During my trip to India in May, my class met with the guys from Ideaworks. They presented the class with an idea challenge. The prize? An all-expenses-paid trip to Kerala (aka God's Own Country). How could I resist a prize like that!
And, I'm a winner, baby.
While the prize was technically just for me, the Ideaworks guys went the extra distance and made arrangements to include my sister when I mentioned that she would be joining me.
Starting with a few nights at a homestay on Lake Vembanad, Meriah and I had a chance to taste the best of India. Peace, nature and a touch of a different culture. We were of just a few 'western' tourists in the area, which gave the place a seemingly rare feel of an authentic indian experience. Our location was perfect for checking out the 'backwaters' and local life, including daily stuff like kids going to and from school in a tuk tuk.
We had heard that 'houseboating' was popular in the backwaters. I was apprehensive at first, given that my impression of houseboating is shaped by the frat-boy-replicas who take over certain areas in the okanogan every summer. But, houseboating in India is a bit more of a family affair. And a luxury one at that. Equipped with televisions, air conditioning and a kitchen, despite their aged appearance.
We took in theatre,
This country is so large and diverse that the impression one comes away with depends on where you go and who you are with. Between the lake Vembanad, the backwaters and Kochi, it was such a pleasure to introduce Meriah, and myself, to India in this way.