India, Here I AM, My First Weeks, Feb 1 to 14

July 11, 2010

Material here is taken from emails I sent out   

Feb 2 – India Here I Come, 1st Stop   

first departure one hour late. I write this from the seoul airport.   

arrived in seoul in time to catch connecting flight to new delhi. it also is late,  perhaps because lax flight late and so many to new delhi on it.    i had feared would have to wait for next flight to india and was thinking many hours of sitting in inchibon airport in seoul.   

a nice airport.  there’s even a caribou coffee shack right next to gate i’m leaving out of.   

remember everyone , if you take a laptop,    it must come out of the bag it is in.   have gone thru screening twice and each time i took it out of backpack but not individual bag it was also in.    i had to wait longer and go thru screening a second time!!!!!!!!!!!!   

but all luggage has gone thru.    each check in was 50 lbs as had stuff i’m giving to ashram for their school as well as comfortable amount of clothes for 5 1/2 months.   that was a hard one for me; not used to packing for such a l lllll oooooooooo nnnnnnnnnnnnn gggggggggg trip,   

boarding now,    got to go 

Feb 6 – it is 10:12 am Sunday in India.   I am at an internet place, finallyFor all those that were worried , I am so sorry. I arrived at the airport in New Delhi about 1:50 am (only one hour late from original scheduled time).   Both flights went smoothly.  I went on Asiana Airlines and I highly recommend them.   Their service is excellent, not only in providing meals , beverages, but customer service.    I think it has been the best airline service I have ever had. At the New Delhi airport I tried connecting to the internet but was unsuccessful.   

Tried to get my cell phone working at cell phone booth set up in airport but they told me that since it was locked they weren’t able to use their sim card in my phone.   

had a little problem with taxi but no biggie, it took me to ashram. It came two hours later than I expected. I was worried waiting for it. I wondered if I would have to find another. I went outside the terminal and walked around with all my stuff. Lots of people wanting a fare kept asking me if they could provide a ride for me and I had to keep saying no.   

wed arrived at ashram 5:30 am.     it was shivering cold in my room    i was so happy to find wool blankets in the closets for me to use.   thought i was going to shiver while i slept.   when i awoke it was about noon and it didn’t appear that the electricity was working. room was quite dark so wasn’t too sure what to do.   was getting over jet lag day, fasted, unpacked and organized all my stuff.   

thurs was first day out and about at the ashram and meet tara didi and had tour of the complex. after my second conversation with Tara Didi, the director at the ashram, almost thought i was going to madhuban in march which gave me a fright but got that worked out.     at present my plans are to be at ashram feb to apr, then in madhuban may and june and maybe july then fly on home   

i have been assigned to work at the poor children’s school.   there are three schools on the ashram grounds.   the free progress school is an open one.   it is private and the architecture and classrooms are all so neat. fri worked in kitchen about two hours. I shelled peas the whole time and got fingernails dirty — forgot file to clean my nails  (lol).   Saturday I and another guest here at the ashram, Anand (no last name), traveled by auto rickshaw, went to world book fair, connaught plaza and some underground bazaar in that area and the new delhi railway station. The underground bazaar was very hot, sweltering. I do not know how the people working there for such long hours each day can stand it.   

as to hari,my email new delhi friend,    no i haven’t met him as yet.    there has been no phone for me to use.   the cell phones that i took with me are locked.   may try a cell phone store near ashram when find out where it is and see if they can unlock.    if can’t will see how much to buy cell phone to use here in india but if it costs more than $15 i won’t.   my philosophy while here is “if i don’t have it , i don’t need it.”    guess what i don’t have   ??????   my nail file!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!           guess i left it in basket at home,   thought i’d packed it but bet ya it’s in there.    fri worked in kitchen shelling peas and finger nails got all dirty and have no tool to clean them!              great , hu?   

everybody here appears to be real nice but when you pass someone you don’t know, it is not the custom to look at each other and even smile so that is hard for me to not acknowledge those i pass.   i do have my own room.    in fact it is a double room as that is what they assigned me and i only have to pay for a single room.    1000 Rs for double and 750 for single.    don’t know exact USD equivalent but 750 Rs is about 16 – 17 USD so it’s not $10 a day.     could get dormitory as less than $10 a day but don’t know if i’m prepared to do that as yet.      also hoping lady in charge will transfer me over to long term stay room as she said guests only stay a week’s time  and i believe that is less than $10 a day.   

as to photos     have yet to take a one.   i have not seen anyone using their camera taking pictures and i do not want to stand out.    i’m observing what others are doing before i do something.   but you know me,   one of my middle names is photographer so i’ll be taking them, just don’t know when yet.   

there was a phone at the airport but i had no idea how to use it.    there was a person sitting next to it that collected money when one used it but i have no idea what numbers to enter to call anyone!                        Eeeekkkkkkssssssssssss there’s also a phone at the ashram that you put coins into.  it’s in one of the corridors but i have no idea who to ask about using it nor am i comfortable about asking just anyone.  the staff here do seem to have a bit of don’t want to be bothered with too many questions attitude.   

as to my room    –   it has its own bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    alleluah!   and the toilet is a sit down one.   shower is water in a bucket with pitcher to pour water on self.   it was a breeze.   had that in mexico.  yesterday i went to a world book fair event and had to use bathroom. toilet on ground!    oooohhhh , i hate that but brought along my handy dandy stand as you urinate device and had no problem at all.   when i was in bathroom, i was only white person present and everyone was looking at me to see if if had some reaction to using the toilet, i bet!    all eyes on me with every move i made.   

  

Feb 8 – first time on internet at ashram!     whoopee.   they have wireless but can’t use it in my room.   only in offices of the ashram.   need to buy adapter for computer as have no electrical connection to their five prong wall outlet.    borrowing someone’s right now.   will try to go to market today and buy one.

    

 

had communicated with staff at school.    please pray for me.   project am to work on is digital storytelling about the mother’s symbol. i had thought istarted assisting at poor children’s school yesterday.     things are not going as 

   

.  delhi was in new i was quite surprised.     only knew of monsoons in summer and didn’t even consider that it would rain while iit rained last night.  

  

hoping my daily mon to fri schedule will be as follows    8:30 am to 2:30/3:30 pm.    school.     4:30 p.m.   tiffin which is tea and desert.   5pm Tu Thur and Sat Yoga classes. 7 pm   mon  

 

5 – 7 work in kitchen .    sat   explore days.  sun meditation at 10:30 am,   then after open   explore some more?????????frito sat   meditation   Thurs   6:30 meditation classes .   mon, wed,  

    

this saturday

   

  

 

did say 1/2 hour .  seems weird a 1/2 hour but it is so.i13 1/2 hours ahead of you in california   .   yes,  i’m).   please think of me on your friday as it will be my saturday.   delhi(state to west of new  harayan,  gurgaonclasses in  vipassanawill be having my  iam thinking of taking buses by myself to where  

    

 

to work on digital storytelling project. delhigot to go now as meeting up with another volunteer of the school who lives in 

   

said am here in office  using my laptop.   am not sure if they are ok with me doing personal stuff on laptop with their wireless or only school.  i but as skype have no phone here.   do have i

  

  

 

my laptop.   only cost 10 rupees which is about 25 cents.plug ingot myself an adapter so can  iFeb 10 – today  

    

right now it is 8 pm

   

  

 

outside the office and getting their wireless.   no electrical outlet just using my battery right now.i’mand  

    

 

. stickies just want the i.  some women actually tatoo but stickies got the red dot on the forehead.    these are little i left mine at home.   and i also got myself a nail file as i.   she has been most kind and helpful to me.   we went to two markets together today.  himalayas with her parents and they also have land in the delhi are working on digital storytelling project.   she is a nice person and she seems to enjoy my company.  she lives in new i.   she is 28 yrs old.   her and shivani a friend here and her name is i’ve 

   

want to get is a dupatta  (if curious your assignment is to google it.   🙂      )  i got them.  the next thing i need in this weather. so happy i bought myself two shawls.    they are made of wool and keep me quite warm and are all that ithe other day it was cold so

  

have yet to take a single picture.   today is the 1st day of my second week.   i don’t see anyone taking pictures.   i feel funny doing so but this sat i will go on bus trip and i will do so.   tonite i went to the roof top of building my room is at and the sky was all cloudy.   it has been cool and wet here .   rained on mon but none since.    

 no pictures yet.   i haven’t seen anyone take pics so dont’ want to stick out like sore thumb but have been reassured by two natives ok to take so this weekend will go on bus trip on sat and will take camera with me .   for sure i will take pics.   weather here has been gray and sky white.   did exploring of all ashram today and went up to the rooftop.   they have solar panels !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    that’s probably how they have hot water.    

Feb 15 –  

friday was school holiday so went outside ashram and just walked here and there.  At 5:15 pm supposed to be celebration for ashram’s birthday (2/12/56)   but rain canceled.   evening cold and dreary.

    

 

sen.   went to school musical performance.  went to meditation and then served at dinner. chobisat went to yoga and laughter workshop with 

   

sunday went to ISBT  (main new delhi inter state bus terminal) to try to find out how to take bus from ashram / ? to place in gurgaon, haryana where meditation course is.   not only did i go there but went to three other places also to try to figure out how to do it.    as many people as i asked i got a different answer.   at BT there is no printed schedules.  staff are in cages collecting fares.   there is no info counter.   i was totally at a loss as to how to find out any info.  the only thing i knew to do was ask whomever i thought might help.   i was told seiks were good to ask for info from.   i spent many hours trying to find an answer to where i get bus and what bus to take.   with so many different answers i decided i will resort back to taking a taxi.  taxi about $30 while bus might be about $5.      buses very crowded and i’ll be having luggage for 10 day course.  traveled on several buses sunday and natives just stare and stare without any reservation.   went to get a juice at one bus area and all these men just come up to where I was standing and stand and stare.   where i traveled via bus saw no one with my skin color.
  

  

  

 

know you can call the ashram and ask for me.ibrought my cell phone with me but not able to get it unlocked to get india service as yet so unable to call you.    

    

 

am supposed to go.     🙂 i am going where i will feel sure i know that i morning or afternoon —   have to be there between 2 – 5 pm.  will arrange a taxi to take me as that is the only way wednesday leaving i’mdon’t know what time 

   

each. It was evening by time we got to market and it was cold. Shawl I had didn’t keep me warm enough and I was also feeling bad because of cold that I had. We took a bus to get there. We were told that bus we got on would take us to the market. Well, in fact, stop was not near the market; we still had to walk about one half a mile to get to the market itself.  Rs50 sen.   looked for a dupatta (could be called a scarf back home).   got 3 as they were only chobi market on sunday with sarojiniwent to

  

 


weather here has been lousy; it has given me a cold.  down bad yesterday. taking it easy today.  think i’ll go out via auto rickshaw to lodi garden then maybe to a market.   a lady i met here who is from london (named chobi, Bengali descent) gave me Reiki last night.   it was great! She left today so only one reiki treatment)
   

 

    

 

   

 

  

 

  

 

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