Category Archives: travel

The Way It Is

I’m not going to say ‘only in India’.. but sometimes that phrase does feel appropriate and today.. well – I had interesting experiences at the carpentry shop!

We are in a big town called Nizamabad – staying at a lodge right in the middle of the market area.  The Deshpande Foundation conference is happening day after tomorrow .. and we have come for that.  I am happy – we have found a lodge which is not only cheap but also clean.  Joy.

So today after lunch downstairs – which got invaded by 12 Indian Ladies having a ‘kitty party’ and making an incredible racket while playing some sort of bingo type numbers game – we headed off through the street markets.  We were on our way to  supervise the building of a wooden model of the bore well recharge process.

The carpenter shop was a small structure filled up with bits of wood, and rough sawdusty chunks of shavings.  Out the front partially on the street lay the beginning of our ‘model’.

I asked Sikandar – ‘Do you have a drawing’ – he looked at me and grinned and said “Yes” but I immediatley knew the drawing was in his head!  He said pointing to the young man who was busy chiselling out a chunk from a board – “I transferred it to his head”.   And so he had.. and the model continued to grow.

I was given a chair and perched there between the shop and the fairly potent drain – played on my phone and watched proceedings.  The ubiquitous chai came – delivered by a small man who when I smiled and thanked him, broke open into a beautiful reply smile.

I caught that one in my head.. not on my camera!

But now its getting too hot.. the sun is sinking and the rays are full into the shop now – so .. the head guy picks up two of the hand made chairs – carts them across the road to a space – plonks them down and invites me and Sikandar to sit there.. across the street in the shade.

The perfect spot to view proceedings.  We sit there watching the passing parade who by the way are also watching us.  The weird foreign lady and her companion – sitting as though in their living room by the side of the busy road.

And the model grew and a couple of hours later it was declared complete and  a success.  Drawings or no drawings – it turned out the way it was planned.  Sikandar and I headed off to find me a new pair of sandals… another story.. for another day.

 

Been Wandering

I’ve been around and back again – doing my annual wander with my Soul Journey friends – this year the journey was called Ancient Masters – Modern Prosperity and we went to Italy and Greece.

But first we did an incredible cooking class in a Tuscan Villa – what a gift that was and especially for me as I had the opportunity to revisit my ability with Italian – talking to the chef! That was fun and very surprising for me that I recalled as much as I did.  But the brain is strange as once I got into the groove of it suddenly I could understand so much more.. and when I first entered the kitchen in the morning – there was nothing there! Go figure how do our brains really work?

img_0490-smallAfter those days we met with the rest of the group and started the adventure – Rome – Vatican – Pompeii – Amalfi Coast – but it wasn’t until we reached Athens and visited the Poseiden Temple perched high up on the cliffs that I really entered the Soul of the Journey.

poseiden-templeBeing in Greece we were immensely fortunate to have a guide who had a real understanding of the difficulty that the people there are facing in this time.  She clearly enunciated a saga of attack on their economy and their way of life – orchestrated by those in power who would create a One World Order and chip away at our rights and lives.  It distressed me greatly to hear the depth to which this has gone in Greece – and to see as she was telling her story – that this was a plan that encompassed all of us, not just the Greek people but also those of us living in the so-called Lucky Country of Australia.

But I have to say that as the journey progressed and we were shown the glories of the past of Greece that it seems to me that this spirit that the Greek people have shown so many times in the past can rise again. Seeing their triumphs and their glorious acheivements only serves to show the resilience of our Spirit and the possiblity that we have to be strong in the face of any and all adversity.

So I would call on us all to open our eyes, and look truthfully at what is happening in our own lands, make the stand for freedom in all respects, and be very aware of the insidious means of control that is being perpetrated on us all.   Turn off your tv, cancel the daily newspaper, don’t get sucked in to the fear mongers and the nay sayers.  Let’s live our lives and take a lesson from the wondrous spirit of the ancient culture of Greece and hold the hands of their famous and all powerful Gods as we walk into our future with our heads held high.

 I stand for freedom and for being a Citizen of this incredible Planet Earth – and for building our community at a local level so we may have friends to support our vision.  Will you stand with me?

 

The Gift of Fear

It is said “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

How many times in my life have I had to do that?

It never stops – it doesn’t change, confidence is not a birthright, or something you put on and leave on – it is to be stepped into each time a challenge arises.

The gut butterflies, the unknown possibilities of failure are always there – This morning I want to go to the ISKON temple – but my nervousness is holding me back. The thought of getting on the bus here in Hubli India – and all that entails.

“Will I have the right money on the bus, can I understand the ticket guy when he asks me something? Will I miss the stop? When I get there will there be somewhere for me to sit comfortably?  Will I remember the name of the college stop when I get the bus back?”

I could laugh so loud at myself for these incredibly ridiculous fears that loom so large, but they almost bring tears to my eyes.

How many times in my life, as long as it has already been, have I stopped myself from doing something I set out to do because the butterflies turned into vultures in my stomach?

And how many times have I leapt past the beating of their wings and found the exultation of action?  Such small things sometimes with such profound results.

We may consider that great acts of courage are what builds our character – but what of the small acts – no less significant?  The daily step upon the path which takes us out of our comfort zone and past even the minute but looming mountain in our way – these too build and strengthen us on a daily basis.

Do they become less, do the challenges reduce in size, does the experience of moving beyond change the landscape?  I don’t think so.

But the spirit inside of me knows – “I can do it.”

Once I climbed a rope ladder up the side of a ship in Antarctica.  If I could do that when everything in my being was screaming at me that it was impossible – then today I can step beyond this fear of boarding the local bus in India and being able to arrive safely at my destination.

the bus

So today I tell myself again – feel the fear but do it anyway – the butterflies are my friend – there simply to remind me to tread lightly – to be aware, to know I am in a strange land and it is no time to be on ‘automatic’.

That’s the gift of the fear – it is the gift of staying awake – being present – being in the here and now.  Whether it is climbing a rock face, or boarding a bus to an unknown destination – or bringing your most cherished project to the boss for approval, its all the same thing.

The key is ‘presence’ – being present – given by the gift of fear.

 

Where People Smile from Their Hearts

Landing in India late in the evening – as usual the Passport Control guys were a bit grumpy and authoratative.. but that’s their job.  I didn’t have the exact address of where I was going so that caused a little “humphy-ness”.. but once that was over – all else was easy.

Yes I got ripped off.. or should I say I allowed myself to be ripped off by the taxi tout outside the airport.. and probably paid at least $10 more than I should have for the ride to the hotel.  The driver had an ancient car, had no fuel and we had to queue at the gas station  and he got lost.. ha!  so what.. we drove a little.. and saw the sights .. not that they were so attractive in the industrial messiness of the airport area.. but finally we found the bright lights of the Orange Suites Airport Transit Stay buried in the back tracks and he dropped me off.

I paid him less the toll fees – that had remained unmentioned .. “Oh madam I am a poor man” he said with a smile…. “yes” I said .. “I know .. but I will be a poor woman if I pay you all you ask!!” and off he went laughing.

And into the hotel.. 5 ‘boys’ waiting for the luggage..

The one who escorts me up in the lift wearing a bright blue T shirt that just makes him look like an Adonis .. I compliment him on the colour and his face lights up like a gem..

Oh the place of the easy smiles that come with the heart.. this is India.. I do so love this land of crazy intensity – noise, dirt smells, garbage and people that grab your heart and expand it to encompass the world.

And my hotel.. oh lucky me.. I scored a good one.. its a one star trying hard and succeeding to be a 3 star.. a hairdryer no less!!  and clean .. AC and a fan.. hot water.. what more can a girl want for only $24!

india hotel

On Country – off grid

On Country
One word – connected

What privilege to take three days out and go bush with a revered aboriginal elder – Uncle Noel Nannup.  To see through the eyes of one so connected.  The signs are everywhere but we have been blind.

Morning Moss

We walk through the bush – here the scratchings of a small animal

Here mounds left by a burrowing creature now extinct but still the signs of where they lived  including the story of how the people prepared the area so they could easily catch them as they were prized for food.  The special shaped stone – good for tying the snare.  The Minarritchie tree planted because its roots were long and stringy and perfect for making the twine for the snare.  These things still here, still showing the history.

The footprint of Waitch (emu) on the hillside at York – signs from the Dreamtime story of creation of this area.

Women’s business – softly, respecting, treading lightly – awe raining down on me – cloaking me in gratitude for the moment of sight.

GIving away pride, rubbing it into the earth – sweeping the love over the negative stamping it into the ground.

I have been gifted with solitutude, with space – with ancient connection to the peace inside.

The quiet seeps into my soul spreading deeply blowing the debris of unimportant things away with the wind.

morning frost