Ellen and I have known Betty Shelton since we first came to India in 1993.
Betty was originally the head mistress at a large school in Mumbai. After
retirement, she moved to Chennai and started a number of village projects
in south Tamil Nadu. She built schools and churches and started agricultural
projects (teak, coconut as well as traditional rice). There were
no maps of the region (north of Gingee) so one day, I took my GPS and
road up and down all the roads on a motorcycle, marking each project.
Below is the map.
This is the Google Map with my GPS tracks of the trip from Chennai to
Gingee and then to Valathi. Zoom into the cloudy region to the north.
now has high resolution photos and you can see the school building
as well as Betty's residence.
Spices and Vegetables
Mr. Noah and making tea
Fresh Duck and fresh spices
Ladies carrying stuff and ladies carrying rice straw
Marching the ducks to breakfast
Taking rice hay to process
Now the rice planting - mostly with the ladies:
Now a little about food: cooking parotha on a fire, preparing curry on a fire,
and eating with Jesudoss - an Indian meal served on a banana leaf - very
ecological - after you're done, the banana leaf is fed to the cows!
And here is the Gingee fort - a long history that I'm not familiar with -
apparently a favorite place for herding and feeding goats
(above photo next to the ducks)