Blogs from Pali, Rajasthan, India, Asia


Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 19th 2018

Being on this camel adventure with the Raika was nothing short of spectacular. It was unique. It was authentic. It was true cultural immersion. It was unheard of for westerners to tag along with these storied cameleers and we felt honored and lucky to be able to make it happen. But probably the part that made me the most thankful was their openness to allowing a female to be part of their ritual. Women do not handle the camels in the Raika culture. It is the male Raika that manage them, shepherd them, sleep with them when they are traveling with them and protect them. The women are just not part of that aspect of the Raika way of life. So, I had concerns that my very presence would make this moment more difficult. What I ... read more
Removing the Hobbles in the Morning
Lead Cameleer Handed Me the Camel Stick
On the Move

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 14th 2018

If you ever want to shock an Indian village member, we know the perfect formula. We have perfected it, in fact. First you gather up 50 some camels that need to get to the Pushkar fair and agree to move them in a caravan. Then you plan your route to Pushkar to include moving the caravan through small, remote villages in rural India. This isn’t hard as the route to Pushkar can include all the terrain you can imagine, including bustling villages. This combination alone will get stares of amazement. It will get people to run out of their homes just to catch a glimpse. It will entice children to giggle uncontrollably. And it will make all regular daily activity come to a screeching halt. But if you REALLY want to send people’s disbelief over the ... read more
Dusty Road with Beautiful Blooms
Camel Caravan in the Village
Dad Working Hard with Lead Cameleer

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 13th 2018

Consistently we have been asked where we have been walking these camels. Inquires ask if our caravan traveled on roads, through villages, in the desert or through fields. We have discovered the answer is all of those and many more. We have taken these camels down desolate, barely travelled roads, through dry creek beds, down into deep draws, into very narrow passages, across streams of water, under thorn trees, down the streets of active villages and along pretty busy roads. Every single situation and each unique terrain has been an adventure. Each one has been full of stories and observations. But the one that really got the adrenaline pumping was when we just casually drove them onto a major four lane highway. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw our lead camel turn onto the ... read more
Well-Behaved Camel Caravan
Beautiful Caravan Exiting Highway

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 12th 2018

Never underestimate the power of tea and the community of sharing tea. This is something we learned from the Raika. From the beginning, Dad and I were fully aware of our mission: get these camels to Pushkar in a safe and timely manner. But what we learned is that you get them to the fair in due time and along the way, you take time for tea and you take time for community. This sort of pace is not exactly a large part of our structured, get-these-tasks-finished sort of lifestyle, but we are learning. When it is time for tea and you are in the middle of the desert, making tea can be quite a process. First you have to milk the camel. In order to do this, you must get her baby near her, let ... read more
Boiling Camel Milk
Valeri Enjoying Camel Milk Tea
Final Tea Before Pushkar

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 11th 2018

I suppose it is not a news flash that when it comes to travel adventures we like to dream big. Not like private jets big, but live like the locals big. Sometimes it is just a little ember that fuels a lively conversation and sometimes those dreams turn into full on flames of adrenaline. Right now we are in the heat of living one of those big dreams. When dad and I first came to Pushkar for the camel fair nearly a decade ago, we spent our first night at a hotel on the edge of town. We went exploring and while we were sitting on the rooftop patio of our hotel, we saw one of the camel caravans coming into town. We were in complete awe of the beauty of the camels, the ruggedness of ... read more
The Day Dad Was Offered Opium
Here Come the Camels
Our Beautiful Caravan

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 4th 2018

A few years ago, ok maybe it was a few decades ago, I watched the movie Sliding Doors. The premise was how one tiny decision, like being late for the train or using the stairs instead of the elevator, could have profound effects on the rest of your life effecting every moment that follows thereafter. It was a grand recipe for overthinking to say the least. This movie and it’s premise keeps popping into my head as I try to pinpoint what really got us back to India. It seems like it all started last October when I found myself in the steppes of Mongolia training camels with a crazy bunch of new found friends. We had no idea what to expect from each other, but before the experience was over we just knew we all ... read more
Dad and I Discussing Camels

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali » Marwar Junction January 7th 2011

Before donation day we did lots of rock painting and made some bookmarks and posters. The group was made up of Avatar Puri, Rajendra and all the foreign children that were at the Ashram: Cal, I and the two girls from Slovenia. We set up a construction area under the White House and drew and painted. Then we chose a good day to have a market stall. We gave the Karma Yogis half price and we gave a free painting to the Swamis in the Ashram. We did it while the group was there and lots of people were from Europe so we got some Euros as well as Indian Rupees. In the end we raised about 36572 rupees!! We tried to give out receipts and keep some records but there was always more money than ... read more
OM painting
flower pot deco
market day!

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali » Marwar Junction December 26th 2010

Still caught up in the bureaucratic bits about the next job appointment in China. So we'll enjoy longer stint in India in the meantime. Have been teaching some yoga classes to visitors and also had the very good opportunity to be a student now that some of our inspiring longer time Swamis are leading morning classes. Pot painting has been one of the projects keeping me amused here. Afternoon walks with Tulsiji and the dogs, a bit of horseriding, meals with longer time karma yogis, random moments with resident Artist Mirtaji, sitting with Mataji, practicing harmonium and constantly searching for what mischief the boys are up to fill the days in Jadan. Evenings I'm sleeping more than I ever did. I guess that's the flip side to massive days and low supplies of chocolate!! Seeing things ... read more
play room
mantras and knitting
like this?

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali November 28th 2010

Had lovely three days with Swamiji and few special yogis in Jaipur Ashram. Now He's on the way to Europe and we're enjoying time in Jadan. Finished the hat I was crocheting for Cal when we left Jadan last time. Put a lot of my processing s into those stitches! Raining here. Very unseasonal but much appreciated. School is thriving. Two new teachers with sparkly eyes. They have play room now with all the resources I've bought in the times we've come as well as things us and others have sent. So glad its being used. The children are getting so much from the prac experiences. Lots of sweets being eaten as someone passed their BEd today. They have already been teaching for some years. I guess no different to how I played the game. First ... read more
Jadan Morning

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pali September 1st 2010

Driving from Nandan farms of Sindhudurg in Maharashtra to Castle Bera near Pali in Rajasthan was an interesting journey of 5 days... not that a non-stop drive should take that long.. we planned it that way. We first drove 380kms to Prabha's sister's place in Pune to do some laundry and relax for 2 days... and the drive on the Amboli Ghats was a delight. Being a part of the Deccan plateau and the western ghats whole area was beautiful and apparently it receives the highest rainfall in the western ghats. We then drove to Nashik, relatively a short drive of 220kms, to visit the Mahindra Xylo plant - to see the place where our car was born. The road was being four laned in parts and so the drive took us almost 6 hours. The ... read more
Sula Wines
Photo 4

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