Today I had an encounter I will never forget. Meet Chella Duri, a goatherder from Tamil Nadu, working in the neighbouring state of Kerala. He earns as much in a month as we spend on an evening out, but I’m not asking for your pity, just a few moments to listen to what he had to say when he heard that I was a rich westerner living on a boat in Cochin…
A few weeks ago I received an invite to attend the Kerala Watersports Sailing Organisation Certificate Awards. I’d already met Captain Jolly Thomas who is the man responsible for teaching young children how to sail their little, second-hand Optimist dinghies. In a country that has no real sailing heritage and with next to no funds Jolly has achieved the near-impossible by creating a small but successful sailing club for children. Set up as a charitable organisation the least I could do was attend the ceremony and maybe invite a couple of other western sailors to join me. Terry of ‘Roam II’ and Brian and Maureen of ‘Suryana’ came along to give their support.
I’ve no idea who Romit and Rupashi are but I was at their Hindu wedding nonetheless. This was a fantastical event with much noise, colour and many people. Here is my pictorial account of the special occasion: more photos, less words.
Meet Big Brother, watching our every move since Egypt!
Suakin has to be seen to be believed. It is one reason why I took so many photographs of both people and buildings. Along the dusty road from the anchorage and old city lies the market, and behind the market, the residential area. The market is surrounded by wooden buildings that look more at home in The House of Fun, such is the angle at which they sit. It is the residential area, however, that really shocks. More buildings made of any scrap of cardboard, metal or wood have been cobbled together to provide some kind of shelter from the sun.
My first escapade into a Sudanese town was rather rewarding, at least from a photographic point of view. I’d been warned that the Sudanese do not like having their photograph taken and wandering around this battered old town with my massive Canon lens attached to my expensive camera certainly raised some eyebrows, not least from anyone in uniform. I’d already been ticked off by a local man for attempting to take pictures of the local fishing boats on this atmospherically cloudy afternoon.