Please post this on my blog if possible 🙂 So this is the tuk tuk or auto-rickshaw Kara and I rode in! 🙂 It has 3 wheels and zips around like crazy. They use the horn every two seconds and act like it’s a motorcycle when they weave in and out of traffic. It’s the main means of transportation here though and honestly, I would never miss an experience like this–it was awesome!
India is absolutely incredible! I just woke up–we had a full day until about 3:30 and then all of us crashed when we got to the ship 🙂 India is also busy and humid and just wears us out lol. So we spent this morning trying to find a Deaf school (of course the driver took us to a mentally handicapped school–this is a pattern in every country 🙂 ). That school then gave us the phone number of the Deaf school but the school was in the middle of examinations and wanted us to set an appointment for another day We were bummed that it didn’t work. Our driver took us to some temples, the spice market, and LOTS of shops.
One shop in particular was 4 stories. I bought something awesome for Hyram and Jonas (yay!) and then was ready to leave. However, Tory wanted to go up to the next floor and I went with her. All of us eventually made it to the fourth floor where the view was absolutely gorgeous. There was a painter at work with an INCREDIBLE view of Old Town and even our ship in the distance! We were all enjoying it when all of a sudden the painter saw us signing and signed “I’m Deaf” to Kara! We all were SO excited and talked back and forth with this artist! His sign was VERY different but we had a blast working through the signs. I think it wasn’t the sign that through us off as much as his head nodding–when Indians nod “no” it’s back and forth like ours, but when they nod “yes” it’s this head bobbing thing: very similar to the Einstein bobble heads on Night in the Museum 2 (sorry, that’s the only description I could think of! 😉 ) It threw me off when signing with him but it was fun to act out things.
Anyway, I found out that he started in hand painting at age 8 in 1977. He then worked his way to doing everything including brush paint and drawing. The neatest thing is that in other parts of India he also painted the ceilings of churches and temples–including a Christian church and a Sikh temple! We loved loved talking with him and comparing sign languages–he was so kind as well 🙂
…I felt like it was a little miracle after running into a dead end with our Deaf School–the fact that our driver chose THAT specific store, that I eventually made my was to the 4th floor, that he happened to be painting there, that we happened to sign something that he saw, etc. 1 in 1.2 BILLION chance that we met him 😉 It was AWESOME and we were all beyond excited as we left the shop.
The rest of the day was going to stores. Here the tuk tuk drivers get fuel coupons from every store we go to, so they of course press us to go to every store in Kochi–about 10-12 for us today. So we were exhausted by the end: physically and financially. It didn’t help that the five of us were squished in the tiny rickshaw (which our driver lovingly called “The Ferrari” 🙂 The Ferrari was great–very bumpy and had a hard time on any incline–but also enjoyed buzzing through traffic like Mario Kart 🙂 All in all it was an amazing day and now we’re getting rested up and packed for our 4 AM leave time to Agra and Delhi tomorrow! Life is just so good.!! Thank you SO much family for the emails from all of you–it just makes me so happy to hear from you guys, even if it’s just one or two lines 🙂 Love you guys!!! Destiny