Monday, February 18, 2013



You have been a true friend and we hope we have been the same.  You have been a perfect host and we hope that we have been gracious guests.  We have made a thousand memories and have been taught a thousand lessons.

We go now with no small sadness, but we have each left a piece of ourselves within your ever expanding borders.  There will always be a piece of you in our hearts.

Thanks does not even come close to the expression we wish to extend to all those, too many to be written, who have made our stay a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"The night fades;the light breaks over the peaks of the Eastern hills,
  the birds begin to sing and the morning breeze carries the breath of new life.
  The rays of the mercy have touched the waking land with their blessings.
  Victory to the King of Kings,
  Victory to thee, Dispenser of India's destiny.
  Victory, victory, victory to thee."
                                 An Excerpt from "The Morning Song of India" -Rabindranath Tagore


Goodbye, India.

For now,

The Dream Team

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Madras Heritage Tour and Goverment Museum

On Feb 13th we got an early start to meet with Rtn.V.Sriram for a guided heritage tour. His passion for Madras culture and heritage is evident if only listening to him talk for a few moments. He has written a number of books and since April 2012 has a weekly column titled Hidden Histories on page 2 of The Hindu.  Additionally he contributes regularly to his blog, Madras Heritage and Carnatic Music.

He graciously took the all the GSE team members to the old part of Chennai (Madras) and tied together the history of the city with its interesting historical links to USA and Germany. One of Germany's early ties to Madras helped influence the printing of the Tamil language and one of America's early ties was to bring the Ice Trade to Chennai.

Below are some photos from our walk.

Madras High Court

Remnant of walled city

Chepauk Palace - home for Nawabs of Arcot


In the afternoon we headed to the Tamil Nadu Government Museum. The museum consists of a number of buildings which house varied collections such as contemporary art, archeological remains, etc.
Although closed, the Victoria Memorial hall is an architecturally stunning building with plans for restoration. Below are some images of it. It is quite a beauty and I can only imagine how stunning it was when it was built.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The city plus tour: A photo-journal

Last week we were given the opportunity to travel to several outlying villages within Rotary district 3230.  It would take an eon to describe in detail our myriad experiences therein, so we have decided to let pictures do the talking.  By our count this post contains approximately 88,000 words.  The villages pictured are Kanchipuram, Ranipet, Vellore, Arani, Thiruvannamalai, Vaniyambadai, and the Yelagiri hills.  These photos are also available on our facebook page.