One thing I've learned so far about India is that it takes a longer time to do just about anything (except go through a couple litres of water).  This also goes for the internet: the computers are old, the connection is spotty at times, and some of the computers are so infected with baddies that all I'm willing to do is to read the news.  But I finally found a decently fast computer that's healthy with a good conection.  It's costing me a whole 50 ru / hour though ($1.25). Oh the predatory billing practices. 

So needless to say I've uploaded a hundred of our photos thus far (and I've only filed through half of them).  Now I need to find the time to title, tag, and organize them.  Don't hold your breath. 

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hanging with hippies in rishikesh

So currently we are all in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is where the Beatles came and stayed for a while. There are ashrams and sadhus everywhere. It is a completely vibe from the farm. It is very touristy but in a more "holy" touristy way. Forieners have "gone native" and wander around in bits of cloth, handing out literature about their particular guru.

Our first night here we went down to one particular ashram where they were having a sing along. At a particular point in the night, plates with oil lit on them were passed around and people began lighting candles and insense that were put into little boats made of leaves, filled with marigolds and red flowers and set afloat on The Ganges. It looked very pretty. The insence was very very thick in the air. We eventually left.

I ran into a bookshop that had a book on home Ayurvedic remedies. Ayurvedic is a natural form of medical remedies that focuses much attention on how a person needs to try and balance their life. Very interesting stuff. As we all have colds (except Dave) I think I'm going to pull out the book and try and figure something out. They also have a massage (called an oily massage) that involved herbs and spices as well as dribbling oil on your forehead. I'd like to try it out soon. I need a massage!

Tomorrow we are leaving to go to Jaipur in the province of Rajistan. We are hoping to stay there for a while, at least a week. Dave and I might find a place that can teach us massage. Lorn, Daryl and Erin are going to try and find someone to teach them pottery. All of us are also hoping to go on a camel trek. Not a very long one...camels aren't the most comfortable animal to ride.

Rajistan is  a very dynamic part of India and I'm excited to go....although the veiw from my current hotel of the himalayas and the Ganges will be hard to give up.

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next leg

Today we begin the next leg of our journey. We're off to Bija Vidyapeeth: Centre for Learning which is where we'll be taking a course on Food Safety and Food Security from the renowned physicist, eco-feminist, and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva.

We're hopping on a train for 6hrs to Dehradun where we'll stay the night in a hotel and then off to the farm which is about 30km south of town. There's no internet there so we won't be posting any updates until we're done 8 days later. We don't really have much more information than what you can find on the website, so we'll write about it in detail when we're reconnected to the interweb.

In other news I think I'm finally getting over the jet lag. Last night was the first night that I really slept. Before that it was insomnia at night, and being dead tired during the day. The heat is what makes it so hard to switch: 35C and humid during the day so your energy is completely sapped. It only gets down to 21 or so outside at night, so it's still really hot inside and impossible to sleep.

Last night we went into the centre of Dehli and had dinner at this tex-mex restaurant. Seriously ironic: indians dressed up as cowboys serving beef enchiladas to us westerners. Colonialism comes full circle.

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locked in

This morning Dave got up before me and asked if I wanted to be locked in the room (I was sleeping) . See we have a room where you can lock people in the room. Very strange. Since Dave was going down to use the internet, I decided that no, I did not want to be locked in the room (who knows how long he would be) ! So I woke up and noticed that the key to lock the door on either side was gone. I tried the door...and couldn't open it. He locked me in! I thought I would get ready and if wasn't back by the time I was ready to go, I would tell him my displeasure. I waited and waited and he didn't come. Then someone switched off my power (the switches are on the outside) and the fan stopped. So I sat there sweating and waiting. I had a book light and I read same of my book...without a fan. Finally someone knocked on Daryl, Lorn and Erin's door. (we have a window with bars on it into the hallway) I looked like I was in jail. Darryl went and got the key from Dave.

Apparently Dave pretended to lock the door when a sketchy guy was coming up the stairs....which must have kind of pushed the boltlock across a little bit. Daryl wiggled the key a little bit and one of the guys who works he showed him that the door is a bit sticky.

oh dear. i get the key from now on. 

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So we hooked up with Lauren, Daryl, Byron and Erin yesterday.  We're now staying in a hotel called the "King Krishna Hotel" which is right about here. We'll all be together for the next couple days after which all of us except Byron will head up to Dera Dun for our class. 

It's pretty crazy here.  It kinda reminds me of Guatemala, except with about 4 times as many people.  We'll have to post some photos soon.  

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safe and sound

Dave and I made it. It was by far my most gruelling flight experience to date. We made it to LA with very little problems. After the long wait to get through security we figured out our gate and hung out. They then subjected us to another security check and finally we were able to board. Of course then we are detained over an hour so the American engineers can make sure our terribly old 747 is able to fly. Then we were Frankfurt. Man, that was a long flight. Then we waited for a few more hours on the ground in Frankfurt. We weren't allowed to leave the plane. Finally took off. I kicked Dave's but in crib 2x in a row. ha ha. I read an entire book and played games that AJ had made for me. The only thing I was really wishing for on the plane (other than wanting it to be over) was the ability to brush my teeth. But LA is pretty strict and we weren't allowed to bring toothpaste in our carry on.

But we are here and dave is jonesing for a tea. We should meet up with Lorn, Darryl and Erin tonight and hopefully Byron tomorrow.



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deep breath now

The visas came today.

We are leaving the country.

We are going to India.

All because the visas came today.

I guess I'd better finish cleaning the house.

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Wwwhhheeeeeeee! Emotional rollercoastering

This week has been a traumatic emotional roller coaster. And its pretty natural and normal to feel this way when you are leaving the country.

I've been starting my afternoons with a good old fashioned panic attack. The kind that cause me to hyperventilate and have very little patience with my beautiful partner. The trouble with our visas is given me something directly to freak out about. But I think my fears run the whole gamut of possible stressors. Moving, selling, boxing, leaving, cleaning, writing, finishing, all of these things need to be finished, all while I go to work, wrap up my files, say goodbye to kids and co-workers, and finish unfinished brochures.

I love that when I'm stressed that I have crazy dreams and do weird sleepwalking tricks. Dave got shot in my dreams the other night. I was pretty unhappy with that. Told off the RCMP officer who shot him.

All the while, I know it'll work out. It always has in some form or another.



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