Category Archives: India

Disappearing Lisa

Brasil - IpanemaThe flight home, all in all, was a bit of a disaster but one of the brightest parts was while boarding the second leg at Frankfurt International Airport.  This is an airport I despise and will do my best to avoid at all costs. Over the years any encounter with the Frankfurt Airport has left me in two minds. One is clearly frustration while the other is endearment.

If the truth be told it would appear that I have a mini love-hate relationship with an airport.

I remember one flight, back in 1988, from Rio to London which had a stop-over in Frankfurt. In Rio I had been lounging on the beach thinking my flight was at 6:30pm.  At 2pm I was still soaking in the days rays when I realized my flight really left three hours earlier.

All hell broke loose and my Brazilian friends accused me of being an honorary Brazilian but noted that this may not be working so much in my favor at this time. We raced
to the airport with me changing clothes en-route in the cramped two-door Honda.

As we approached the terminal a friend jumped out, ran to the security line and desperately pleaded with the officer to allow me through even though my gate had closed. Given this was 1988 and not Continue reading Disappearing Lisa

Bring on the Slumdog

Last NightThe final days of my Himalayan Medical journey are coming to an end. The only people left from the original ten are Tracy, Sarah, Amanda, and me. The rest have already returned to the US.

I spent some time playing tour guide to Tracy and Sarah and showed them around Delhi. Taking them to the sights and bringing them to restaurants I had visited in the past; ones that were special to me.

We also took a day to marvel at the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra. It is one of those buildings that absolutely lives up to its billing; maybe even surpasses it.

Evenings have been spent playing cards; the television is on but primarily as background noise. The mood of the last few days, for everyone, has been somber. We missed the camaraderie and for the first time in a month our group was no longer.

It has been a special time for us all.

We all had different reasons for doing the trip and more often than not the reason was much more about something at home, a personal trouble, rather than a burning desire to save the world. This applied to me as much as anyone.  Continue reading Bring on the Slumdog

Dharamsala and Chonor House

The Cooks and UsFood is one of the great joys of travel. Through the Himalayas we had eaten delicious meals prepared by a team of cooks that were part of our small convoy. They had done an incredible job;  on some occasions even taking requests.

Dinnertime would be shrouded in delight when a meal would arrive at the table that someone had quietly craved the night before. Generally over a beer the topic of what was most missed from home would arise. Undoubtedly someone would mention a food they could “Just About Die For”.  The following night the cooks would do their best to make sure this meal was no longer craved.

In days with a lot of heartbreak a dish of spaghetti and meatballs was a moving experience.

Up until Dharamsala, eating out at restaurants had not been part of the routine. There was not a single occasion prior to Dharamsala where we ate out. However here amid the snow and the peaks this would change.  Continue reading Dharamsala and Chonor House

I’m NOT Buying It

I used to believe that you would go weeks without running across a place to email, but then I started traveling myself. Write me back.  M

Pens for KidsUnder normal circumstances you would be absolutely right but this has been far from normal. You will understand better when you see the photos but really the towns and villages we have been staying in have little in the way of creature comforts let alone internet connections.

The other day we were staying in a village way out in the wops. These people had not had medical care forever, literally.  The “Local Doctor” turned out to be not a doctor after all but a pharmacist. Upon further questioning we found out that he was not even that. He was just pretending and getting meds from the government and dispensing them as he felt fit.

The doctors on this trip were appalled at the attention these people had been receiving. Some had diseases that were horrendous. We saw 500 patients in one day at this place and were there a total of 2 days. This really has been no walk in the park. We have worked 12 hour days nearly every day and the only days we haven’t Continue reading I’m NOT Buying It

Happiness Sold Here

An Audience with the Abbot

Happiness Sold HereOur trip through the Himalayan Mountains of Himachal Pradesh was book-ended by Tibetan religious icons. In Solan, at the trips outset, we had spent two days working at the Menri Monastery; a retreat high and isolated, resting on a summit that overlooked a sprawling valley of green thousands of feet below.

We were introduced to Bon Buddhism by the monks that lived there; some as young as two or three and others as seemingly old as wind and fire. Temperature wise it was anything but warm yet the monks found little discomfort in the chill of their surroundings and with little more than a robe, slippers, and religious devotion they exuded warmth of spirit to a degree that is uncommon and took us all a little by surprise.

It was here we were fortunate in so many ways.

In Dharamsala, near the journeys conclusion, we were lucky enough to be granted permission, along with hundreds of others, to attend an audience with the Dalai Lama. Right now though we were about to meet the Abbot. Both were special but they were as different as a hug and a handshake.  Continue reading Happiness Sold Here