My dear friends,
As I would like to continue sharing the Yogamour experience in India of volunteerism and yoga, below is a combined letter from Beccah and Darragh. Their experiences are colorful, adventurous, real and creative!
Namaste and enjoy,Geni
Namaste. I am sorry it has taken me so long to write, but it has been quite the whirl wind since our arrival in Jaipur. As you know, we got here a couple days early. Our group of yogi volunteers arrived in Delhi on Friday and missed their flight to Jaipur due to the fog. But, they resourcefully found a cab driver to take them, in the middle of the night, on a six hour trek from Delhi to Agra. So, we had to rush to Agra from Jaipur in the wee hours of the morning to connect and transport them. Agra was full of cultural emersion in itself...just crazy, busy, spiritual, dirty, spicy, loud, but surprisingly bursting with vibrant color all the same. Of course, the most important thing was that we found each other! We even eventually found the Taj Mahal that first weekend and that was quite the architectural experience! (Btw, the subject of reconnecting in a country like India could take a week to describe in detail and certainly would need some face to face time.)
When everyone finally arrived in Jaipur, we were so pleased to find that our hotel, Ary Niwas was a beautiful oasis! Since then, we have been nonstop with yoga, journaling, sightseeing, elephant trekking, and eating! We saw the floating palace (Water Palace or Jal Mahl in Hindi). We also went to the Amber Fort, which may have been the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life. Jan and I were talking of how amazing it would be to get married there. We ended the day with an elephant safari through the Jaipur countryside; beautiful little children flying their kites and waving to us, their mothers wrapped in brightly colored saris, fields of peacocks and makeshift tent villages. This was pretty amazing against the lush green fields and pink skies as the sun was setting.
We began our volunteer work this past Monday morning at the Vihaan School. We were all moved to tears of joy as we interacted with these beautiful children. Our days at the school began with the children singing and dancing and each so talented in their own special way. We all seemed to find our own niche within this school. We (Beccah and Darragh) taught English (today was proper sentence structure). Izzy's creative instruction inspired the children to draw, sing, dance and laugh a lot. Teresa and Sheri worked feverishly organizing the new cards for the upcoming fundraising program. Marion's specialty was teaching the children to read on a one to one basis...they loved the individual attention! Jan may end up taking over as principal by the end of the week so I am not sure if she will be coming home with us! All kidding aside, she really has been monitoring class room after class room...its awesome! Jan and Sheri lead half of the opening assembly Monday morning and it was incredibly moving!
Wish you were here! And you have to know, that our Beccah has been quite the yoga instructor extraordinaire! So, Mom, while it's been difficult to fit yoga, meditation, journaling, volunteering and sightseeing and everything else that this chaotic, polluted, overpopulated, beautiful place has to offer, it's an amazingly spiritual place. But you will come here next year and of course there will be Thailand in June. I have to admit, I am very much looking forward to the Thailand reprieve. I suspect it will much less exhausting, a time to rest, journal, Skype...all the things I haven't yet have time to do while I have been here.
I will leave you with the starting point from our journaling exercise today and maybe you will want to reflect as well, and see what comes..."now is a time in my life when..."
Beccah and Darragh