Trip to Lake Vembanatt - Kumarakom - continued

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ambassador Hotel

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

What a ride through the countryside on a very dusty road where half the passengers put hankies to their face.  And what a feeling of abandonment when the ticket-taker let me out half-way between the private dock and the government ferry.  Price differential: first: 350 rupees an hour (c.$8.50 Cdn) or 10 rp return (20cents), for 1.5 hours.  Finally through more asking I reversed myself 1k and found the government-run ferry.  

Again I met friend grade school teacher of English (2,000 students - from grades 1-12; I believe he taught 4 classes of grade 4's per day, and he was now on vacation with his family: wife and 3 kids.  I also met a young man who was getting a diploma in mechanical engineering, and who shared my beliefs and convictions re religion and the environment.  At the end of the trip he served as my personal guide and made sure I got the right bus back.  

Some items to note: backwater means apparently that though it is inland, the water is brackish as it has egress to the sea.  Some people fish in the canoe boats all night, and some dig up clams from the bottom with special equipment.  Boats have an unusual oriental appearance: they are called houseboats but unlike the ones we know about, they don't live on them; they simply provide them for tourist over-nights.  There is a noxious plant called african payal.  My friend John told me that it has been growing there ever since he can remember.  However, now it seem out of control and choking access to the inland dock by water canal.  So we had to walk to the lake, Vembanatt, about .75k. to another wharf.  

I guess the reason I felt so at home with the young man is he pointed out that St. Thomas (from his catechism) came here to Kerala in 52 C.E.  All that remains of his presence (besides a thriving Christian community - as he thought that this district was 50/50 Hindu and Christian, (tho of course of many different rites, especially eastern) are some boats named after him.  [Thomas was a twin, no? not a fisherman as far as I recall.  Mmm….I wonder what became of his twin?] Anyway, John introduced me not only to St. Peter's Church across the canal, but to the newly G.I. -galvanized iron - roofed school where his Dad went.  What really clinched it for me too, was his lament about the plastic bottles.  I left him, feeling connected to the next generation half-way around the world, in hope and unity.  We exchanged email addresses too, both on gmail.  
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sacolargo on

wherever you go there are people anxious to guide you - you are connecting in a way I don't think is typical for a tourist - the long journey continues ...

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