Ok, so there’s been a lot I’ve done that I haven’t been able to share with you for various reasons… Until now… Mostly I blame bad wifi… LOL…  So, here ya go – lots of random cool stuff to share… Some pictures, some videos (hopefully they turn out, I’m having problems with some of them… Grrr), some writing…  Enjoy!!

Paragliding from a mountain in North India 

I was at dinner one night and a girl mentioned that she had gone paragliding while there in north India… Say what??? Paragliding – awesome!!!!  Let’s do this!!!   I went out the next day and signed up for it… There were supposed to be 4 of us going, but it ended up only being Mr. Handsome and myself… We took a cab about 2 hours drive up to another town and the driver dropped us off at this paragliding office… Hmmm just signed a waiver saying I (or my family) won’t sue them if I severely injure myself or die during our adventure… Ummm ok, let’s go!!!

The men direct us to get in another vehicle, an SUV, and we take off down the road.. We pull over and pick up two other gentlemen… Huh, are those our pilots?  We continue on and pull over again quickly and the two men get out and return with these huge bags on their shoulders and they throw them in the back of the SUV… Ummm I’m pretty sure those are our parachutes…. Parachutes to go… Interesting…

We’re all in the SUV now and begin what turns out to be another hours drive up the windy mountain roads… They have this Indian rock sort of music on and they are jammin’ out… I wonder if this is their pre-flight playlist as I imagine soldiers must play before going into battle, or pro football players before the big game… LOL “Weeee are the champions, my friend…” plays in my head, but in an Indian accent… Ha…

We drive, drive, drive and the roads are becoming narrower, and there are less visible trees on the mountain as we ascend beyond them to the highest point… Holy shit, whose idea was this anyway? Awweee man, I’m going to willingly jump off a mountain… Ummmmmm..  Before we know it, we’re getting out of the SUV and we watch as our pilots carry our parachutes from the truck to the launch site and they work diligently to assemble all the gear…  Ok Eryn, you’re here on top of a mountain, getting ready to jump off… It’s on like Donkey Kong people!!!!  Let’s do this!!

I watch as they get Mr. Handsome in the harness – it seems he will go first, but these guys hardly speak any English, so it’s hard to tell what’s what and they are not giving us much information which was a bit disconcerting…  No matter, I have complete faith that they know what they’re doing, whether I can understand them or not, and I am just going with the flow…  Before I know it, Mr. Handsome is running off the side of the mountain with his pilot – with literally no warning… It’s out of the blue, all of a sudden, the men are shouting and moving forward, so you move forward with them – I believe they wait for a gust of wind or something specific because you stand there all ready to go… wait, wait, wait…. then GO, GO, GO!!!  You’ll see in the videos…

As they’re getting me all strapped up and ready to go, they instruct me to take off my shoes – I wore flip flops… Stupid Eryn, stupid, stupid!!!  Grrr…  I’m remembering the last time I was strapped to a parachute when I went sky diving, and then also, I wore inappropriate shoes and had to fly/land shoeless…  Not very smart are you Eryn??  Really two times strapped to a parachute and no shoes??  Grrrr….

We, luckily, both have smooth landings… Whew!!  I have no injuries, except for a splinter in my pinky toe – no worries…  All is well, I collect my flip flops, thank Sashi, my pilot for a smooth ride and we’re on our way, exhausted from the emotional roller coaster of the flight…

20140430_095734

Traffic jam with a herd of goats almost kept us from our big paragliding adventure… LOL

20140430_114002

Parachutes to go – Eeeekkkk!!!

para7

Ok, in this video, I start to do an intro and all of a sudden, they’re running off the side of the mountain with Mr. Handsome…

This video shows my jump… Sorry there’s a big pause from when I start until we go, they were waiting for the right wind or something…

 

Then there’s some video from the middle of the flight… It really did feel like we were flying… Amazing!!

para6

Sashi the great!

para5

para

para8

Smooth Landing…  Check out the video below…  Look at me, a good blogger, always has her camera up and ready… LOL

para4

para3

Happy to be back on earth…

para2

 

 

The day we saw the Dalai Lama

My friend Archanna heard that the Dalai Lama was going to give a blessing and public teaching while we were in town – Wow, what an amazing stroke of luck/fate/whatever… We all lined up the first day to make sure we got signed up before they decided to put a cap on the number of people in attendance… We didn’t want to chance it!

The day of the event we all went down – they separated us by nationality and then had us bunch up into groups of 50 or so for a picture.   My friend Eric, Sah and I ended up right there in the front next to him… Eric and I got to hold his hand, how cool… The energy in the place that day was incredible… And for such a high powered public figure, we were surprised that he made himself so accessible for pictures in these intimate groups and walked around freely between groups and nationalities… Although there were men with high powered machine guns around…

Even if you’re not a Buddhist, it was really amazing to be in the energy field of someone who signifies such peace, love and compassion for all mankind. And now that I understand the Tibetan struggle a bit more and Buddhism in general, it was especially moving to be their at His Holiness’ home in exile.  It was a great day shared with Eric, Archanna and Sah – one I will never forget…

DalaiLamaUS

Group picture of Americans w/ Dalai Lama – Eric, myself and Sah are just to the left of HHDL… Eric and I held his hand…  I made sure to bring my prayer flag so all of you who signed it would be blessed too!

archannamehhdl

Archanna, my friend from the Buddhist course and I before the Dalai Lama

ericmehhdl

Eric, another friend from the Buddhist course…

mehhdl

Tushita Intro to Buddhism Class Picture

tushitapic

We had a wide range of nationalities in the intro course… Israel, England, Ireland, Germany, Poland, some Indians, very few Americans, some Canadians, a few from France… Some from South America…   And I’m sure there were others I’ve missed…  What a unique group of people to put together… really amazing…

Hand loomed rugs in India

I was looking for a pharmacy one day and took a wrong turn and ended up in this rug factory where these women were hand looming these gigantic rugs. I sat and watched them in awe for at least a half an hour just taking in all the steps they were going through to make these incredible pieces of art.. Hey mom, we could do this at home!! LOL It was really cool to see…

On the other hand, it made me sad to think about those women making the rugs and how they get from skeins of yarn to your floor there in America… I wonder how much these Indian women are making compared to the amount the retailer charges back home… And every guy in between that’s part of the distribution… Hmmm… No doubt the women are making some ridiculously low wage…

I tried to talk to them, but they didn’t speak English, and I didn’t want to get them into trouble by distracting them either, so I mostly sat their quietly observing..  Although I was thinking, it would be totally bad ass to have one of my mandala designs made into a huge area rug and organize to work with the women to create it…. Hmmmm, maybe someday…

20140423_110706

This is their template for the rug design – Huge graph paper hand drawn and colored – not computerized…

20140423_111622

Back side of the rug they’re making… Must be 11’x14′ at least…

Check out the video link below to see the women in action…. Truly incredible!!!

 

Handmade Jewelery with my favorite jeweler Jay

I heard there was a jewelery making class in the nearby town of Dharmkot, so of course, I had to sign up… I made a super cool primitive silver ring and I had Jay take one of my mandala drawings and turn it into a pendent…  Super cool!!!

jew1

First you heat up the raw silver…

jew2

Then you pour it into the cast…

jew

Then you crank it through this contraption lots of times until it’s the thickness you want it…

jew3

Then you pull it through this template with small holes to get it to a uniform thickness and diameter…

jew4

Then you heat and shape it until it looks like you want it…

P1050470

Before you know it, in the span of about 3 hours, you have your design…  I was going for a primitive, hand made look – nothing fancy or extravagant…  Signifies my going inward… Oh, come on, you know it had to mean something… LOL

Here’s the mandala pendent… We had to modify it form the original drawing somewhat since it was to intricately designed, but it turned out amazing!!

P1050471

P1040958

 

Special Delivery 

One day we were at the Om cafe sitting in the garden area and several horses just trotted up next to us…  We were caught a little off guard and didn’t know why they were there… Well, as it turns out, they were delivering restaurant supplies… Go figure… Only in India…

20140404_121314

20140404_121408

Restaurant supplies via horses…  Now that you mention it, we did walk down a long narrow path to get here, guess cars just don’t work around here…

The day we climbed the mountain

This is from the day Meghan and I hiked the Triund Trail up the mountain…

Here we have a short video from when we got to the top of the mountain…

And here is the talented flautist, Pavire serenading us from the chai shop, the last stop before we reached the top…  You may remember my referencing this in my post…

Special Prayer for my little cousin Nolan

And last, but certainly not least, I said a special prayer at the holy Ganga river for my little cousin Nolan in North Carolina.  He is struggling with some major physical health issues and I really fell in love with him over Christmas when I spent some time with him… He’s always near and dear to my heart… Much love, happiness and health to you Nolan and your family… XXOO

Advertisements