We seem to be on a snake theme this week. Yesterday’s post featured a picture of Fr. Wayne Jenkins holding a snake in Vietnam and now Fr. Tom Cassidy begins his blog post with news of a snake in the Eluru (India) student library:
Br. Hari told me just before lunch that he walked into the library and was startled to see a large snake! Two of the students managed to kill the snake, which turned out to be a rat snake. It was not poisonous but so many people have a fear of snakes that the temptation to kill one when it is seen is almost overpowering.
Fr. Joseph, our house treasurer, went shopping this morning with John our cook. Among their purchases were grapes served at lunch. Not paying as close attention as I should have I said that I found it odd that some Italians I know peel the grapes before eating them while I and most Americans enjoy the skins. As that last word spilled out of my mouth I noticed all the students around me were spitting their grape skins out and putting them on their plates. Apparently tradition at least in this part of India dictates skin-free grape eating.
For students, the bicycle is the chief means of transportation to and from school; the one exception is when it rains the battered old house jeep is employed to chauffeur the students to and from school.
More often then not when one of the priests or students travels longer distances it will be by bus. Today Fr. Joseph Gopu went to Guntur. That’s a three-hour bus ride from Eluru and includes a change of buses in Vijayawada. Even though this is now my third visit to India I have still not experienced bus travel.