Saturday, February 28, 2009
For the past 2 weeks, Kristin has been winding her way to her most flexible form to date. She does 2 sessions of physical Yoga every day, as well as 1 session of breathing yoga, 1 of relaxation yoga (I mean seriously...) and 1 of chanting yoga! She was a bit bored at first, but now she's found her Chakras and is working her "Yojo" while enjoying wonderfully healthy cuisine. And if that's not enough to make you drool (of what I'm not quite sure), she also does daily nasal cleansings (by pouring a teapot of hot water in one nostril and out the other), abdominal cleansings (by drinking warm water and sticking her finger down her throat to make herself barf), and weekly intestinal cleansings (by drinking 8 cups of salt water, doing 32 yoga poses and then shitting 5 times in an hour)! Not your cup of tea? Well apparently it is for her, as around the clock Ginger Tea is part of the ritual as well!
I like to call it Yoga Prison, but she refers to it as a "Way of Life". Hey, either way, look out Canada, because here comes a Yoga Instructor extraordinaire! She's ready and willing to help you get your Karma in full swing when we return!! (And she might even give you one session free... if her Buddhist side permits!)
Three deep meditative cheers for Yoga!
Love C and K (the Yoganator)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I learned: that everyone can speak Hindi and at least all of the following English phrases:
"What country you from", "You Name", "As you wish", "Welcome to my country", "You are my family", "Just touch", and "How much".
I learned: that no matter what or how much you give a beggar, it is never enough and they ask for more.
I learned: that the over 36 million gods they have in the Hindu religion aren't helping them have better lives here on earth.
I learned: that the Ganges is truly a holy river - people swim and wash in the sewage and feces intoxicated water and no harm comes to them (Pat and Kristin bathed in a clean area of the Ganges and are still alive and healthy).
I learned: the the Himalayas are as beautiful and as high as I imagined.
I learned: that wild monkeys consider me a threat and they will attack if I tease them.
I learned: that camels can run as fast as horses and fart more often than me.
I learned: that elephants (called "maatis" in Hindi) are considered good luck - and you need that when you ride them "bareback" holding on to their ears.
I learned: where the saying "Holy Cow" comes from - also where the expression "Holy Shit" comes from.
I learned: that "yoga" is a tough workout - and after I do it I need to meditate restfully.
I learned: that working 12 - 14 hours a day, seven days a week for about $2.00 a day requires Indian people to have arranged marriages - they have no time or money for dating.
I learned: that if you have no thoughts of improving your life or this world because the better after-life awaits you - then why worry about polluting the air, land and water.
I learned: that these Indians are not "aboriginal Canadians" or "native Americans".
I learned: that these Indians "want to be white faces" - their commercials and ads feature the whitest Indians that can be found and they love having their photos taken with "white faces from the west" particularly young women like Kristin.
I learned: that "use horns" literally means to use their horns every minute of the day and night when they are driving. There is no such thing as using car signals and having silence on the roads. The louder the better.
I learned: that roads are not only for cars and trucks. They are meant to be shared by dogs, cows, pigs, camels, elephants, bicycles, bikerickshaws, autorickshaws, as well as your normal cars and trucks - and don't forget people, of course.
I learned: that it takes about 3 hours to burn a dead body and that the chest of a man and the hips of a woman are the last to burn and that this is the local tourist attraction in Varanassi.
I learned: that your children really do grow up and become responsible adults and that it can be nice to have them in charge for a change.
I learned: (not really) but it was confirmed, that we truly love our children and it is wonderful to be able to share a truly unique holiday with them. Thank you so much Kristin and Cory. You know that we love you.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Well, we finally made it to Nepal! What a nice change, still lots of horns and lots of pollution, but a hell of a lot better than India, and nobody yelling "look my shop"! Our first impression of Nepali's is a great one!
We went out for a nice dinner last night (still craving the Indian food ;-) and got back home and crashed... quite literally. It was about 1:00am when I started barfing and about 2:00am when Kristin so lovingly joined me and added some shitting too! I almost feel sorry for the toilet. I'm up and moving slowly, but Kristin is still out for the count 16 hours later. Hopefully by tomorrow we'll be back in action.
We went to see the school where I'll be teaching a couple of days ago... what a difference from Maitreya! You can really see that Maitreya has some serious financial backing, as the entire school is constructed of Bamboo! But the kids are sooooooooo much more adorable (they will melt your heart once we get some pics of them sent to you)! Due to midterm exams, I will now actually begin one week later, which ends up working out great as an opportunity came up for me to teach an English course to 120 taxi drivers for 3 hours a day over the next 2 weeks! Really quite exciting.
Tomorrow we're having dinner with Karma and Neema, dear family friends of Judy, Rob, Vera, Russ, Kailee and Jamie, and then Sunday Kristin and I will head out to her ashram to say goodbye!
We hope you are all well and not barfing or shitting, and we miss you all dearly!
More to come,
Love K and C
P.S. For those of you following at home: Delhi --> Rishikesh --> Delhi --> Udaipur --> Pushkar --> Jaipur --> Agra --> Delhi --> Varanasi --> Delhi --> Kathmandu, Nepal!!!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Throughout our travels in India we have learned many things and wanted to share them with all of you, in case you shall ever travel here.
1. If you ask somone a question and they answer by nodding their head side to side, it can mean yes, no, maybe or I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.
2. Road Rules = There are none
3. If it is faster it is perfectly okay to drive against traffic in the wrong lane on the highway (or any other road for that matter).
4. Just becuase the Lonely Planet says there is a bank machine in a town does not mean they are right.
5. If in fact Lonely Planet is right and there is a bank machine, always remember in order for it to work you need electricity. If for some reason the whole three days you are staying in a town and there is no electircy for that time it does not matter if there is a bank machine. This will result in you walking up and down the main road looking for some guy name Pappa who owns a shoe store who will convert your american dollars to Indian Ruppees for a small commission.
6. If it burns going in, it is going to burn coming out.
7. If there are 5 seats in a car you multiply that by 5 and that's how many should be in the car at all times.
8. It's rude not to stare.
9. You don't need to ask where the public toilet is, it's everywhere.
10. Horns are a genre of music.
11. If the job can be done by hiring one person, hire ten.
12. There is always a boy who will do it.
13. Buy a car with no rear view mirrors (this will avoid the hassle of them getting ripped off - and yes they do make them).
14. Bicycles rule pedestrians, autorickshaws rule bicycles, cars rule autorickshaws, trucks rule cars, buses rules trucks, and cows rule all.
15. Looking is Free!!!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Number 1: Shitting on the side of the trekking path is a goal, not an imposition. Thus, to save face (your own), ensure to recommend a time that will be of least embarrassment to oneself, and that has ample vegetation for wiping, in case toilet paper is forgotten.
Number 2: Speaking other languages that haven't been spoken in a long time or at all (such as Dutch or Hindi), makes for very meaningful conversation. This is especially true when learning or repeating curse words, and discussing in depth issues that you know nothing about, even in your own language.
Number 3: Pretending you are a National Geographic wildlife photographer and disappearing into the forest for an undisclosed amount of time to capture wild Languor monkeys is lots of fun. In so doing, it is crucial to put one's life at risk, even if it means leaving your guardian (me) on the side of the road for 30 minutes, as well as having sticks and fruits thrown down at you by an entire troupe of untamed (and wickedly large) monkeys.
Number 4: Wearing the same socks for 4 days straight is mandatory only if you have been hiking and sweating in them for the entire 4 day period. This way, no wildlife will bother you when you retire to your tent at night, and any humans that are in your presence will silently slip into a "aromatic" coma for the night.
Number 5: It is important to wear only a t-shirt at all times when in the Himalayan Mountains. This serves 3 purposes; first, it shows all others that you are indeed "cold-blooded" as you suggest; second, it reminds others that Canadians are tough, even when it is snowing out and the locals are in scraves and jackets; and third, it allows the t-shirt ample time to dry if you have an excessive sweating condition that causes you to sweat even when no one else does.
These are all important lessons that I learned from Mike at 41oo meters. On our absolutely beautiful hike, I'm still not quite sure which was more difficult; trekking or babysitting?!?!?!
Love Mike and Cory
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Well we asked for an ashram and we got ashram - including the dal three meals a day and basic room and board!! At least it wasn't too spicy. A good intro for my system. After the first Yoga lesson at our place which was a little different and we decided was just okay we met a Swedish woman (also a trained yoga instructor) who was staying at our ashram. She was also dissapointed with the yoga and agreed to give us yoga lessons whenever and wherever we wanted. What a bonus. We had most of them on a platform right at the beach. It was fabulous. She was excellent and we fell in love with yoga again. There is nothing better than doing yoga on the beach with a flutist in the background and the sun setting in the distance. Our instructor, Brienne, was excellent. She was a great teacher and a really nice person. We did yoga in the morning and then again late afternoon. We could feel the difference between the beginning and end and we were very sorry to finish. When we get home I really want to get back into the yoga. It is so good for the body and soul. Another treat for us were the massages. We had three while we were there and they topped off our stay. Of course, we managed to get in a bit of shopping. We also toured the now falling apart ashram where the Beatles made the White Album. Walking on the streets outside of the ashram was another experience. Where else in the world would you have people walking, biking and on motorcycles along with dogs and cows. And the garbage is everywhere and that is what the animals eat, even the holy cow. There are horns going every minute of the day and night to warn you that a vehicle of some type is approaching from the rear. According to Kristin and Cory the ashram and the town of Rishikesh was a gradual initiation into India and it was a good start. It was also a great way for the two of us to spend some time together. It was very relaxing and what could be more Indian than yoga:-)