During travelling to Allapey, I had enough time to think about what I saw in Munnar and heard from our driver. These were real life stories on poverty, lack of sanitation and hard work. I came to the conclusion that it is very easy to judge things from European perspective and look at people from our comfort zone. It takes more to understand India and accept things as they are even if we don’t agree with them. This Munnar trip gave me also a strong confidence that what I do here is important. Now, more than ever, I understand that clear aim can change the world 🙂
We came to Allapey very late, checked in a hotel and went to eat something. On our way back, suddenly it started to rain. The rain was so heavy that after few seconds I soaked to the skin! I can’t remember, when was the last time I experienced such intense rain! In few minutes streets were full of water and I started to think that maybe we should rent one of the houseboats to reach our hotel 😀 Suddenly, we saw two ladies who were desperately trying to hide from the rain under a tree. They were very happy to see us, because we were the only people on the street. As it turned out later, these two ladies had nowhere to sleep because all hotels were fully booked. Of course, we took them to our hotel.
The ladies were not Indians. They came from…Kenia! It was very interesting to listen their stories, how they decided to move to India. They told us that there many problems in the country and not so much opportunities, that is why they moved. One of them is still studying, the other one works for IT company in Mumbai. Both the girls were very grateful for help and shelter. Unfortunately, next morning we had to say goodbye, as they were going to Munnar where we came from 🙂
The first part of the day we spend on backwaters trip. For me it was interesting to observe daily life of people who live on bounds of channels – women were doing laundry and preparing food, men were building or repairing boats, some people were cleaning themselves right in the channel. We also saw very small islands with just one house on it. What is funny – many of them had satellite dish on the roof. Can you imagine living on the island like that? I don’t! 🙂 Living close to Electronic City in Bangalore makes me complain that it is far from the center and boring. So it is so hard for me to imagine how the life on the island looks like 🙂 Anyway, I believe there must be some advantages of living there!
I also really liked a school which is built on one of the islands. Children can reach it only by boat. I think it is a good protection against leaving school earlier and skipping classes – pupils simply can’t escape without being noticed 😀
After the boat trip, we took another local bus which delivered us to Varkala. As we figured out later, the owners of our hotel was Russian couple. And this is another good example of how people can change their life if they follow the dream. This couple visited India for the first time 5 years ago. At that time they just finished the university and didn’t know what to do with their lives. But after the trip to India they decided that they don’t want to live in a cold Siberia anymore. In few months after the trip those guys came back to Kerala – to get a piece of land and build their own hotel on the seaside of Varkala. Most of the things they did themselves. Their love and passion is felt in each detail of the hotel. Currently there are 5 wooden bungalows and few rooms to rent in the incredibly beautiful green territory full of flowers and different plants. These guys were very friendly and helped us with all things we needed – to rent a bike, to check a train, to book bus tickets. I think that because of their positive attitude and passion for what they do, the rooms were occupied even though it was almost the end of the season. This proves one more time that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.
We spend a very nice time in Varkala beach. Every evening we were going to the cliff to eat delicious see food with the outstanding view. My favorite dish was grilled calamari in coconut milk. The only thing which disappointed me was big amount of trash on the cliff. Sometimes garbage was right in front of shops. I was surprised when one of the shop owners finished a bottle of water and threw it just opposite his shop, on top of other trash. I would never understand or accept that – how people can pollute the area where they live or spend most of their time?
Time passed very quickly, holidays were over and we had to come back to Bangalore. Night bus from Trivadrum delivered us home. But one thing was very funny – few hours after starting the journey I checked the map on my smartphone and realized that instead of going to the North we went deeply to the South! The first idea was that we took a wrong bus 🙂 But then it was explained to us that bus goes that way to reach highway 🙂
Holidays in Kerala were unforgettable – I saw many beautiful places, met amazing people and experienced many things. Some situations gave me a lot to think about. I learn India every day and I know that still there is a lot to learn. Travelling here gives me new perspectives and helps to understand things. I hope this amazing experience will help me at work to better understand girls I meet during my schools trainings everyday.
Stay tuned, more posts about my daily life in Bangalore are coming soon 🙂