It's our last full week here in Goa, and I thought I'd do a "Week in the Life" photography project in an effort to really acknowledge how amazing these years have been, how momentous and wonderful and cherished. Of course we're coming back. Of course we'll be here again and again. But we are also saying goodbye.
Day One was Saturday. I knew that I was going to have a busy and full day with my new friend, Tina, as we rambled around two different markets, and I set out to capture a little of it.
Our first stop was the ATM. It was good to get a photo of the ATM man, because he has been there every time I've used this ATM over the past four years. A few times, I got there really early in the morning and he was still wearing his night lungi and doing his puja. He's a very kind man.
All ATM's in India have security guards. The guards can double as bank help, for people who don't understand how to use an ATM. I've seen the guard walk into the little room and push the buttons for the people, PIN and all.
Our next stop was Fab India. This is the new location in Mapusa, the city near us. We drove through jungle and across fields, through the bird sanctuary and over trash mountain to get there. Fab India did a great job restoring this old Portuguese house. Isn't it lovely?
Stacks of loveliness. I bought three new kurtas.
Then we were off to the Mapusa market. There's Tina. She's wonderful.
I went to the coffee place and bought coffee, then to the natural pharmacy and bought essential oils. And then I needed to go to the fabric store.
Tina was looking at yellow silk, but she didn't buy any.
I bought five boxes of my favorite incense at this shop. I'm stocking up on the things I need from India before we go. Incense, spices, bedsheets, and kurtas.
This is the plastic man. He and I have only an occasional friendship, since I don't like plastic containers. At the end of each season I go to his shop to buy big huge plastic bags to store all of our bedding and cushions and towels and, well, almost everything we own, for the monsoon. On Saturday I bought small ziploc-type bags to pack the kids' small toys in.
Then we went to the craft store. I bought zippers and buttons.
Tina needed a bag to fly home with, so we went to a luggage shop.
And then we bought flowers because it was my turn to decorate for the Saturday devotion circle.
I love the flower sellers.
These ladies demonstrated how we can use this syringe thing to make a rangoli.
And it was time for lunch. I had puri bhaji. Tina had Uttapam, something like a very flat, large, fried idli.
On the way home, we were stopped by some Holi celebraters. Holi is the Indian color festival. They were the most laid back celebraters of Holi that I've ever seen. They tentatively put two strokes of color on our cheeks.
And danced around a bit.
Back at home, I ran into this guy. He rubbed his face against mine and got some of the color added to his cheeks. And I wrapped my shawl around his head, which made him very happy.
The kids decided they wanted to go on a short trip with the tent and their bags. This is them ready to go.
They found a nice spot and settled in to read. Kid A read, anyways. YaYa did some journaling.
I headed upstairs to decorate the meditation space for devotion circle. Here's what it looked like to begin with.
Here's Tina taking the petals off the flowers.
I documented a lot more of the stages of building the rangoli. I'll put them up on flickr. It's very peaceful to sit on the floor, surrounded by flowers, and make shapes with them. These simple acts of beauty are a form of tactile meditation. I love doing it alone, and also doing it together. There are so many ways we can worship God. Singing is one way, and I started painting in worship years ago. But sitting on the floor and making flower shapes with devotion in our hearts is another way.
YaYa kept us on track with keeping the heart shapes the same. She wanted a big, round heart with a little pointy tip.
In the end they also looked like petals. Tina used the new syringe thingy to put color around the edge.
And soon it was time to start. We sang and people shared.
We always say a blessing over the kids. They often hold hands in the center. This time the rangoli was so big that it was a little bit difficult.
When it was dark it was time to light the candles.
And then we ate together.
But that is not all, no that is not all. Tina and I drove off to the Night Bazaar. Again, I haven't been this year, and I wanted to show her as well as go one time. By this time it was 10:00 and we were still shopping. For someone with a shopping phobia, that is quite impressive. I didn't buy much, however.
These people were cute at the photo booth.
I love the second hand sari shops. I never have time to really look through them, but I could just sit and look at all the pieces for hours, imagining where they've been, who wore them, what the people's lives were like.
And finally, that was it. I bought a sarong and some anklets and bangles. We reached home at about 2:00 in the morning. It was a long, colorful day.