabad

Grandma had to work yesterday, so I got to ready the local news paper "The Times of India"

Grandma showed me the milk that they drink. It comes in a box and they keep it on the shelf. It's not refrigerated. They also have buffalo milk and goat milk here. YUK, I don't think I am going to try those.

Jenni I can't read any of these signs! I am so afraid I'm going to get lost so I stick pretty close to Grandma Kathi.

History of Ahmedabad

Situated on the banks of river Sabarmati, Ahmedabad is located on the western side of India in the state of Gujarat Ahmedabad city has witnessed the rule of different dynasties, right from Sultanate and Mughal rule to Maratha and British rule. The, the history of Ahmedabad, India is very rich. Ahmedabad was the former capital city of Gujarat. During the freedom struggle of India, it served as the home of many prominent nationalist leaders like Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi
Origin of Name
There is an interesting legend associated with the Ahmedabad city. Towards the beginning of the fifteenth century, the state of Gujarat was ruled by the Muslim Muzaffarid dynasty. Once Sultan Ahmed Shah was standing on the banks of river Sabarmati and he noticed a tiny hare chasing a strong ferocious dog. He kept pondering over it. He approached a spiritual leader and asked for explanation. This learned man said that, it is the uniqueness of this land that cultivates such rare qualities in its people. After having heard this, the Sultan got so impressed that he decided to set up the capital of Gujarat over here and he called this land Ahmedabad.
Sultanate Rule
Towards the end of the thirteenth century, Gujarat was captured by the Sultanate of Delhi. In the year 1487, the grandson of Ahmed Shah named Mahmud Begada established the outer city wall, so as to protect Ahmedabad from outside invasion. Muzaffar II was the last Sultan of Ahmedabad.
Mughal Rule
In the year 1573, the city of Ahmed Shah was taken over by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Under the rule of Mughals, Ahmedabad became the leading center of textiles in Gujarat. The son of Akbar named Jehangir visited Ahmedabad in 1617, but found the city to be nothing more than a garbage ground. So, he called it Gardabad, the city of dust. However, Shahjahan spent a major part of his life in the Ahmedabad city. Infact, he also constructed the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaugh.
Maratha Rule
In the year 1753, the rule of Mughals came to an end and the city came under the rule of Maratha generals Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad. The power struggle between them eventually led to the destruction of the city.
British Rule
The city was taken over by the British East India Company in the year 1818. The year 1824 led to the setting up of a military cantonment. A major development took place in the year 1864, when railway line was laid that connected Ahmedabad with Bombay. These developments brought Ahmedabad in the map of leading centers of trade and manufacturing. In the year 1915, people of Ahmedabad raised their voice for the independence of India.
Post Independence
The post independence period saw the declaration of Ahmedabad as a provincial town on Bombay. On the 1st of May in the year 1960. AHmedabad became the capital city of Gujarat.
CLIMATE: Extreme type
SUMMER TEMPERATURE: Minimum 23 degree C / 73.4 degree F
Maximum 40 degree C / 104 degree F
WINTER TEMPERATUE: Minimum 15 degree C / 59 degree F
Maximum 36 degree C / 95 degree F
ANNUAL RAINFALL: 93.2 cm / 36.7 in
Ahmedabad is dominated by three main seasons, namely summer, monsoon and winter. The climatic conditions of Ahmedabad vary from season to season. Located at an altitude of 55m above the sea level. Ahmedabad city primarily experiences extreme type of climate. There is a lot of difference in the day and night temperatures.
Talking about the climate and weather of Ahmedabad, it is usually hot and moist. Summer season begins during March and ends by the month of June. Monsoons come like a pleasant surprise in the month of July and are prevalent in the city till the month of September. Winters are chilly, but at the same time very enjoyable. This season dominates the city during the period between November and February.
Summer are extremely hot and hard and at times the temperature shoots to as high as 46 degree C. During monsoons, the city experiences good amount of rainfall. The city is dominated by the Southwest monsoons and it is during this time that people of Ahmedabad breathe a sigh of relief from the scorching heat. For traveling to Ahmedabad, the best time is during winters, as the weather is very pleasant and just apt to explore the beautiful Ahmedabad city.