Jaymes Dudding and his high school
students from Jemez Pueblo, NM on a trip
to India in 2008

Location

Time

Date

Depart Albuquerque

Early morning

9:30 AM

Wednesday March 26

Singapore regional map

 
The Republic of Singapore is an city-state in Southeast Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands. The name Singapore was derived from Malay word singa (lion). Singapore was originally a small Malay settlement until 1819, when the British started a trading post that developed into an important commercial and military imperial base. Except for the interruption for the three years that the Japanese occupied Singapore during World War II, it was a Crown Colony from 1867 until 1963, when it declared independence from Britain. Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia shortly afterwards. On expulsion from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore was separated from its traditional markets and faced economic degeneration. In resolution, government-led rapid industrialisation and business-friendly policies stimulated some of the fastest economic growth in the modern world. Singapore now has one of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rates in the world; it is a major financial, transport and medical hub. Crime is low, and Transparency International consistently rates it as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

Friday March 28

Arrive Singapore

-city tour

-river boat ride

-cable car ride to Mt. Faber

-Merlion – Singapore icon

-Singapore Museum

*journaling

*math conversion rates

*Singapore history

*work on essential question

Early morning

1:25 AM

Friday March 28

cable car ride to Mt. Faber

 
Date: 3/27/2008 11:14:22 AM

It's 2:10 am Friday, March 28.  We arrived after a loooong flight that started on Wednesday in Albuquerque.  Everything is closed in the city so we have 3 hours to kill before taking a tour of Singapore.  Then we board again and head for Kolkata.  Everything went fine so far.  They stuffed us on the airplane, but I'M HUNGRY AGAIN.

Thursday March 27

Depart Singapore

Early evening

9:00 PM

Friday March 28

 

Arrive Kolkata, India

-India Museum

-Mother Theresa Orphanage

-Queen Victoria Memorial

-US Consulate

-Theater excursion

-Nagaland tribal emporium

-Cricket instruction and game

*journaling

*study of indigenous tribes

*math conversion rates

*Spanish/Hindu vocabulary

*green revolution 1967-1978

*Indian independence movement

*work on essential question

Late evening

10:35 PM

Friday March 28

The Lonely Planet guidebook to India is essential for any visitor to India. Be sure to get an Indian visa before you go; you can't get one when you arrive. Talk to a doctor or your local health department about immunizations; none are required but it's wise to take precautions against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis, etc. Drink only bottled water and avoid uncooked food.

Bring medicines to treat diarrhea and upset stomach. A combination lock is useful for securing your things. Calcutta is reasonably safe. You can use traveler's checks and credit cards. Both Citibank and American Express have offices in Calcutta. Although Calcutta is known for its poverty, it's a compelling city, a city with a soul, and a visit there can be one of the richest experiences on Earth. Your first impressions might be overwhelming; expect a bit of a shock.

In many ways Calcutta seems familiar: the English street names, the architecture, the English language. At the same time the context is so foreign. The effect is very odd, sometimes even frightening to the Western visitor. Bengali culture is magnificent. Bengali is spoken by more people than is French or Japanese. Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for his epic verse Gitanjali in 1913; he wrote in Bengali. You can read Tagore's works in English translation; Penguin Books has an edition of selected poems. Satyajit Ray made his wonderful films in Bengali; newly restored versions are available on videotape with English subtitles. Try to find, for example, The World of Apu...

The.Bengalis.are very fond of their capital city. For them and, indeed, for visitors from other countries, it's the cultural center of India. College Street has hundreds of bookshops, and there's a large university. India's most fascinating museums, such as the Indian Museum and Marble Palace, are in Calcutta. There are more publishers in Calcutta than in all the rest of India. Many poets and artists live there, and religious and cultural festivals enliven the city throughout the year.

 
Date: 3/28/2008 11:33:30 PM

We made it to Kolkata last night.  Kolkata is like Mexico on steroids. We had a wild cab ride from the airport to the heart of the city.  Our rooms are air conditioned which is great.  It is hot and humid here.  People live on the street by the thousands.  We saw  them sleeping on the sidewalks everywhere.  The students have  been great.  No problems and they look out for each other.  Today we go to the India Museum  and the market.  We are careful about the food.  We trust the people at our hotel.  They know Kevin and Eleni our leaders from last trip.  They treat him and therefore us, like old friends.  Hugs, etc.  Singapore was amazing and so affluent even compared to USA.  Money money money.  We took cable car ride, swam in the ocean, went to Hooters for supper. 

Friday March 28

Date: 3/30/2008 9:37:14 AM

Day two in Kolkata.  Well, we went to early mass at Mother Theresa Orphanage.  Later, we took another wild ride in a taxi to the Shrine of Kali Goddess of Death.  A very wild scene ensued.  We got red dots on our foreheads after walking barefoot thorough slop.  Saw where they slaughter the goats every day.  Visited the Queen Victoria Museum.  She had way too much money.  Tonight we saw a Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandela be destroyed and Tibetan dances. Tomorrow we learn to play cricket and take train to Puri. 

Sunday March 30

Depart Kolkata by train for Puri

Late evening

Monday March 31

Arrive in Puri

-Breakfast with Mary Ellen

-Sustainability tour of MEG

-Jaganut Temple

-Orissa beach

-Photography/Art lesson

-student teaching (song and math)

-pop-Hindi dancing

-Mural painting

-Leprosy Village

-Konark Sun Temple

-Raghurajpur Art Colony

*journaling

*sustainability research

*sharing of tribal dances

*work on essential question

Early morning

Tuesday April 1

MARY ELLEN GERBER FOUNDATION
Mothering children in need
 
 
Mary-Ellen Gerber
What better way to utilize one's strength, wisdom and experience than to help those who will lead our future? Mary-Ellen Gerber takes this notion much further - to India to be precise, where she has taken on the welfare of hundreds of children orphaned by the 1999 cyclones in rural North East India, and is helping them to build new lives. After selling her successful business in Los Angeles, Mary-Ellen heard about the Orissa cyclone, one of the worst in modern history, which killed more than 30,000 and left over 3,000 children orphaned. Mary-Ellen flew to India to begin feeding and fostering the huge numbers of children found in rags wandering the streets, living on railway platforms or other horrendous living conditions. Soon, her foundation - the Mary-Ellen Gerber Foundation - in conjunction with the indigenous New Hope Rural Trust, began building them a village. Today it houses 166 children, and there is a second village in the works in the nearby county of Vishakhapatnam for the orphans, as well as the region's children of leprosy victims.
Their primary goal is to help these children become tomorrow's leaders, sharing the belief that poverty should not be a barrier against a strong willingness to succeed. Aside from education, medical care and teaching vocational skills, the children are being taught to use the earth's natural building materials, wind-catchers and solar technology, not only to raise environmentally-aware adults, but to aid them in creating a more efficient and sustainable quality of life for own their future communities.

 
Date: 4/3/2008 11:34:20 PM

We are in Puri India on the coast and it is hot and humid.  We are staying now at the Mary Ellen Gerber Orphanage for abandoned children.  There are about 100 kids here from 1  year old to 16.  The are so curious and very cute.  Also smart.  Today we went to the beach for a swim and fun.  The beaches are pristine and the waves are big.  Yesterday we went to the Temple of the Sun or Carnark Temple.  Amazing.  It is covered with relief sculptures of Karma Sutra sex positions of all kinds.  The kids enjoyed that immensely.  Also, yesterday we went to a art village where everyone in the village does some kind of art or craft.  For example they do very intricate "engraving" o palm leaves and then stitch them together to make a wall hanging.  Subjects vary but mostly gods and goddesses and animals. Cool.  This town is only 500,000 people and considered a resort town.  I took a camel ride today... very bumpy and  hard on the huevos!  We have a few more days here and then another 10 hour overnight train ride back to Kalkuta then on to Darjeeling for a few days.  Too bad I hate tea.  Everyone is well except for mosquito bites and tired of eating rice and vegetables everyday at the orphanage..

Thursday April 3

Date: 4/6/2008 12:23:43 AM

Mary Ellen Gerber is quite a lady. She holds several US patents for a special cabinet hinge that she invented which is now in almost every American kitchen. She made millions on it and after the Hurricane here she sold everything and built three different orphanages in India. She also supports a leper colony.

Since our beach adventure we spent two days at the orphanage working on various projects. I worked on getting the computers downloaded with the software for the little digital $10. cameras that we brought for the kids. Finally got that working and printed out some of the photos the kids took. Another group of students worked on assembling a new clothes line near one of the dorms. Last night was bonfire night. The kids danced their hearts out to "Indie Pop". Such energy! After that, the high school students from Jemez did a traditional dance for the kids. They loved it. We have fun playing with the kids. Usually there is a pick-up Crickit game every afternoon. Today we came to town again for internet access and to shop for food for the high school students to cook traditional Jemez enchiladas for the staff and us. It is almost impossible to find cheese here. The closest we found was a canned cheese that is somewhat like Velveeta. We did find green chili though. Tonight we have another bonfire and more dancing because it is our last night here. Tomorrow night we take the train back to Kolkata for a day and then back on a night train to Darjeeling. We will be high in the mountain foothills of the Himalayas and visit a Tibetan refugee camp. This is a Buddhist area of India. It should be entirely different experience.

Sunday April 6

Depart Puri Orphanage

Late evening

Monday April 7

Date: 4/8/2008 3:54:22 AM

We are back in Kolkata temporarily after an overnight train ride from Puri. We leave again tonight for another overnight on our way to Darjeeling in the cool mountains at the foot of the Himalayas. After a week of eating rice and boiled vegetables the students are pigging out on American junk food. The Mary Ellen Gerber Orphanage experience was incredible. The kids steal your heart. I'm going to sponsor one of them. It's only $30. a month or so. Baby Valentine was abandoned because she was the 5th girl in the family and the father didn't want her. She was born on Valentine day. More adventures lay ahead.

Tuesday April 8

Arrive Kolkata

-Science village tour

*sustainability research

Early morning

Tuesday April 8

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) - the city of joy, city of Rabindranath, city of Satyajit Ray, city of intellectuals, city of football, city of procession, city of political movements, city of Bundhs (strike) , city of arts and culture (cultural capital of India), city of festivals and at last but not the least it is also known as city of best sweets and cuisine. It is located on Calcutta's Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. This 21st century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of its kind in India. The pioneering effort of NCSM, in setting up open air Science Parks has now added a new dimension to science teaching through a process of discovery in the outdoor setting. Set amidst trees and lawns, here one finds science out of doors and alive  

Depart Kolkata

Late evening

   

Arrive Siliguri

-take 3 hour jeep ride

Early morning

Wednesday April 9

Silguri is the main commercial city of North Bengal and its importance comes from its strategic location near international and state borders. It is situated on the banks of the river Mahananda. Spread around the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, the town is an important transportation, trading and educational center.  

Arrive Darjeeling

-hike to Andy's Guesthouse

-breakfast at Glenaries

-Himalayan Mountaineering Inst.

-Mountaineering museum and film

-Tibetan Refugee Camp

-Tiger Hill

-Ghoom Monastery, prayer wheels and Golden Buddha

-Darjeeling tea estates

*Himalayan geology and sunrise over Kanchenjunga

*History of Tibetan Refugee Camp, and weaving presentation

*Kerala discussion and quiz

*journalingg

*work on essential question

Late morning

Wednesday April 9

Date: 4/11/2008 5:56:39 AM

We are in Darjeeling for one more day after this. We still haven't glimpsed the Himalayas because of mist. We are still hopeful. We were almost caught in a demonstration in Siliguri which turned violent the day we arrived. The local people here are of oriental linage. They look like Chinese instead of the typical Indian features. Actually, they resemble our own Jemez students very much. They want their own state separate from India because of miss-treatment by India in terms of jobs, and other discrimination. Yesterday the whole city of Darjeeling was shut down on strike. We had to rely on friends at a restaurant to bring us food and water. Everything is back to normal today. It reminded me of the 60's back home. It is beautiful here. Mostly Buddhist instead of Hindu. Today we went to the oldest Buddhist temple in Darjeeling. Also we went to the Himalayan Mountain Climbing Museum and the Darjeeling Zoo. There are great bargains everywhere on all kinds of art and craft items. Tomorrow we may try to get up real early and see the Himalayas at dawn. We board the train in Siliguri tomorrow night and head back to Kolkata and one day later head back to the the states. I will part company with the group and fly to Manilla to see Anna and Shae for 4 days.

Friday April 11

Toy Train Movie - click here
Toy Train Movie

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the "Toy Train", is a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge narrow-gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways. It was built between 1879 and 1881 and is about 86 km long. The elevation level is from about 100 m at Siliguri to about 2,200 m at Darjeeling. It is still powered by a steam engine. A modern diesel engine is used for Darjeeling’s mail. Since 1999 the train has been a World Heritage Site as listed by UNESCO. In 2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the original inscription.

Originally just a cluster of villages that was administered intermittently by Nepal and Sikkim, Darjeeling grew in prominence during the mid 19th century when, because of its climate, the British first established a hill station there after leasing it from the Chogyal of Sikkim and later discovered that the area was particularly well suited for tea plantations. In 1849, the British annexed the area and Darjeeling became a part of British India. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was opened in 1881 (it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the town became the de-facto summer capital of India during the days when the Raj was governed from Calcutta. Because it was a popular hill station during the days of the Raj, a lovely Victorian town was built among the Himalayan foothills, the remnants of which are still visible around the Chowrasta and Darjeeling remains a popular summer and fall resort for the natives of Kolkata today. For foreign tourists, the main attractions are the cultural diversity (many Tibetan refugees moved here after Tibet was annexed by China and they co-exist with the descendants of the many Nepali and Bihari laborers brought to work in the tea plantations), the beautiful views (including the wonderful vista view of Kanchenjunga), a variety of trekking options, and the opportunity to cool down after a stint in the plains. The town is also a jumping off point for travelers heading to Sikkim. There has been intermittent political action from Gorkha groups demanding an independent state (Gorkhaland). However, in recent years, the agitation has largely died down but do check local conditions before visiting the hills around Darjeeling.

 

Depart Darjeeling for Siliguri

Early evening

Saturday April 12

I might go back next year, maybe.  At Siliguri we witnessed a confrontation which turned into a riot between Ghorka separatists and the Army/Police.  They shut down Darjeeling for 24 hours in solidarity.  We would have been stuck without food and water except for some friends that took care of us.   Ahh, the Sixties!  

Arrive Kolkata

-market shopping

-theater excursion

*journaling

*group discussion on “essential question” and presentations

Early morning

Sunday April 13

   

Depart Kolkata

Early evening

Monday April 14

11:50 PM

Singapore was amazing.  I spent two days there.  It is very modern and rich, rich.  Singapore Airlines is the airline we took.  Best in the world. Their stewardess are all just beautiful.  They look like they have been cloned.  Singapore did remind me of the book 1984 too much though. Don't even spit on the sidewalk, somebody is watching.  
Arrive Singapore    
Arrive Manilla    
Manila was interesting. At least they have a 'middle' class. But because they do, they have too many cars and motorcycles on the road. You can't go anywhere that is not bumper to bumper. While I was there they passed 88 million on that tiny bunch of islands. Just like Mexico, we can thank the Catholic Church. Anna and her husband Shae live like royalty. They have a maid/housekeeper/cook that lives in a room off the kitchen; as well as a driver that has a little room upstairs that he climbs an outdoor ladder to get to.  

Arrive Albuquerque

Afternoon

Tuesday April 15

6:15 PM

Now that I'm back for a week and a half, I'm starting to get my energy back. It was a real adventure into a third world country. The caste system is still in effect. I saw lots of lower caste women working as laborers carrying stacks of huge bricks stacked 6 - 8 high on top of their heads. Everything is done by hand: buildings, roads, everything. I saw only one front-end loader the entire trip. They sleep in the street or sidewalks everywhere. We stepped over them sometimes.