Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cruising 2013 Part 2

I have procrastinated posting the rest of our cruise pictures and now the time is short before we leave for China.  Therefore, I will see how much I can post in the three days before we leave for our training in Provo.

We left off in Dubai so our next stop will be in India.  We had 3 days of sailing before landing in Goa.  We had heard lots of stories of the smells and poverty of India but our stops were in the richest state of India and so we were pleasantly surprised at what we saw. 

As we pulled into port, we were greeted by a band and small parade of costumed characters.  It was all very festive. 
 We took a tour of a spice farm and enjoyed the long ride out there as we soaked up the countryside views.

At the beginning of our tour, they showered us with flower petals and put a red dot on our foreheads.  By the end of the tour the red was running because of the humidity.
 This is a cashew nut.  The nut is at the bottom of the blossom.  Only one nut per flower.  They use the flower to make an opiate like substance.

 Man climbing to the top of the trees.  Once at the top he would make the tree sway and change to another tree.  This was not a young man but he was very fit.

 It was very hot a humid and so at the end of our tour of the spice village a young lady poured cold water down the back of each visitor.

From the Spice Village we went into a small town where we visited a Temple.  Outside the grounds, there were brahma bulls just wandering the streets.

Ladies were selling leis and other flowers to take into the temple as offerings.

Our next stop was in Cochin.

The tour we chose in Cochin was to a village to observe normal daily activities of the people.
We were greeted by a group of drummers and then boarded a Tuk Tuk to ride down the narrow village streets.

When the Tuk Tuk dropped us off, we were greeted with a lei and coconut juice.  (You can see Wayne's red dot on his forehead from the spice village).

After seeing a demonstration of maintenance on the coconut palms, we started walking from house to house to see various demonstrations.
This lady is pulling the fibers apart after the coconut husks have been soaked in water.  The picture below shows a pile of dried fibers.  The fibers are then used to make rope.

This was an "older" couple working together to make pots.  She turned the wheel by hand while he formed the clay.
These women were seperating husks from rice.
This was a local well.  Notice the lovely color of water.
Woman weaving palm fronds.  She used her toes to hold the strands in place.
Some people have rubber plants that they harvest. 
This woman makes a substance that is comparible to corn starch.

From the village we went to visit a school.  It was the weekend so there were no school classes going on but they have a dance group that meets there. 

We had a special performance put on for our group. I love Bollywood so I really enjoyed watching them.  They were young but some of them were really good.

We made a quick stop to see a small weaving factory.  Again, this was the weekend so they opened especially for us to see.  There were only a few women demonstrating.

After finishing our tour, Wayne took a Tuk Tuk into the old town.  He told his driver to just take him to some interesting places.  They stopped near the fishing nets and the men let Wayne work with the nets.

The fishermen.
                            Fish Market

Woman ironing and the drying racks at a laundry.
                                                            This was his driver.

After India, we headed for Malaysia.  The first stop was in Panang where we saw the Tong family complex and some more Temples.

The reclining budha.  It is covered in gold leaf.
Under the reclining budha are hundreds of crypts.  Little windows let you see the urns and pictures of who the ashes belong to.

We left Panang and headed for Kuala Lumpur.  Things seemed to be a bit more modern there.  The highways were better and there were toll roads.

                                                            We visited a Pewter plant.
At Batu Caves we climbed a thousand steps or so it seemed.  There were really only 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several  Hindu shrines beneath its high vaulted ceiling.

There were monkeys all along the way.  You had to watch your things because they would come up and grab anything that caught their eye.
Once up the steps, you entered a cave and had to climb down to climb up again.

                                                        In front of shrine to Lord Shiva.
      Ganesha, the elephant god of India. Son of Shiva.

Telecommunication Tower.  We went to the observation deck and saw a magnificent view of the city.
From Kuala Lumper we sailed on to Singapore, our final destination.  Our first sight was the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  It looks like it has a ship on the top of it.  To the right is the

                                                             The Singapore Flyer. 
The Merlion is the symbol of the city.

                                                        Ice rink inside a gigantic mall.
                                                  A pedestrian walkway over the water way.
                                                                     A museum.
                                                                     Hindu Temple.
I had heard a lot about Orchard Road but as we approached it on the bus it just looked like a lot of very high end stores.  I was looking for better deals so we got off in the Arab Quarter where there was shop after shop of fabric. 

We also got off in China Town.  We never had time to do any shopping with all the shore excursions we did so we thought we could find some of the things that we had seen in our travels.  It did not really happen.

The famous Raffles Hotel.  They had fancy doormen, just like you see in the movies.

This is a fire station.  Very Victorian looking.

We stayed overnight in Singapore before flying home.  Across the street from our hotel was a shopping mall.  We figured that there would be a place to eat dinner.  They had a food court but there was absolutely nothing that resembled Western food.  This is what Wayne ended up with.  It was a hot skillet that they placed raw meat and veggies on and then you stirred it to get it cooked. 

A month of traveling is a long time but we thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  We had a lot of time for relaxing, delicious food that we did not have to prepare and we saw a lot of very interesting places.  What more can you ask for.

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