An archive of stories and photos from our family trip to South India.

Location: Seattle


Andimadam and R.E.A.D

On Thursday our driver Mr. Mani collected us from Mahabalipuram as arranged, in his large Toyota SUV, and we set off for the 4 hour drive over terribly rough roads to Andimadam, in rural Peramabalur district, far off the tourist trail.

How to succinctly describe our three days in Andimadam? A small agricultural town, surrounded by sugarcane fields and rice paddies, we came by invitation from Rural Education Action and Development (READ), a large local nonprofit run by our friend Mr. Selvam. READ has just completed a four room guest house with support from the U.S. nonprofit Sahaya (, where Tom is a board member, and we were to be among the first guests, joining three other Sahaya board members who had arrived a few days before, and were staying three weeks.

The guest house is more of a guest palace by local standards, with large gracious rooms designed to catch the breeze, tasty voluminous south Indian meals cooked three times a day and served family style, and sweet local children peering in through the windows, waving at Claire and asking the question Indian children eternally ask of strangers: "What is your good name?"