Posted by: janpierce | December 1, 2010

As We Leave Allahabad

Yesterday we spent the morning at a Sports Day at one of the large schools in town. The student population is over 3,000 and they’re divided into four houses: red, blue, yellow and green. Each race is run by a student in the appropriate color and the cheers are “Go Yellow!” or “Green, green, green!”  When we arrived green was dead last, but by the time all the points were counted the green team was the victor. They won a large plaque and bragging rights and the biggest piece of cake to share. Some of the entertainment between events was quite spectacular with a hundred or more students doing a dance or marching in synch. It was fun.

   Then as it was my birthday we had a lovely meal at a restaurant called The Milan. They did have pasta, but we didn’t try it. We ended up with chicken and mutton dishes, delicious buttered nan and a rice dish with nuts and dried fruit in it. Roger brought a pair of earrings all the way from home and he really did surprise me with them. You can’t go wrong with rubies and diamonds.

   Today was the last session of Bible study with the young women. They made me a large card that they all signed with a favorite verse and they brought a cake with Thank You on it’ in English. Several pressed cards and little gifts into my hand as they left. These are girls who are extremely poor and who don’t have extra money to spend, so their gifts meant a great deal.

   W’e’re in the middle of packing our things. We’ve gotten rid of blankets, books and some clothes that we’re leaving for a distribution to the poor at Christmas time, but we still have a ton of stuff. We’re hoping to cram it all into two suitcases for the flight tomorrow, but we may have to bite the bullet and pay for extra luggage.

   Yesterday on the roof I observed an old man pulling up clumps of grass and putting them in a large plastic bag. I suppose he has some animal to feed at home. He had to fight off a large bull who also wanted the same little patch of grass. He would throw sticks at it and then dive in quickly trying to get the goods first. Later I saw the bull eating again after the man went on his way. A little further down the street the ironing men work outdoors all day. For 3 rupees per piece they sit to sprinkle each piece, stand to iron at an outdoor table and then fold carefully and stack the clothing on a motorcycle which they use to deliver the clothes to the owner’s door.

   This morning Roger  had a conversation with the next door neighbor who has a truly beautiful home with a manicured and landscaped  yard. Of course right across the street are piles of garbage, pigs rooting around, and the electric wiring hanging all over in large nests, but this is the best part of town. Roger and the man had a conversation about positive attitude in old age. A nice topic for a pretty sunny Allahabad morning.

   We learned that the housing across the street is for policemen and their families. They are all illegally tapping into the electricity. I guess they are given free electricity anyway, but there is a monthly hook up fee. So instead they write down that they have no electricity and take it illegally. Make sense?

   Now, on to Delhi and our visit with Rodrick and family. Greetings to all of our friends at home. I know that Thanksgiving is past and Christmas is on its way for all of you. It’s a little hard to relate when we’re having nice sunny 85 degree days.

Next stop, Delhi.



  1. Miss you.
    Wish we were there

  2. Mommmyyy missing you & love your writings on India!! It’s so interesting to read about my life from another person’s eyes. I experienced every single thing you mentioned in here but never thought to jot it down. It sounds so beautiful even in it’s weirdness:) Or maybe you’re just that good a writer! Can’t wait to see you in a little over a week!!

  3. PS I used to be in Yellow, the Wilcox House:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: