On Sunday, we decided to have a lazy day for once. We hung around the house until almost 3, when we finally decided that we had to get off of our lazy behinds and get out for a bit. Down the street a little way, in walking distance from our house, is a public garden that we had been wanting to check out. So headed over there.
The garden costs 15 rupees to get in (about 35 cents), which, unfortunately, makes it inaccessible for a large portion of the population. As a result, it was a rather quiet place, and I think we only saw 2 other children there. There were lots of adults, mostly couples and a few larger groups of men, seated amongst the trees or on the pathways. It was a little disconcerting walking around a shrub or tree and realizing that there was someone hidden there watching us. We encountered this a lot.
The first thing we saw when we came in was a large building used to house a cactus collection. It was Ender who realized with the building actually was, and for those of you who know me well, you can understand my excitement! What could be better than a giant turtle??
We began walking around, and immediately headed down the wrong path. We were only a little way down a path that was obviously made by some large bulldozer, when we heard a whistle blow. We looked back to find a police officer motioning at us. (that is how they communicate here, they use the whistle and hand gestures to get your attention, they never actually talk to you). So, we grudgingly came back up and headed down a path more well travelled. The police officer seemed to be following us for most of the rest of our walk. Apparently he was afraid that we would misbehave again. (or perhaps there is some secret over behind the bushes that they are trying to hide!) Eventually we saw another couple sneak off the beaten path, and he finally veered off of in pursuit of these newfound evildoers.
We saw some beautiful flowers, and the kids had a great time crossing the bridges and jumping from rock to rock. There was even a little snack bar where we stopped for Bingos and a soda. (Bingos are chips – more about those in another post).
As we walked, we came upon this amazing critter. Ender’s finger is only partially gone and we think he will regain feeling in it after the bite marks disappear. (JUST KIDDING, it was harmless). Far more horrifying than mom were the nest of babies that we soon stumbled upon. They scattered like the wind when disturbed, and scurried in all directions. (i.e. right toward our feet!).
Here is a beautiful tree that, for some reason, the kids and Scott were gathered around. I had to get a shot of it when I realized that it was a little taste of home that they had gavitated to. We’ve got several of these trees back in our yard in Florida.
The pond, while definitely very pretty, seemed suspiciously devoid of life. A couple of ducks played in the ripples and Addie enjoyed watching a water bug skate across the shimmering surface , but fish, turtles and frogs were not to be found. A stark reminder of the city outside of the gate and the pollution problems that India does not seem to know how to handle.