Arriving through a cyclone and experiencing monsoon type rain travelling was not anticipated. I didn’t know about the cyclone that had blown in across the Bay of Bengal until I was on the flight from New Delhi and by then it was too late to change my mind. My fears on not being met at the airport were unfounded. I have had nothing but welcoming looks and hospitality since arriving in Bhubaneswar.

My host Khitish even though I have never met him before, seems to share my passion for creativity and he exudes the desire to share his country, work and people. Because of the extreme weather I’m currently taking sanctuary at his mother’s house which is inland from Bhubaneswar, in Selebur.

The plan is now to stay with her and wait for the weekend when the weather is expected to be better and an artist from France will also arrive. We can then move into the village Raghurajpur where all the expert makers live

The house here is brightly painted, all the women have the most beautiful saris and the children don’t seem to be at school. It’s Friday so they may have a longer weekend. There is a number of festivals this month, to celebrate the goddess Dhurga.

After 2 days the rain has stopped and I e been able to walk around and take a look at the landscape. The house is surrounded by paddy fields and Khitish tells me this is the main food source since major flooding in 2009.

I’ve already seen water buffalo, a sacred cow and goats. There also white ibis and cattle egret on the fields. I am pacing myself even though I’ve already had a hair raising journey by plane car and moto to get here. I really haven’t quite adjusted to the time difference and I can sense that I feel the routine of UK habits creeping in, I’m also trying to allow myself to adjust to a much spicier experience at mealtimes and no coffee ouch!

The need for language is so desperate but I’m making use of local children to get them repeating words to me in English and in return they are correcting my Hindi pronounciation

A walk into the market, which is the permanent stalls and shops that line the main thoroughfare, involves traversing sand paths and waterlogged roads to where you can buy anything from mobile phones to marigold garlands

Luckily for me , Khitish’s Mum is an excellent cook


Visiting a partner arts organisation in rural #India

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