Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lack of WiFi in Manali

Today is Wednesday and we are back in New Delhi where I have access to WiFi at our hotel.

Here is the view from our room at the Shanti Guest House in Manali
I have been journaling and photographing for the past 4 days until I could get back and post. I think it will take many months for me to process my thoughts, feelings and the spiritual lessons I have gained from this experience with the children and this trip to India. I will continue sharing our trip as I experienced it, but if you'd like to jump ahead of me, go to John Balyo's page on the WCSG website: He has posted many thoughts, pictures and a video or two.

Here is my next installment:
We arrived safely in Manali with applause for our driver. The 15 hour trip actually took 18 hours!
The adventure wasn't over for the night though. We had to carry our carry-on luggage up a dirt road, then onto a winding sidewalk. Mind you, there are not any street lights. The way water run-off is handled is that pipes and trenches carry waste water and run-off to creeks and streams. There are trenches all over and are easy to fall into. There was one of these trenches running alongside the dark sideway we were climbing to get to our guest house. Every 5 or so feet, a pipe would cross the side walk and there must have been a rock that was too big to move when the sidewalk was made so it required a step up and then a step down in the dark carrying your bags. (Our big luggage was brought from the bus to the guest house by jeep because the bus couldn't get up the street to drop us and the bags off directly.)

We were greeted at the guest house by the owner.
Anna and I were assigned a room in the yellow room. The teakwood parquet floor gave the room the lovely smell of teakwood. The bed was hard, but very welcome after the long several days of travel.

After breakfast at the guest house, we began the trek to DAR-UL-FAZL Children's Home. This means House of Grace. The ministry houses about 80 children from 3 years old to college age children. The ministry also includes Rainbow School. All of the children up to age 14 attend this school the older children go into the village. There are also some village children from poor families that are sponsored and  also attend Rainbow School.

The trek is best viewed rather than described. We hiked single file over and around some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever encountered. I need to go to bed now, so I'll prepare the pictures of our trek and first meeting with the kids for the next post tomorrow when I'm on the on the bus to see the Taj Mahal. (10 more hours round trip).

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