Day 8: Working Hard?

Saturday October 22nd 

Today we rose at 4:30 to leave for a sunrise meditation high stop a sacred mountain. The sunrise was divine but the most mind blowing thing I saw today was this farmer: a human plow.

And I thought I work hard?! ??

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What do you take for granted in your daily life that machines do for you? 

Day 7: Talent Show

Friday October 21st

This morning we were blessed with a series of performances from kids ages 3-17 who study in the after school program funded by our friends here.  They read poems, gave speeches, sang songs in English & Hindi, and performed dance routines. I loved them all, but one of the most touching was a young gentleman who gave a speech on the importance of education to build confidence. I’ll try to upload the video of his speech once I edit it down a bit.  Here we begin with an opening prayer chanted by all the children together.

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This afternoon we head to Haridwar to visit the Neem Karoli Baba Temple and a huge statue of Lord Shiva!

Day 6: Wicked 146

Thursday October 20th

White water rafting down the Ganga!! Amaaazing. We didn’t have water cameras so you will just have to trust me and/or come find out for yourself next trip! We “raced” with the other boat for Maria’s group to see who could get to the Ram Jhula the bridge first. But the race was only in theory, we really enjoyed ourselves floating down the river with a few tough rapids with the most hilarious names like rollercoaster, golf course, kill balls,and more! During the parts where the river was calm we jumped out of the boat and floated down the river -we were all wearing lifejackets so we could put our heads back on the life jacket pillow and float carelessly.

We named our boat Wicked 146 because that is the amount of years we have collectively lived in Boston, yeah locals!

India Day 5: Schoolkids

Wednesday October 19th

I am so excited to see the school kids from Jagarti school and after school program. I’ve been thinking about my students back in the states who are full-time teachers, yes you! 😉  I know from experience that being a teacher is a gift and it’s helpful when we are supplied with the tools we need to teach.  One of the schools we visited that is funded by the government has one teacher and 150 kids. They don’t have desks, computers, A/C… they have three or four small rooms for all the kids of all ages.  A local not-for-profit Rotary club helps fund the school by inviting more teachers and supplies like backpacks and pens.  We pooled some of our money together and bought the school a back up power battery so when they lose power next time they will have 4 to 6 hours of power to run the school. The kids are so so sweet and so grateful. I could post 100 pics from this day!

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We also brought sweets to have a snack party with them!

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These are the middle aged older girls taking an exam. No cheating!

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This little cutie was all about the camera!

India Day 4: Crossing the Bridge

Tuesday, October 18th

Today we are taking the group to Lakshman Jul, named after Rama’s brother, to the market for local shopping and sightseeing. This village is on the other side of the bridge from Swarg Ashram area where we typically hang out. There are only two bridges to cross over the Ganga in this area: the Ram Jhula & the Lakshman Jhula bridge they are about 450 feet long and built around 1939. On these bridges you’ll find beggars, monkeys, cows, scooters, and people. It’s quite literally a free for all, and you think the traffic on 93 or the 401 is bad! Here’s a shot of Linda & Kristin this happens to be a low key travel time on the bridge so we stopped for a photo!img_3175