Saturday, March 31, 2012

More India!

Oh geez, I have been poky to post more pictures from India.
I have to admit to a gruesome case of jet lag after I
got back to Seattle.  The airplane always seems like it should be
a magic time capsule and that it shouldn't be that hard
to adjust.  But it sure was! At least for me.

Ok. So pictures.
I'll start with a picture of the beautiful chef
at Satsanga, Mani Shivadas.
Mani oversaw planning and preparation 
of three meals a day for 
us lucky retreat-goers.
I snapped these photos
during an informal cooking class.

Watching the kitchen staff work together was
really a sight to behold. There was no yelling
or ego-infused antics that we see on cooking shows
in the West. Instead, it was like a gentle ballet
of coordinated movements. One person would place a 
pot on a flame in time for another to put in freshly cut
ingredients. Or someone would season the ingredients in
another pot before someone else would move it to 
a back burner to simmer and place
a new pot over the flame.

Even the cooking was done with
a grounded, gentle energy. 

Mani's spice container. There's a lid that
goes over the top of the entire thing - very handy.

A sample of our beautiful, fresh ingredients.

Hand-shaving fresh coconut.
This was such a treat on fruit in the mornings!

Here's what our morning spread looked like.
Fresh strawberries,
pomegranate seeds,
It was heaven!
This was a favorite dinner spot, beneath
a magical magenta canopy (the sun
was already too hot by breakfast).

Flowers, everywhere. Always. So lovely.

Flowers at the market.

And spices!

We visited a local orphanage in Goa.
Most of us brought toys and clothes
to share. 

The children were beautiful.

With or without teeth!

The coloring books were an especially big hit.

The kids each get assigned a number, which they
apparently used for logistical purposes. 
You can see the numbers above each of
the dinner plates here.
It was a well-coordinated facility! 

This sweet little girl insisted I stay
while she read every number out loud to me.
Which I did.
She was hard to refuse.

Such determination.
I have to think it will serve her well...


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