Beyond Measure

Beyond Measure Travel Updates! Visit India's artists with me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Last stop.

I have just reached Chennai this morning traveling on the Circar Express from Kakinada. I will spend the last two and half weeks of my journey here in of my favorite cities in India. Chennai is very metropolitan, but also feels green and cozy.
As always, I felt a lot of sadness leaving my friends in Kakinada. Somehow, almost magically many of the people that I had not seen in nearly 5 years appeared in Kakinada on my last two days. The old driver from Hope Village orphanage, the sweet and happy Jesuratnam stopped by for a visit at my Aunty's house. Devi, Aunty's old servant girl, who is now married happened to come to town for the week and stay with Aunty. Simon, one of the Hope Village boys, who is a great artist, just stopped by the Cancer Hospital after arriving from Hyderabad nearly 10 hours away. Brinard, a former teacher from H.V. who was working as a postmaster in a remote place hours away was in town after recovering from Typhoid. Joshua my inspiring and peaceful friend who I wrote about in my "about me" section on the BMA website also came to see me while waiting for a seat in the local college.
And...on our last visit to India my mother and I were driven around Kakinada by Sam, who was the first boy in Hope Village. My mother and I both quickly grew very fond of Sam and we have kept in touch over the past 4 years through written letters. I was very anxious to see Sam on this trip but had no way of reaching him as he doesn't have a phone and is living in a village 1 hour from Kakinada. Suprisingly, just two days before I was to leave Sam arrived in Kakinada after hearing I was in town.
Sam was raised by his grandparents until both died of Cancer by the time he was 8 years old. After that he came from his village and grew up on the orphanage in Peddapuram. On my last visit Sam decided to go to Bible Training, and shortly after completing his training he married Sasi. They now have two children Chandu (nearly 4 yrs.) and Jessica (1 and half yrs).

I have officially told Sam that since I have no brothers or sisters by birth, that I chose him to be my brother. He always smiles ans nods his permission when I say this.

Sam's village is a farming community that grows sugar cane. In 2004 I visited this village and took a picture of some of the same children in this very spot. Now, there are many new faces, but their excitement to have a photo taken is just the same. Many of the adults talked about the photo that I sent of them from my last visit.

I couldn't help but take a picture of a game two girls were playing on the roadside that I walked on my way home everyday in Kakinada. One girl felt too shy to have her picture taken but the other was all smiles. I'm not sure what the game was but all you need are a few bottle caps and some broken bangle pieces to play.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I am back in the town of Kakinada, the place in India, that I could say feels most like home. I know the streets and shops and have even run into a couple of familiar faces at the internet cafe, faces that I haven't seen in nearly 4 years. I am most happy to have seen a few of the boys from Hope Village, although now they are nearly adults.
I last saw Gideon in 2003 when he was in 7th class. Now he is studying Deisel Mechanics at a nearby vocational college. We were so happy to see eachother!

You may recognize this logo... with a few changes. Now that I am in Andhra Pradesh, I decided to have the Beyond Measure logo and slogan translated into Telegu. A pretty cool looking language in my opinion.

I also spent two days visiting my good friend Murali and his family in nearby Rajamundhry. There I enjoyed his mom's homecooked food with the rest of his very large family. We had a nice time visiting the Iskon Temple and strolling along the Godavari River. I was also able to work with one artist named Vizzy, who created some very nice paintings for me and, asked for nothing in return. Of course I begged him to take something and after some time he conceeded. I hope we will work together again. Here he is with his youngest son.

Once again I want to say thank you to everyone for your generosity and enabling these artists to create change in their country. I have met with two artists here in Kakinada and will hope to have my first paintings done this weekend.