This is Richmond Town Methodist Church. Richmond Town is a neighborhood within the city of Bangalore. Donna and I go to church here every Sunday that we are in Bangalore. Donna sings in the choir. It's about a 15 minute ride by autorickshaw (called simply an "auto" by the locals). We have a regular Sunday auto driver. His name is Chan and he arrives outside our apartment complex well ahead of our normal departure time of a little before 9:00. Sometimes he already there when I walk the dog at 7:30. He takes us to church, waits for us, then takes us where-ever else we want to go. Usually we go somewhere for lunch and sometimes do some shopping. We pay him Rs. 500 for the whole day which is only about $11. However it is more than he would make in a day at Rs. 7 per kilometer the official rate for an autorickshaw.
Before we had Chan we simply walked down to the main road and hailed an auto. One Sunday it was Chan and the next Sunday he was there waiting when Donna came out to go to church. (I was traveling that week.) He took her to church and she had no small change so she gave him a 500 rupee bill and asked him to wait for her. He has been our Sunday driver ever since.
This is a picture of Donna borrowing a baby at church. We have coffee hour after church just like in Vermont except that in Bangalore it is always outside. Although we have a season called "winter" that only means you might need a sweater to go out at night. And it never rains in the morning here. Even during the Monsoons in Bangalore we have never been rained on during coffee hour. Although sometimes you have to watch out for bird droppings from the trees overhead. Coffee in south India is made with more milk than water, quite strong and served in small paper cups.
This Sunday after church we went to Forum Mall for lunch and to shop for a new phone. Most weekends there is some kind of activity on a stage outside Forum Mall to attract customers. This Sunday it was a bubble gum bubble blowing contest. Or actually a continuous series of contests. Five kids were called up at a time. Each had 30 seconds to blow the biggest bubble they could, then the winner was declared. Winners got a backpack and their name entered in the drawing for a grand prize. This boy was the winner of his round with a 10 centimeter bubble. Forum mall features a McDonalds (which does not serve any beef) and a Pizza Hut so we often eat something resembling western food for Sunday lunch.
Donna and Joe have finished their assignment in India. Occasionally they still travel somewhere.