Sunday, July 5th…

My time in Pune, and in India, is drawing to a close. I took a little more time to explore the city before I leave and it holds some real treasures. Pune has deep and ancient roots. It’s been the cultural center of South India since the 1700s and today is known as the ‘Oxford of the East,’ due to its numerous universities and colleges. As far back as the 8th century, there have been settlers in the area. They were mainly an agrarian society and were under the rule of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, which ruled most of the Indian … Continue reading Sunday, July 5th…

Saturday, July 4th…

Early Saturday morning I set off for a 75 mile drive (with a driver, I certainly didn’t drive!) southwest of Pune, to Mahabaleshwar (Mah-HAH-bah-lay-shwahr) [say it fast!] Mahabaleshwar is in the western mountain range of India and is a huge plateau, roughly 60 square miles. At its highest peak, it is just over 4,700 feet above sea level. The monsoon season has been fickle this year, seemingly taking a break. The last week in Pune there was no rain, to speak of, and the temps were creeping upward! Mahabaleshwar looked to be both cool, and perhaps a bit rainy, but I … Continue reading Saturday, July 4th…

Thursday, July 2nd…

I haven’t updated anything since Tuesday…sorry…just not much post-worthy going on here. I’ve been in the final work days here in Pune…and things are going really well. I knew before I ever arrived that the team members we chose were excellent, but spending time with them has proven those choices even more (as I had planned and hoped for)! Looking forward to an adventure outside the city on Saturday…headed to Mahabaleshwar and all the sites around there. Can’t wait to see it and share it! More later…thanks! Continue reading Thursday, July 2nd…

Tuesday, June 30th…

Yesterday I updated you on the Aga Khan Palace and it had a more serious tone…today, not so much ‘seriousness.’ I had posted a couple of photos from a restaurant, Barbeque Nation, that I went to with my Pune-based team. It was awesome! And I can only describe it as a mashup of the way food is presented at the table in fondue, hibachi and Brazilian Steakhouse eateries. Each table had a square cutout where they would place a hot (very hot) box with coals in the bottom and a grill on top. Then the seemingly endless parade of skewers of prawns, … Continue reading Tuesday, June 30th…

Monday, June 29th

As much as my breath was taken away when I first laid eyes on the Taj Mahal, I have to say that my spirit was equally moved when I walked the same ground as Mahatma Gandhi. “My life is my message.” A man born in a small coastal village, influenced wholesale change for an entire nation and has inspired countless others to do the same in their own countries, states and cities across the globe. His life definitely was his message. Aga Khan Palace was built in Pune by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. It was built as an act … Continue reading Monday, June 29th

Sunday, June 28th

Good Sunday Morning, from Pune! As I’m typing this update, all of my friends and family in the US are sound asleep – maybe. It’s 12pm (IST) and 1:30am (CDT). I’ve completed my first week in Pune and roughly two-thirds of my adventure in India. Likely, you’ve read my thoughts, comments and info about the things and places I’ve seen – and I thank you for following along. The comments on this site and on Facebook are wonderful and make me feel like I’m not 8,853 miles from home! I’ve been fully transparent from the time I knew I was … Continue reading Sunday, June 28th

Thursday, June 25th – “…and taxes”

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote about what’s certain…friends, let me tell you taxes are alive and well in India. At home, you buy something, eat at a restaurant and you’ll pay sales tax and perhaps a gratuity for the service, right? Here, the same scenario – but a tad more intense and perhaps complicated. Value Addition Taxes (VAT), Service Charge, and Tax on the Service Charge. So, here’s a receipt from my dinner at the Italian Restaurant in the hotel (excellent, by the way!). The total bill for the salad, pasta, bottled water and dessert (yes, dessert) is 2050 rupees ($32). … Continue reading Thursday, June 25th – “…and taxes”