Day One

   Posted by: Dean White   in India


·         City of Mumbai (previously known as Bombay)

·         Elephant Island

·         Surrounding areas

Purpose: Get acquainted with India Culture

Tomorrow: Maharashtre Fellowship for the Deaf (school for deaf children)


  • Driving through the traffic is better than any Disneyland ride
  • Amazing Culture (work hard, take time to relax and enjoy friendship & family)
  • Monkey that took Dean’s water and slapped him in the face when he tried to get it back
  • Crazy pink hats at a wedding ceremony (see photo below)

Quote of the day: “In India we have a saying about getting through the traffic, ‘You need a good horn, good brakes, and good luck!'”

I wish I had a grasp of my own language to describe in detail the flood of images, emotions, and senses that soaked into me today.  India is known for their hospitality, their wonderful spices, and collage of culture.  I would describe it to a beautiful multicolored canvas that when you are extremely close the colors seems to wildly blend and it is only when you step back you see the portrait coming into focus …and it is breath taking.  I will strive to only give a glimpse, for I will be getting to bed every day late and up early.

Driving & Culture

Today’s goal was to get us immersed into the culture before we begin seeing the harder things.  We began with an hour shuttle ride through Mumbai to a port where we caught a boat for Elephant Island.  The 17 million people who live in Mumbai make it one of the most populated cities in the world.  The traffic is compared to someone yelling fire in a movie theatre and watching everyone trying to escape.  They drive on the opposite side of the road than we do, the cars, bikes, pedestrians, and anything else, come within inches of each other …constantly.  The ‘skill’ to navigate requires aggression, persistence, multiple uses of horn / lights, and an out of body connection with one’s vehicle to know how to come within an inch of another’s vehicle.  Our driver, Mr. Haj the Jedi, drove in lanes that did not exist, facing opposing traffic, and ran other cars nearly off the street constantly.  I drove up front of course, didn’t want to miss a second of the action.

We arrived at the main port of which is called “the Gateway of India.” We took a ferry to Elephant Island (took about an hour).  After arriving we walked up about 120 steps and to the Elephant Caves.  These are historical caves that were carved out of the mountain displaying different heliographic of Shiva the three headed God of the Hindu faith.  Shiva the Creator, Shiva the Destroyer and Shiva the Provider.  Interesting that in Christianity God is also displayed as a triune God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  It was so hot and humid; I reach a new level of sweatiness that I never thought was possible.  So much that others in our group took pictures of my sweat for future blackmail.


When leaving the caves we ran into a bunch of monkeys.  It was fun taking picture of them, watching them pick bugs off each other and jumping around.  Then a larger monkey jumped out of a tree and snatched my liter bottle of water out of my hands and took off.  Well, you know me … I went after him!  Everyone thought the monkey was going to bite me and give me rabies so they were shouting for me to stop chasing and provoking the monkey more.  I wanted to get my water back from the rascal.  But when I did, he reached out and slapped me in the face.  Since he started hissing, I began to listen to reason and let him enjoy my water. But it was hilarious!  And the highlight for many people in the group.  Later I found out that rabies do run ramped in those monkeys and I was lucky he didn’t scratch my face.  Very fun though!

Pink Hats

After we got back to the hotel, we had dinner and when we were walking back into the lobby we ran into a wedding that was just beginning.  The groom and his side of the family were in the lobby and the bride (who we didn’t see) was downstairs in a different part of the hotel.  The men wore the funniest pink hats and the groom was totally decked out!  I was amazed.  When the groom walked past me with his entourage, one of the groom’s men asked if I wanted of photo.  Of course I did!  Once in a lifetime photo!  The groom was beaming ready to meet his bride … and I was beaming that got such a great photo! 

Tomorrow we go to the school where they send all the deaf children.  They live here full time and come from all surrounding areas.  I look forward to doing a little magic show for them. 

Thought of the Day

I passed a statue today of a mother holding a child.  The caption under it read, “A child gives birth to a mother.”  India is a different way of thought and life.  They work hard but spend a great amount of time with friendship and with their families.  They don’t flood their lives with countless activities for those activities would rob them from what is most important: the lives of those they love.


 "check out those pink hats!"

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 11th, 2008 at 11:55 am and is filed under India. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far

Matthew Hogg

Man, what a day you had. What a great experience this is going to be for you. I can just imagine the chaos with the traffic and all. I’ll bet you could make a movie of that and sell it. Did you slap the monkey back? You should been on him like stink on an outhouse corncob…

Love ya Bro,


October 11th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Sounds like an awesome time man !!!!
looking forward to reading your blogs

October 12th, 2008 at 1:35 am