For some time, I felt moved to travel through India and nearby countries. The time and opportunity arose...I planned, though only a loose outline, as I like to "fly by the seat of my pants" for adventures like this. I acquired Indian Visa, plane reservations, organized items to take, including my new paragliding wing, planning on flying in many places during this adventure. I worked with Suzha, doing what I could to make life as smooth and easy as possible in my absence from our wonderful home in Sedona, Arizona, USA.
My purpose is life experience, cultural sharing, meditation in continual growth, inward and outward, soaring spiritually and physically (paragliding), seeing new wonders of the world, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, knowing new perspectives of awareness, increasing my own awareness and knowledge of myself, others, our environment, how we all fit and share together... and sparking the light, sharing all of the love and light I can in this and all realms!
The stories below will feature the most recent first, then continue with previous dates...may you find some interest here and comment as thou wilt...
On the day before Christmas, Bishnu, my fabulous trekking guide and new friend, invited me to his family’s home for a dinner of Dahl Batt, the traditional meal of rice, curried lentils (kind of a soup), curried vegetables, curried pickles, and sometimes a bit of chicken. I accepted thankfully. I trusted that they knew my digestive system was a bit more sensitive than theirs. They are a traditional Hindu family, but as Hindus, are inclusive of all religious practices, though they don’t celebrate Christmas, or have any “coincidental” Hindu holidays at this time of year. Earlier on Christmas day, I had a nice breakfast at my guest house, then strolled the market area, doing a bit of shopping, hanging out at my favorite internet café and doing a bit of shopping. Bishnu had taken me to their home, near my “3 Sisters Guest House” before so I knew my way. Early in the evening, I took a flashlight, as I knew the path would be unlit. They said to come around 6:30 PM. When I got there, Bishnu, his mother, Sita, his father, Tikaram, his brother Raju, his sister Maya, his nephew Kirtan, and his maternal grandmother Ganga greeted me. They all welcomed me warmly, as they had the other day when I met them. They were genuinely warm and seemed very pleased to see me, greeting me with “Happy Christmas”! I am slightly amazed and delighted that they radiate such happiness amidst their ongoing challenge of meager economics. I’ve seen the same good attitude in south America and the middle east as I have traveled. They spread a cloth on the hard packed dirt floor of their 2-room home, spread out the food in pots and stainless steel plates and serving platters on the cloth, and we all sat on the floor around the food. They gave grandmother, father and me a 6” high stool for a bit of comfort. I offered mine to the mother but she declined and insisted I use it. They handed me a stainless plate and started dishing up the food. I have enjoyed much of the similar Nepalese cuisine and thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of this sacred offering. They prepared fresh spinach from their garden, a vegetable curry dish with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger and other vegetables from their garden. They had included a curried chicken dish that I know is “special”, because of the cost, and in consideration of their guest. I was duly honored. I feel effective in communicating my pleasure and appreciation to all in similar situations and I felt they understood my sincere appreciation. It was truly a sacred experience, sitting on the floor with this loving, gracious and generous family in their humble home. What higher offer can we make than to offer nourishment that furthers our lives; to loved ones, family, strangers, enemies, and all? My heart responded with love for this simple but powerful experience and all of the Subedi family. Just as we were finishing dinner by candlelight, the power came back on. They invited me into the other room of their small home, which was two beds for many uses, an armoire with TV atop, a rack for hanging clothes, some religious artifacts, clothing, and miscellaneous household items. With the power on, the TV was turned on. There is a satellite dish on top of their simple home to provide programming. We watched Bollywood movies, all gathered in this living room/bedroom, all smiling and happy for the good evening. I, of course, couldn’t understand a word but could follow the plot from the action scenes. Shortly after sitting down, Sita brought me a stainless cup of warm buffalo milk (this was from one of their three domestic buffalos). It crossed my mind that tourists can get sick from consuming raw milk, but before commenting or questioning, Bishnu explained that it had been boiled. It was delicious. I asked if it had been sweetened and they said no, only boiled. I guess the butterfat content is a bit higher than regular cows milk. The taste was certainly unique and I enjoyed it very much. After a bit of the movies, I thanked them for a wonderful evening and excused myself. I had promised my sister a Skype Christmas call and went to an internet café that has pretty good bandwidth to make the call. I reached sister AJ and Holly on Christmas morning in Wisconsin and had a fine chat with them. I worked my way back to my guest house, a 20 minute walk from the center of the tourist area, Lakeside, in Pokhara. Although I am traveling alone, I am surrounded always by loving, gracious people and enjoyed a heartwarming Christmas in this foreign land, with good connections to my loved ones back home and those scattered around this planet of ours.