Colombo, Sri Lanka
Instantly we thought: scam.
Thirtyish man, well-dressed in western-style clothing — dark sunglasses, black skinny pants, pink, long-sleeved collared shirt, and loafers with a hip skinny square toe — approaches us as we’re walking through the business district towards the waterfront and the Galle Face Hotel. Ice-cold drinks on our minds.
At the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Raschman offers a blessing to Buddha on my behalf, asking for a safe journey for me and MacGyver in Sri Lanka.
He’s chatty. Where you from? When did you arrive? And so it starts. He waves an ID badge at us and says: “Don’t worry, I’m not a tour guide.” Continue reading
Podanur, India (Part 3 of 3)
Putting aside our disappointing freight and revenues in 2015 — and the fact that our tractor and trailer repairs cost as much as a small BMW sports coupe — we finished the year with true wealth.
The wealth a person feels when they do something for no return.
The three Rs are important at FFC, but there’s a healthy component of exercise and play.
Our 2015 highlight was the three days we spent volunteering at the Families For Children orphanage in India.
Fort Cochin, India (Part 2 of 3)
Four years since its narrow defeat, the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s red and white flags flap wildly in the Keralan wind. Out of power in the state that proclaims itself “God’s own country”, but very much alive.
Tea plantations everywhere one looks in Munnar.
We arrived in Kerala from dusty, hot Tamil Nadu. Driving out of the grasslands into the clear, cool air of the hill stations above Munnar, where the women collecting tea leaves, receive, in addition to their wages, employer-provided housing, healthcare and education for their children.
We came to see the social-democratic state that is secretly envied by Indians. Continue reading
Mumbai, India (Part 1 of 3)
Hands. Hundreds of millions of Indian hands, providing virtually free labor, power this complex, contradictory country.
Dawn breaks over Mumbai harbor revealing a man rowing his boat, skirting the anchored ferries. The harbor opens to the Arabian Sea.
In the ninth century, Chola rulers commanded their people to carve granite into towering temples in Tamil Nadu, the southeastern Indian state. In the 21st century, Indian hands created the newest temple, a 27 story private home in South Mumbai for the country’s richest man. A skyscraper hanging over a slum. Inspecting the ancient ruins, the working and living conditions seemed better 1300 years ago.