Monday, December 31, 2007

December 31, 2006 - To Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu

A SOUL FEAST. Pedaling along Indian roads is a feast for the eyes and soul. Taking in what is unusual becomes usual. Before long, you come to expect nothing less than another encounter that is beyond anything within range of normal in Western mentality. I was impressed by rich colors in women's dress, by great banyan trees, vast rice fields, hard working laborers, deep poverty, ingenuity and gracious hospitality.

NEW YEAR'S EVE. After riding all day, we spent New Year's Eve in Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu We were guests at a school for deaf children that is operated by the Church of South India. We stayed on the second floor of dorm with a balony overlooking the main street, from which we could observe the New Year's Eve revelry. The evening is celebrated much the same as it is in America. We were awakened throughout the night by the sound of fireworks.

BICYCLE REPAIR. We strolled through a market in Palayamkottai and came across this bicycle repairman. I watched him repair a flat inner tube without taking the wheel off the bike. I'd never seen that before. His repair shop was just a place on the ground with his few tools and supplies around him. Simple. He must have been good, for his services were in great demand.

TRACK OUR TREK. Explore our 6-week, 2,000-mile bicycle journey from the southern tip of India to New Delhi, December 29, 2006-February 8, 2007 at and offer support for rebuilding Umri Christian Hospital at

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