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Published: December 27th 2007
12/25/07: This was my original entry before the trip: This will be my first time in Delhi (Northern India). My hope is to come in contact with some street elephants. The organization Wildlife SOS is doing quite a bit of outreach to give needed medical attention to these elephants. They are also trying to raise money to build a sanctuary. If my efforts to connect with this organization during my short time in Delhi fails, I will be just doing some city tours and seeing what Mother India wants to show me.
I just got word that I will likely be able to connect with Wildlife SOS while in Delhi... someone was reading this Blog!!! The Universe provides! More to come!
Saturday, January 12th: Culture Shock! Well, the journey certainly has continued with my entry to Delhi yesterday late evening. I am staying at the Smyle Inn, which is not for the faint of heart. The little dark narrow ally ways will plentiful dog droppings to dodge, and lots of locals staring will make one stay on their toes. I likely will not stay here again, although for a place to sleep and get immediately immersed
Kartick, Founder of Wildlife SOS
Kartick, Founder of Wildlife SOS
He's by the statues of Genesha (the elephant-headed God in Hindu religion)... a good sign.
into the Delhi experience it is not that bad.
Sunday, January 13th: Somehow and myseriously, the Smyle Inn and it's rather seedy location is growing on me. It certainly has lots of personality! This day was a sign that there is Grace certainly at work, confirming the reason for this journey. In process of trying to connect with Wildlife S.O.S., I got an email yesterday from Kartick, the founder of Wildlife S.O.S. and just happened to "coincidentally" be in Delhi today. He told me his schedule is currently very busy with the work the organization is doing to the save the dancing bears of India, and normally he would not have time to visit on such short notice. The meeting was of a man sharing his passion for the bears and other animals he is involved in saving (there are many). I also shared a bit about how my heart has opened to animals in such a significant way that finding words to express it is difficult. He said that Life is Short and living our passion, and following our unique callings are what we are suppose to do in life. I really felt truth in his words, as
The Lotus Temple
The crowd is slowly absorbed within the inverted Lotus, opening the lotus of our own hearts to God (and others).
well as the Heart of what is means to be truly connected to animals. I am sure this meeting with Wildlife SOS will continue, and will be an organization I would like to stay in touch with and help in the ways I may be able. Stay tuned for more... ?a fund raiser and slide show.
Afterwards, I went on to do a little sight seeing, which included seeing the Lotus Temple (Bahai), and also went to the Hamayun’s Tomb (build as a monument by his loving and grieving wife in 1562 ad). Within the inverted lotus of the Bahai temple, I sat under the center of the dome, feeling my heart opening deeply to this journey. Even before the melodious chanting begun, tears overwhelmed me. I knew this is where I am supposed to be. Life is short, as Kartick reminded me and to find and follow our life passion is what we are here for (even if we can not predict or be guaranteed the outcome). While meeting with Kartick, he introduced me to another special staff, Gee Ta who is helping head another organization for helping the working donkeys and horses that are used for carrying
heavy loads of cement and bricks.
While in Agra, I will hope to connect with this project down there, as well as spend time at the Dancing Bear Sanctuary. This evening I received an email from the organization HIS (Help In Suffering) that I will be connecting with in Jaipur. There is another project I have now added on my list to visit when in Jaipur which is helping the working camels. So I will end there for now, as another segment of this journey has unfolded. I am in process of changing my reservations and flight times to allow me to stay a bit longer in Agra and Jaipur. I feel very thankful that I was able to meet with Wildlife SOS today, even though I did not see elephants today.
I feel I gained further inspiration, and affirmed that this burning feeling - to understand what is going on with the animals - is there for a reason.
“God. Grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth,
And that the seal “the Kingdom is God’s” may be stamped upon the brow of all of its peoples.” From the Bahai House of
Although I would change just one word: “peoples” to creations (so that we all remember all the precious animals on this planet).
Here's my journal entry of my transition from Delhi to Agra...
Monday January 14, 2008: I arrived in Agra this early afternoon. The flight on King Fisher Airlines was quite good, and the best vegetarian airport food I have had in a long time. This morning before leaving Delhi, I met a very nice young woman from Australia who was traveling in India alone (her first time being in India). It was nice to share some of our stories, and to understand what each other was saying. The taxi ride to the airport when I was leaving Delhi was not good, and I have to say I am lucky to be alive (if I were in any other place than India that is... as here, this is the normal). I think they bait and switched vehicles on me, because I certainly paid for a taxi but after walking some distance to where the taxis were, my belongings and I were abruptly loaded into a very uncomfortable mini van that had another passenger, with a
driver who just got his driver’s license (really!, he shared he was 18 which is the legal age in India for getting your driver’s license). This was the most harried of rides in Asia I have had in a very long time, as we took short cuts through rocky and hole filled dirt ways by the sides of the road, and near missed collisions with other vehicles or curbs and people, at least 50 times.
It was one thing after another, as the driver tried to get me to pay him twice for the fare, stopped for gas, and then actually stopped to get himself something to eat, even though he was suppose to be taking me to the airport. It was an experience and took twice as long to get to the airport as it was supposed to! But... I made my flight so that was good. So by the time I got to the congested little streets in Agra, I was quite relaxed and entertained by it (thinking I had already experienced far worse this morning).
I am staying at a pretty nice, and clean
The setting sun turned the tomb from pink to orange to red.... beautiful grounds.
place called the Tourist Rest House in Agra. It feels good and pretty relaxed here, which is a sharp contrast to the chaotic, noisy streets filled with an array of pedestrian and domesticated animal life, as they try to dodge the racing auto-rickshaws and other tourist vehicles. This early evening, I took an auto-rickshaw to the Taj Mahal, so I share some of these pictures on the following entry of Agra and the Dancing Bear Sanctuary. I know there's a lot, but that's what you are suppose to do at the Taj! Now I can say, “Hey, I’ve been to the Taj!” I did see some working camels at dusk, and was told that there are 30 that live nearby the Taj. Tomorrow, I have arranged for a car to take me to the Dancing Bear Sanctuary, and will see if I can connect with the other project that is helping the working donkeys and horses. I saw a few very loaded down little horses today, pulling absolutely huge carts loaded up. It will be interesting to learn more about what is going on with them, and what is being done to create greater awareness about what constitutes a “reasonable”
load, etc. I am feeling more and more comfortable and acclimated to the India life, as the strange is becoming more normal again.
Also please visit my website @ www.animaldreamers.org
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