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RC of Rosenholm

South India NID 17-25 November 2004

22 Nov.

My head is now beginning to swim with an overload of information, people and places.  Weve had little rest or breaks in our agenda, meetings and dinners are running late into the night and my notes are becoming nonexistent.  Im a tad worried about a few illnesses within our team and the lack of consistent food (the girls havent been able to stay awake for dinner since our second evening and are surviving on naan and granola bars). In spite of attempts to reduce the sightseeing and meetings, and my requests to arrive at project visits on time, we are required to get up early and travel an hour before breakfast.  Im getting irritable.  Fortunately, the team has seemingly infinite patience.

Visit to the magnificent Thanjavur Briha-deesh-vara Temple with an expert guide. We are honored by the priests and allowed to visit areas not usually permitted.  Vasanth lights the lamps for Kathy, my cousin who died this weekend, since Im not able to join my family for the funeral.

Were greeted by musicians and received by the Senior Prince of Tanjore after a quick tour of the art museum and ancient library of inscribed palm leaves.

We make a quick visit to a computer and science labs supported by Rotary at Thirumagal Higher Secondary Shool.  The students chant, Hey! Hey! [clap, clap] Service! [clap, clap] Friendship! [clap, clap] Welcome, welcome, welcome!  The students entertain us with classical and folk dances by the girls.

Lunch is with Rotary clubs of Tanjore. I love the banana leaf plate coverings.

We get off to a late start and our three-hour journey to Salem takes nearly double that time.  A few of our team are suffering from Delhi belly.  Along the way, Sanjiv Saran, our tour coordinator, tells us the story of his wedding adventure.

The bus stops alongside the road in an area where there are no toilet facilities, Indian, western or otherwise. Sanjiv clues us into the protocol for crossing the railroad tracks and segregating men from women.  As we line up and squat, Elena catches a Kodak moment and the women begin laughing and screaming.  Sanjiv says that he is worried that we have been attacked by monkeys.  The bus speculates on how much money we could raise for world community service projects if we sell copies of the photo or just use it for blackmail.  I laugh until tears are flowing.

We divide into groups and are hosted by Salem Rotarian families for dinner.

 

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Updated: 04. august 2009