Author Archives: jamela

Mahabalipuram

Last Saturday we visited the site of sixth-century stone carvings about an hour south of Chennai. It’s a striking testament to the creators’  artistry, technical ingenuity, and sheer dedication. Local craftsmen still carry on the tradition of granite carvings.

Entrance plaque

Entrance plaque

Shore Temple

Shore Temple

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Saved by the Neighborhood Library

Before we left home, I made several trips to the Eugene and Springfield public libraries to return the 80+ books we’d accumulated at home. (One is still missing; I think we’re going to have to pay the replacement fee–I can’t believe I’m confessing this in public!)

It did make me a little insecure to leave home relying on my phone and e-books for my principal reading material. But today Brianna and I stumbled across a goldmine: the Renga Lending Library.

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We Made It to Chennai!

We’re here! And we’re very thankful not to have any exciting travel stories to report.

First stop: Breakfast in Seattle

First stop: Breakfast in Seattle

Highlights of Dubai airport:

Looking a little more well worn after a fifteen-hour flight.

Looking a little more well worn after a fifteen-hour flight.

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And finally, Chennai, after 28 hours in transit:

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My friends! Spotted just behind our hotel. Have to find out if they're milking goats.

My friends! Spotted just behind our hotel. Have to find out if they’re milking goats.

Just behind the goats--a church established in 2008. We also stumbled across an unassuming temple on our "block," to be visited another day.

Just behind the goats–a church established in 2008. We also stumbled across an unassuming temple on our “block,” to be visited another day.

Tajik Folklorist’s Memoirs–Translation in Progress

Stories from the Land of Springs (Dushanbe, 1996) is the memoir of one of Tajikistan’s most prominent 20th-century folklorists. Rajab Amonov (1923-2002) describes his boyhood in the northern Tajikistan city of Uro Teppa. The book’s attraction lies in its both cultural and historic value. As a folklorist, Amonov details cultural practices still observable in many parts of Tajikistan. Written in the late 20th century, the account also discloses Amonov’s perspective on the changes that took place during the early years of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Amonov knew the value of story, so his descriptions are couched in engaging narratives. Continue reading