Where are we now?

View Where are we now? in a larger map Jo, Annie, Miles and I are living in Northport, Alabama and working at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. We've been glad to be in one place for a bit after what appeared to be semi-permanently traveling (in actuality for a period of 2.5 years).We started this blog to catalogue some of the adventures when Jo and I were sequentially conducting our dissertation research in India and Brazil. While we've fallen off the blogging bandwagon somewhat during recent trips to Brazil, we're trying to pick it up again now that we're back in India!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Review: A Year in India

It's so hard to believe that a year in India has come and gone as I write this. It seems like just yesterday that we were carrying our luggage up the steps to Tannie and Murad's bed and breakfast in the cold, foggy night. Looking back on this experience is quite surreal: I remember walking onto the airplane in Newark, walking past the bulkhead area with the bassinet, and thinking that in a year that would be us, leaving with 2 but coming home with 3. Although most of these moments have been captured in one form or another in previous posts, I thought a whirlwind year-in-review post would be fitting for the end to this particular adventure. Please pardon me if either your favorite picture, or the crazy adventure we had together, isn't on here. Just know each of you made this an unforgettable year in India.


Good news that would define our trip

Underwhelmed with our furnished apartment

Beautiful scenery from a trip to New Year's Orcha with Tannie and Murad

JANUARY: Getting Settled

Working with the plant walllah

Dave hard at work

Who could forget Mumfli, the adopted street dog?

Dave travels to the Northeast

Root bridges

FEBRUARY: Ellora and Ajanta

Ajanta and Ellora with Sarah

APRIL: The Weavers visit

 The Taj


Waiting on/for/in a train


MAY: The Meeks Arrive

Back to Nanda Devi: Reconnecting with People and Places

After five years, screening the Nanda Devi documentary I helped produce in Lata village

Soaking in the scenery in Kurseong

Toy train to Darjeeling

 Relaxing in Kalimpong

Darjeeling and a special anniversary

 Playing in Kashmir

JUNE: To Ladakh

Learning about Ladakhi agriculture

Bluegrass in the backwoods

and the three M's, not Meek men, well, them too, but:

1. Mountains

2. Mustaches

3. Monasteries 


Benares with Jon: As the Monsoon Arrives

Benares with Jon: Sitar Lessons

Benares: Ear cleaning


On Day 1

Starting the life-long process of learning to be parents

Wonderful times with wonderful friends


Grandma Gail arrives!!!

Getting legit


Birthday Bash at the Spa

Jantar Mantar

Surprise birthday party!!!

A Diwali to Remember


Kerala Adventures

Good friends

Great times

Life-long relationships

DECEMBER: Liftoff!!!

Weighing in one last time

One Last Hurrah

Last night was a quite fitting end to our adventure in India. We decided to visit some of the folks that Jo works with and so stopped by their house for a photo session with Annie. They were so cute, grabbing her as soon as we walked in the door and starting their own photo shoot!

After a few hundred (in all seriousness) photos of them and Annie we were able to squeeze in a group shot.

and then I noticed this really beautifully back-lit wall adornment, and well...you guessed it.

But the larger excitement of the evening was that we got an unexpected call early that day from our friend Adam G. at Fulbright who was extremely gracious, and perhaps a little crazy, inviting Jo, Annie, and I to a small function Fulbright was having, and requesting that I bring my banjo! So we invited our friends Adam and Em for one last hurrah, and all trouped over to CP.

This was my first "invited" public performance. I stress invited as I have (un)willingly exposed countless thousands across the world to the banjo, harmonica, fiddle, and mandolin over the years. And to you all, I'm sorry. But this was an invited performance, complete with full sound system. I had a lot of fun performing and played for.... maybe a half hour? Maybe less. I tried to expose people to a little bit of banjo history and humor in the performing style of Banjoists such as Tony Trishka (I also realized I really really need to purchase the Pickin' on the Banjo: The Original Banjo Jokebook for future performances) For those of you who couldn't be there check out this video.

My favorite part of the video is Jo's face when the camera pans by her; if you couldn't read it, that was the "that's not my husband" expression. Annie was making a "that's not my daddy" expression as well, but her face was buried in her snuggly purple suit.

From this event I took the following lessons: 1) always have an array of banjo jokes to legitimize your out of tune playing (note: most banjo jokes revolve around a banjo's finnicky tuning; i.e. what's the difference between a banjo and a chain saw? Answer: A chain saw has a dynamic range.....ohhhhhhhhhhhhh no!) and 2) wear a funny combination of clothes, like a dressy Indian outfit with crocs to distract folks from the music.

It was a last night to remember.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Changing of the Seasons

Another vapid post, but this one with a good costume and auditory adornments. Here's me wearing a traditional Kasmiri hat and vest, in Delhi, India, playing a clawhammer banjo version of Frosty morning on a frosty morning. Note that not only the late great Michael Jackson wears one glove.

Frosty Morning (Clawhammer banjo) from David Meek on Vimeo.

The Purple Monster

This will quite likely be the most vapid blog post to date, but it also might be the cutest. An upshot of having an apartment without central heat in the Delhi winter....you get to dress your child up in outfits like this!

Now, don't you agree that was blog worthy?