kindness activist

kindness activist

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pepper Kindness

We met some Kindness Activists last night that were so kind, I thought I was in a DREAM.

We are still traveling in India.  Yesterday we flew from Mumbai to the south of India (Trivandrum) and then took a car to Varkala (in the Indian state of Kerala).  Everyone in northern India told us how nice the people in the south were, and how much we would love it here.  Well, they were not exaggerating. 

A driver named Prabeesh picked us up at the airport and we hit the road for the 1.5 hour drive.  We talked along the way, he was a bit embarrassed about his English skills, but we think he is fluent and he had so many interesting things to tell us!!  As we drove along he talked a bit about the politics of Kerala (it is the only Indian state with a communist government, they were just re-elected this month for a 5 year term).  He also talked of religion, culture, the differences between north and south India, etc.  It was a very pleasant ride.

We were talking about SPICES, fruits, and vegetables that grow in the area, and he slowed down and pointed out a PEPPER plant.  Wait, what???  PEPPER, as in BLACK PEPPER??  Like, pepper that you shake on your dinner???  I had never stopped to consider WHERE PEPPER COMES FROM, and now that he mentioned it, I was extremely curious!!

He pulled the car over and said we could go look at the pepper plant if we wanted.  Yes, sir!!!  So we walked to the home where we had seen it, he asked us to wait outside the gate a moment, and he went in to ask if it would be alright for him to bring 2 foreigners into the yard to look at the plant.

Well, the woman, Sajitha, said sure, come on in and look.  She then proceeded to take us into the backyard and show us A GARDEN WONDERLAND of trees, plants, and greenery.  It was amazing!!  They had teak trees, sandalwood trees, pepper plants (which grow up the trunks of other trees), banana trees, mango trees, papaya trees, a tree that gives nuts that they make necklaces for priests out of, coconut trees, NUTMEG trees (nutmeg!!!), the list goes on and on.  The home is her mother-in-law's and she has won awards from the government for her organic growing. 

We walked all around the backyard, escorted by Sajitha, who explained everything to us.  When we ended up back in the front yard she said, "Would you like a rambutan??".  A rambutan is a funky looking fruit that is uncommon in the USA, but very delicious.  When we said yes, she proceeded to reach into a tree and pick about a dozen of them and hand them to us!  And they were DELICIOUS!!

Rambutan unopened, opened

Rambutan fruit removed and ready to EAT

We stood and talked a bit, Sajitha has very good English and her mother-in-law has such a beautiful smile.  They even INVITED US into their HOME!  She showed me their prayer room, which was such an honor to see.  They even served us, David, myself, and Prabeesh - three complete strangers -  TEA!!  We sat in their home, talked, and sipped tea.  It really was the loveliest, most kind welcome to Kerala that I can imagine!!  It was so heartwarming to be invited, without question, into someone's real lives the way they welcomed us.

They showed us a photo of Amma, an Indian Guru who I had read about and hoped to see on this trip, but I thought that would be impossible due to timing.  It turns out that Sajitha and her husband are followers of Amma and see her often, in fact they had JUST SEEN HER the day before!!  They talked to our guide (in the local language, so we did not follow the conversation) about how it might be possible for us to visit Amma and get a hug (she is the hugging saint) on our drive to the next city, so I think we will give that a try. 

They had let us taste a kernel of their black pepper while we were there, and it was so amazing.  So as we were preparing to leave, Sajitha offered us a BIG BAG of black peppercorns to take with us.  I was stunned - so much of India on this trip has been about people begging, people wanting tips, people talking of corruption, and here was a gentle woman offering us what they had explained was very valuable and referred to as "black gold".  They wouldn't even take our money, they offered the pepper to us as a gift.  Perhaps it was "dharma", and we will pass that dharma along as we share the bag of pepper with our driver.

You can't really get a feel for how BIG this bag of pepper is, but this
is HALF of it, after we shared it with Prabeesh!  So much delicious pepper!
As we left she told us that if we were ever in Kerala again, we should stay with them.  She made us feel so welcome to her country.  I hope that we meet again and that we can be as overwhelmingly kind to HER as she was to US.

Here we are!  Prabeesh is not in the photo since he was behind the camera :)
I almost forgot to give the family Kindness Activist buttons, so I grabbed them out of a suitcase and ran back to deliver them.  I hope they wear them with pride, because they most certainly fit the bill of KINDNESS ACTIVISTS!


  1. We are in need of Sperm and kidney donors urgently.. Contact us now: (+918904216086)


  2. Hi, We're looking for kidney donors, Very urgently. B+ve , O+ve, O+ and A+ve with Valid passports for the amount of 89,00,000 Rs and age should be more than 20 years.Interested persons contact our hospital via e-mail: website : life line : +91-7760020981 Whatsaap - +91-80507-736-51