Sojourn to India & Sri Lanka

I was blessed with an eight-week extended study leave spanning from January 19, when I pointed myself in the direction of India, until March 17, when I landed back in about-to-bloom Louisville. Part of the eight weeks in India and Sri Lanka was meeting Presbyterian Hunger Program Joining Hands partners and learning about their efforts to strengthen their food sovereignty.  Part was immersing myself in this ancient/modern, spiritual/material land to learn from the people how they navigate and stay healthy in a rapidly changing world, and to rejuvenate myself as I celebrate 16 years of service to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

This page is designed to help you virtually travel with me. You will find my crazy route, photo galleries, videos and reports. All are found on this Interactive Map and they are also listed below. Click on this link or the map to open it in another window.

Interactive map

1)  You can download my report on Joining Hands and other agrarian/hunger-related visits and meetings.

2)  The same for my travel journal and facebook posts with photos.

3)  Here are Galleries of photos taken with my trusty Canon t2ii:

Joining Hands woman in Fort Kochi

Agrarian Photos

Animals & Plants



Passageways & Arches


4) These are the first four short videos; more to come…

The first 3 videos are from my visit with Food Sovereignty Alliance in Telangana, India. I spent a couple days with the Alliance and member groups to learn about their approaches to take back food sovereignty by protecting their land, saving indigenous seeds, and developing their food and farm system in collaboration with other groups and peoples in the region. The Alliance is a coalition of Dalit, Adivasi and farmer associations as well as ‘co-producer’ consumer advocates. We spent a day in Medak at their farm & community center with Alliance leadership to plan a Food Sovereignty Summit in late February 2015.

1)   Dalit Woman’s Message to Monsanto  (1:14 min.)    Pochamma is a Dalit woman from Sikanlapur village in Telangana, India. She is a leader in the Dalit Mahila Association and was eager to have her voice heard. She speaks of the need to protect their native seed varieties for food cultivation, the problems with BT (genetically modified) Cotton, and has a clear message for Monsanto.

2)   Tribal Farmer Shiva’s Message to Monsanto  (45 seconds)    Madavashiva “Shiva” Prasad is an Adivasi farmer from northern Telangana (the correct spelling) state in India. His group does theater as a form of grassroots popular education about the things threatening their people’s way of life farming and herding.

3)   Dalit Farmer Explains Why No Food From Walmart  (1:14 min.)    Nasumu, a Dalit farmer from Telangana, India, explains how the food they grow themselves is healthier, and provides both food for their families and fodder for their animals. He is adamant about not wanting Walmart food. Walmart is beginning to make inroads into the Indian food system at this point not with retail stores but as part of the supply chain.

4)  Children’s Names in Nalweda Village in Rajasthan  (47 seconds)     Presbyterian Hunger Program visited the villages north of Udaipur, Rajasthan with farmer Pannalal. The women in this village — this farmer Lakshmi, is one of the first pioneers — are transitioning from chemical farming to organic, and are creating a cooperative company to market their organic wheat and vegetables together. This is just a short video of the children telling their names to the foreigner with the camera who has dropped into their village from far away.