David Dibble is a hard guy to catch up with. In fact, to do this interview, I had to hitch a ride in his taxi. It was well worth the trip.

As we traveled Oak Bluffs looking for potential customers, David talked to me about India. He has lived there for the past five years.

“What got you interested?” I asked as we left the Island Queen parking lot.

“I met up with two friends in Key West in 2002. Both had a passion for India. They became my teachers. While in Florida, we found this house online for sale in Kayavarohan, India. We traveled there and ended up buying the house. After extensive renovations, it has become a really nice place to live. I returned to Kayavarohan in 2004, and have lived there until coming back to the Vineyard this summer.”

“What do you do in India? How have you made a living?”

“I started my own export/import business. The company’s name is The Light Traders, Inc. I purchase tailor-made clothes, jewelry, musical instruments and a variety of crafts, which I ship to distributors in the United States to sell. But that’s really not why I’m over there.”

“Explain,” I replied.

“I’m there to record traditional Indian music. It’s what fascinates me most about the country. It brings together their history, religion and culture in a very unique way. I have put together a CD of songs by this 75-year-old musician who is really special. I plan to return in November, and do one more CD with him. Hopefully, I can then sell them throughout India.”

“Tell me about Kayavarohan.”

“It’s in western India in the state of Gujarat. It’s a rural, traditional Indian village, very poor, with a distinct rhythm to life that is certainly different from the United States. It’s a caste society, though not in a formal sense. Everyone with money has a servant. The way of thinking about time takes getting used to. Tomorrow doesn’t mean 24 hours from now, but some indefinite time in the future. It’s hard to date single women in Kayaravarohan because a woman is not allowed to be alone with a man.

“But India is changing. When I first came in 2002, there was no Internet service. Now you can get online in my little village, and everyone has a cell phone. Roads are being paved, schools built. It’s an exciting time to be there.

“It is also a fun place to travel. Train service is good, and now you can buy your tickets online. I have hiked in the Himalayan Mountains, visited Nepal with my parents, and traveled to many cities in the country.”

On that note, sadly, my travels were over. As David’s cab pulled up alongside the curb of our home on East Chop Drive, he said: “Give me your e-mail address, and I’ll send you some pictures.” Three days later I received beautiful photos of Indian temples including the Lakulish temple in his town, pictures of treks through the Himalayas and Nepal, and amazing pictures of Indian art and sculpture. Through David’s pictures, you see India in all its color, scenic beauty, along with some of its poverty and squalor. It was obvious to me both from our conversation and from viewing the many pictures that David has been on an incredible journey.

Finally, on another matter, the Agricultural Society held its 149th annual fair in West Tisbury from August 19 to 22, and East Chop excelled. Jane Lewis won two blue ribbons for a girl’s dress and a petite luggage rack, and a second place for a mink coat Barbi doll. Charlotte Potter won first place for her pencil drawing, and Wini and Bob Blacklow won a blue ribbon for their beach plum jelly. Caryl Dearing entered four knitting items, winning first place for best in show, two red ribbons, and a white. Congratulations to all of these talented members of our community.