Guest Author: Siobhan Powers
Photo Courtesy of Milo Inman
Before my journey to India, I’d never camped. Sure, I had slept in a tent in my friend’s backyard and gone to Girl Scout camp with my Scooby Doo sleeping bag, but I was feet from indoor plumbing and a roof every time. Where’s the fun in that? When I was belatedly asked to join a few interns on the Tiger Trail overnight trip into the Periyar Tiger Reserve, I was skeptical. My summer nights are usually spent running seafood to a hungry customer or chasing a high-maintenance boy across the beaches of the Jersey shore-therefore my presence in the jungles of Asia is quite ectopic, but I am an adventurous person (sometimes to my detriment). I took the opportunity for what it was- a once-in-a-lifetime chance to snuggle up to some tigers. Continue reading
Three days ago, we pulled up in front of an art deco gate and half-abandoned mansion on the property of a soon-to-be new RAXA Collective resort. By ‘we’ I mean the design team comprising of an architecture student (me, Chi-Chi), a landscape architecture student (Rania), a hotelie-turned-interior architecture student (Jonathon), and an engineering student (Siobhan). We were told to get a feel of the property.
We, the interns, walked around the property with Amie and the trusty guard. The bamboo stick to protect against rumored snakes on the beach.
We found: ‘objects’ (modest fishermen’s homes); an endless, unobstructed beach with marbled sand and black waves; and our new favorite hangout spot, a nearby internet café.
Exploring the roofline of an abandoned wealthy fisherman’s house with the guard.
Kaiser found: two Indian security guards; their next-door-neighbor friend; our cook Manu; and us.
Kaiser is a tiny mixed puppy who arrived on site only an hour before we did. As a dog-lover and all-around “everything happens for a reason” believer, I KNEW KAISER WAS A SIGN. A sign for what, I don’t really know, but he was a very cute and very small sign, so I immediately focused all my down-time obsessing and fussing over Kaiser.
This is Kaiser.
I think Kaiser gave me more insight to Indian attitudes. It’s very difficult to converse with someone about abstract ideas without a common language, but if you throw a dog in the mix, it becomes a lot easier.