Pushkar Part II

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, February 2, 2009

This week was rather subdued as we have all fallen into a regular routine (can you hear our sigh of bliss?). Sabrina and Sophia attended one of India's most prestigious private girls school - The Mayo College Girls School.  Sabrina and Sophia really enjoyed it because the girls were so friendly and made them feel very welcome.  They were able to learn Hindi, French, Sanskrit, dance, music, and other subjects.  I think they were treated like movies stars as they paraded and were followed around the campus and got whatever they wanted.  Many of the girls gave out their father's e-mail and cell numbers and will wait until school is out to be able to receive e-mail from our girls.

For every country we have traveled to we always have a family meeting and make a list of all the things we would like to see and do in order of priority and/or preference.  We know we can't do everything but we will do everything to do those things we really want to do.  One thing that was almost unanimous was a Camel safari so we shopped around and found one to take.

Janice, and then Monique and James decided not to go for their own reasons (mostly because our host said it would be cold and not much fun) so I promised to take the Sabrina and Sophia.  However, when three camels and a cart showed up Monique and James got excited and when I negotiated a tent and a guarantee that a fire would be burning all night Janice staved off her freight and agreed to come.  It was great to do this all as a family.

I had mentioned to Nanna what we were up to and she said to bring a good pillow to sit on.  I didn't think much of it at the time but let me tell you me that I now know very well what she meant.  My butt still hurts as I sit on a train writing this a week later.  I think Sabrina summed things up the best as originally the most excited to go on an overnight camel safari.  On the ride back into town Sabrina declared "everybody should do a camel Safari once in their lives" with great emphasis on 'once'.

We didn't get off to a good start as we were to leave about 3 pm but because Sabrina and Sophia were at school we did not leave until almost 6pm as the sun was setting.  It seemed majestic and surreal as we sat elevated up on one of the ugliest creatures I have ever seen and have the villagers run out of their homes and walk with us thru town.  In very short order we were traveling into the dark with only stars to light our way to who knows where?

We finally stopped and get off (more like almost fall off) and wait as we wonder what is happening.  Two of the three men disappeared into the dark and returned sometime later with sticks, branches and dung for a fire they started.  Food (or their version) was cooking in no time and gone as we ate in the dark stuff that was on a plate handed to us.  What can you say or expect from desert food?  I think we were spared the normal amount of sand thanks to the flashlight (torch) we offered for them to see what they were doing!

During dinner I asked again if they have a tent and the said "yeah, no problem".  Well, long story short there was no tent and the fire promised to keep us warm didn't happen without me getting up ever two hours and scouring the nearby desert for twigs, brush or anything else I could find that would burn.  Not only that, but when I woke the snoring heap under the blanket next to a dog a man appeared that was not part of  group that we arrived with the night before.  I think he was as confused as us as he didn't speak any English and we didn't speak any Hindi.

Thank God for our cell phone as I called our 'camel guys' who had gone home for the night because it was too cold to sleep out!!!!!!!!

We managed the night with only one big spider with more hair then me (way more!) scare.  I am very proud of the whole family as they made the best of things - especially mom!!

This week's discussions with Vinod were meaningful as usual and one discussion that stuck was our talk on Heaven and Hell.  When I asked him if he believed in Heaven and Hell he said "yes".   He described heaven is to have children who grow up and respect you and the family and Hell would be to have children who don't.  Laying in the desert awake starring up at the brilliant stars freezing my butt and worried about how Janice was doing I thought of our house in Summerland and the picture we have hanging at the top of our stairs .  It is a photo of a large hand with a little hand holding the baby finger of the large hand and reads "A man's wealth is measured by the love of his children".  This trip has made me one of the wealthiest in the world!! 
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