Benjamuna's Blog

Stories…. with a touch of India….

Raigad/Pen revisited…. November 24, 2009

Filed under: INDIA — benjamuna @ 5:40 pm
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Yesterday was again very busy… Sandeep from Childrens Future India (CFI) came with the car to our hotel in Mumbai; Pen next… Of course we all + the luggage, didn’t fit into the car. We tried a million variations and everybody shifted place several times. Luggage up and down from the top of the car. The ususal India hullabaloo… End of story: Sandeep had to take a taxi with our luggage… hmmmmm. And we haven’t started shopping yet!!

But we arrived in CFI’s office only an hour after schedule and I met Dr Deshmuk who runs the CFI office in Raigad, and whom I met in Oslo some weeks ago. We were greeted with the usual flower garlands and then the rush started; presentations, tour of the office etc, before going out to meet my new sponsored child Seema and her family. They live in a small village, aprox 20 family members in the house. After a while I realised we were not only¬† people in the house, but two oxens as well…The family is very poor, Seema has three sisters and a brother. Father is not able to work because of something is wrong with his foot. The mother was so tiny I can’t understand she has been able to give birth to five children. Afterwards we visited Seema’s village school where we were placed on the ususal plastic chairs up front….

But what made the biggest impression on us, was the visit we made to a young widow with three children. Her brother had helped her buy a small house and CFI recently helped her get a door for the house so she would feel more secure. Widows in India lives a poor life. Her small house was without electricity and furniture, only some kitchen utensils and one kerosene lamp. We gave the soscial workers money so that the family could get groceries for approx 6 months. We were all very quiet when we left, the visit had made a great impact on us.

We had lunch at the CFI office, and afterwards we visited a small hospital. The head doctor came from the slums, she was once a poor child, sponsored from Norway through CFI. Now she is a doctor…

We all felt extremely tired when we set out for Pune, but traffic was not too bad so we reached before 8 pm. We felt drenched, and full of impressions. Food and Kingfisher was the only solution………

 

The ring ceremony and me in a saree.. November 23, 2009

Filed under: India November - December 2009 — benjamuna @ 2:18 pm

This might be a very busy holiday, although it cant be worse than Delhi ++ in Feb?!!? Yesterday was a rat race in Mumbai. Some sightseeing with Sandeep from Childrens Future India CFI in the morning (Juhu Beach, Bandra). Then head over heels to Mansi’s place in the afternoon. Of course one must allow 60-70 minutes for transport which makes every outing a small expedition.

The small flat was filled to the brim with mothers and fathers, grandparents, uncle, aunts – the usual Indian crowd. I left my flock in the sofa and headed for the women’s room where Mansi was in the middle of her make up and hair sesson. When she was all finished and dressed up she looked…. stunning! Myself, well I was dressed up by the grandmother, and the sari felt comfortable in the way a BUNAD feels comfy and just right for every occasion. Even more so, because most of the time the bunad makes you suffocate whereas the saree hangs loose around the boody and makes you breathe freely ūüôā

The ceremony, the engagement party of Mansi and Kirang was an interesting experience. We met a lot of great people, among them Mansi’s mother and aunts, and some of my colleagues in Aker Solutions, Gaute among them.

But we were dead tired from the journey and lack of sleep made me call for our car at 9 30 pm. We drove over the new Worli Sea link, an impressive brand new bridge over the waters. Actually it took less than an hour to get home to, well, put on the alarm bell at 06 45 the nxt morning. Hello holiday!

 

Short-sighted luggage… November 21, 2009

Filed under: India November - December 2009 — benjamuna @ 9:20 am
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Do you know what it takes to be “short sighted extreme” when packing for holiday? One pair of contacts goes on my¬†eyes, and one extra pair in that silly plastic bag in your hand luggage – along with contact lens solutions travel pack size cordially given me by the optician.¬† On top of that, approximately 20 pairs of day lenses in the luggage, for which ever reason because I never use day lenses. Well. That was the contacts. Over to the glasses. One pair of glasses that can step in for contacts in a crisis situation. Also known as my “from bathroom to bed-glasses”. Or “sleeping on the plane-glasses”. One pair of reading glasses needed on top of contacts, for reading. One pair of glasses needed for reading without contacts…¬†Got it? Oh, and at least two pairs of sun glasses which will probably mutate in India. And the suitcase contains of course more and extra contacts solutions… I think I’m sure to see this time as well!

 

First leg – Frankfurt

Filed under: INDIA — benjamuna @ 8:38 am
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We have reached Frankfurt by early morning flight! For the first time I’m travelling with a PC, so the first thing I was searching for was something wireless…. Found and paid online! Still some hrs to go before boarding for Mumbai. No rush……. JAI HO!

 

Coming closer…. November 16, 2009

Filed under: INDIA — benjamuna @ 6:52 pm
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Four days to go, and the only thing I can think about is this damn swine flu…I have even found an Indian web page with swine flu updates. As if it matters…But the world has become paranoid, and it’s catching.
Suitcases have found their way up from the basement, but I hate packing. Gifts and cards are ready. Joan’s smoked salmon in the fridge.
And the lists… I have been making lists for weeks now. On top of The List: Make lists. Well yes, that particular list came first. Then came the gift list. The pharmacy (!) list. The “general shopping” list. The “should buy Christmas gifts for in India” list. The “important to rememeber before you go-list” (since it will be close to Christmas when we get back). The “stop the newspaper and the mail-list”. The “which books to buy in India-list…” Fortunately I have started to rule out items, instead of adding new lists to the main list!
Tomorrow, high on my mental list: Start packing!

 

Going to India……….soon! November 6, 2009

Filed under: India November - December 2009 — benjamuna @ 2:07 pm

21 November I’m going to India, to celebrate my birthday and much more.¬† Follow me…………..

 

Hello world! November 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamuna @ 6:33 pm

Usernames, passwords, pin codes; du you remember a world without? Hardly. This week has been tough…, challenging my imagination. It started with Spotify; finally I got an invitation. I tried several usernames, everything was denied. Your favourite band? forget it. Taken.¬† Your favourite obscure band? Taken. Even my old dog’s name was taken,¬†a name we all though was the one and only…. I ended up with a terribly silly username, AND wrote it down.

Next was a Norwegian website for book lovers, a Facebook like thing. No way I would use the Spotify username, so I started once more on top of my imaginary username list. Taken. Taken. Taken.  But when I started on my Indian alternatives, the first one was accepted. After all, the web page was new and Norwegian.
And then, my new blog. Then things went from bad to worse. I was to compete with the whole word, I understood.  I could forget all about my Indian alternatives. Taken. I skipped my long gone dog this time. And started on variations on my surname. Benji. Taken. Benjamin. Benjamina. Taken. My initials. Taken. Variation over initials. Taken. What in the whole wide world is the matter with my fantasy? I ended up with Benjamuna. And we have established an understanding!

Passwords is another terrible headache. In the beginning of the beginning, a simple name would do. I chose a name of a small city in a far away country. It served its duty for years. Then came passwords with capital letters, number of signs, numbers and such – and it started to get difficult.¬† A challenge both for the inventiveness (something logical I will never forget) (but I do…) – and how to keep track of everything? Along with the ……pin codes?!!??

I have written it all down of course; usernames and passwords for airlines, banks, credit cards, travel agencies, iTunes, web shops… WOW the whole world seems to be on the net! Mee to!