Monday, June 29, 2009


Explooting. I assume most of you have never heard that word before, because I made it up on Saturday. In our attempt to bring some summertime fun to our life, we have adopted Sunday Explooting. The definition, drum role please... It’s the combination of Exploring and Ooty together. Isn’t that fabulous? I do hope to find that word in Wikipedia and Websters very soon. Anyway, our Explooting adventure was to an unnamed lake (I’m sure it has a name, but we just do not know it yet.) We parked at the side of the road, about 15 minutes outside of Ooty, and had to walk down this steep hill, about 200 yards worth. Once we stumbled upon the lake, we took in a beautiful view - of lake, rolling green hills and trash. Most days I can see past the trash, but yesterday I could not. Honestly, it was so frustrating. I did not like that I had to make rules that the kids could only throw rocks and sticks into the lake and no, James, you cannot throw that piece of glass or that small, iron pitchfork into the lake. Do you know what the most common piece of trash we saw was? Flip-flops. Funny, huh? Where did the flip flops come from? Was it the known graveyard for flip-flops in the greater Ooty area or did they break coming down that ridiculous hill? If a person had a business mind, they would set up a flip-flop business down by the lake and could be retiring in Florida in no time. To top of my grumpiness about the trash, when we were coming back up the steep hill, Ani was ahead of us and about two feet from her I saw a monkey tail. Now, I am pretty sure that I have shared my aversion toward monkeys with you. Just in case you are confused, I strongly dislike monkeys. Strongly. So, I hailed Ani back to us and together we walked past about a dozen monkeys, all surrounding us by two feet. One of them had a baby monkey on its back and looked as protective of its baby as I do of mine. I felt a strange bonding moment with that monkey... but then I came back to my senses and shoved the kids into the car and we were out of there. Thus concluding our first Explooty.

On any given day Ani waffles between being the best hiker in the world and being rockstar extraordinaire. This is her being both.

Nice throw James.

Sydney waffles as well. Note the purse.

See that thing hanging from her neck? Yes, that is an apron.

So, I need to mention it, because the rest of the world has been talking about non-stop since Thursday. Michael Jackson died. Our landlord told me on Friday. His exact words were “Sorry your Michael Jackson died”. First off, I loved that he is the one who told me and not somebody from the States. Second, he used the word YOUR. I have never considered Michael Jackson mine, but Grenville our landlord does. So, on Saturday night, we had the some Freedom Firm staff over for game night. We played Apples to Apples, listened to Michael Jackson and had a moonwalking contest. There were four countries represented among us doing the moonwalking and Shannon, from Great Britain, won.

Exciting news on the Freedom Firm front. Seven girls were rescued last Thursday in Pune. While Freedom Firm operatives were looking for two known minors trafficked from Bangladesh, they noticed that another minor girl was being sold in an adjoining room. They called the Pune police, and within half an hour she and six other girls were rescued. Just as exciting is that four traffickers were arrested and all were denied bail twice since then. The Freedom Firm social workers in Pune are now beginning to meet with these rescued girls regularly at various government homes.

Read the article of this rescue from the Pune Mirror (newspaper) here.

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Should I be taking the photo or saving my daughter?

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A quick thank you to Ridhus, one of our readers who last week posted some fantastic ideas for Explooting in and around Ooty.

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Now on to the moment that you have unknowingly been waiting for. Our first Palm Six Blog Giveaway. No, we will not be sending you a broken flip-flop or a rock from our newly formed rock pile in the front yard. Instead, we'll be sending a really great and beautiful gift. We have mentioned before that the girls that are in the Freedom Firm aftercare program have a micro-enterprise of jewelry and Aari work (Indian beadwork). We would like to send one of our readers a pair of earrings that the girls made. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on our blog with your name included and we will pull a name out of the proverbial hat in one week. Once we have chosen a winner, we will contact you and send you a pair of earrings. (as quickly as we can...)


wanderingellimac said...

SO EXCITED to hear about the rescued!! Always delighted to hear about the work you all are doing :) Can't wait to come check it out (hopefully!).
And I, too, am sorry about YOUR Michael Jackson. Love it.

Jennifer Swanson said...

I always wondered what becomes of all those flip flops in the $1 bin at Target. Now I know. Sheesh!

Juli said...

my favorite. the pink sparkle purse.

Chris and Sarah said...

Thanks for updating your blog so regularly. It's fun to be able to see what is going on in your life and what you are up to.

-Chris Nichols

Julie Frizzell said...

my favorite blog so far...probably because of the michael jackson comment. i have fond memories of listening to our "thriller" album in the basement & watching jayson moonwalk & breakdance...ask him about it. =)

Mike & Mary said...

So, I'm embarrassed, but my first comment to you is about Michael Jackson (hey, that prize is calling me). We too were practicing the moon walk this weekend (Mike, Andrew and I). We still have a lot of work to do, but we're determined. There is a wonderful article about one of his songs, The Man in the Mirror, at

I was impressed, now my new favorite song. Love you guys, and praying for you. LOVE the updates. Mary U

Bonnie said...

Thank you so much for your blog - Tarrah you are a true storyteller! It is also very exciting to hear about the recent rescue.

I'm always excited to read about what is happening in Ooty - hope your next adventure is fun!

Trudi & Bruce said...

Your blog is so fun to see and read> We really appreciate the time you spend sharing your experiences in Ooty! We will continue to pray for your family and all the great work you are doing!
Trudi and Bruce

Natalie Beckwith said...

I propose "Flip Flop Flop Lake" as the name for your first Explooting destination. I, too, have an extreme aversion to monkeys and am thankful that I don't have to get as up close and personal as you. I had to re-read the sentence where you said you saw a monkey tail. I thought you found a monkey tail, not attached to a monkey, on the ground with the rest of the trash. I am glad to have been wrong!

Anonymous said...

Hey Palm Family,
What an outing you had! Explooting??? We live near the landfill of Bixby. What would you call that? There is quite a variety there, including flip flops, but no monkeys. I love the pictures. Sidney looks like she is on a mission!
Keep exploring. I love reading about it.
Aunt Sue

Ron and Pat Oldham said...

Great news about the girl's rescue. The newspaper article was a positive support also.

Christine said...

Goodness... I feel cheap, only leaving a comment now that a prize has been offered up. but now's as good a time as any? tarrah, i absolutely love reading your blog. it's the only one i follow and it is very good to be in touch with your life and the amazing things that are happening by God's hand through Freedom Firm.

Katrina said...

I have totally loved reading your blogs! Thanks so much for keeping us updated on your life and ministry in India!

Anonymous said...

Loved the story of your first explooty - wishing the monkeys would go explootying on a different continent. Later, you will only remember the good parts. (like Royal Servants - remember how we always forgot the bad parts.)I myself have never tried moonwalking - I'm just not that adventuresome. I'm thinking of starting a blog myself ~ you are my inspiration. Thrilling rescue!
Praying you are sensing God's presence in fun and surprising ways.
Love ~ Glenda