Near the end of India visit!

Eight more days left of a very successful trip! My friend Geeta;  I say a very big THANK YOU  for the wonderful accommodations at the Lake Inn Hotel. The staff there bent over backwards to fulfill my needs. They were not too used to Westerners. I would also like to thank John. He is in charge of food and beverage at the main hotel – Hotel Hilllock. He looked after all of my food needs without spice, onion and garlic, and the Chef was very creative with salads. John was also in charge of my travel.

I have also had physiotherapy every day for my hand, which has been necessary to gain mobility. I have been seeing a wonderful new Doctor at the Global Hospital, Hemalatha, really cared about treatment and I must admit, if doctors in UK had told me what to expect I would have lived with crooked finger.

It is a Holiday here today called Holi Festival of Colors. This morning I was serenaded at breakfast by drums. Water and coloured powder are worn by people, like a mask on their face. Happy Celebrations!

Being within walking distance of the BK complex has also made this trip special. I have met up with many old friends from around the world and have attended a few programs.

As far as my book goes it has been very successful. I have accessed all interviews, around 40, and have written a background and relationships to all. I have now passed on to my collaborator, many notebooks and a first draft of book should be ready in few months.

This trip to India has had special feel, a feeling of belonging! Only time will tell.

Only in India, next door to my hotel, restaurant was put together in one day.

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Fun Pictures!!

Only in India; Enjoy!

Fireworks in Mt Abu

Only in India, convertible!

More of the car

Heidi, long time resident of Mt Abu from Switzerland!

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LIVING IN INDIA!!

Living in India for 2 months is lovely, frustrating, lots to learn, many layers to the culture, never boring, and as this is visit 22 or 23 since 1990, there must be something here for me. Actually I think of India as one of my homes.

I am getting into a rhythm working on book for 3 hours every morning at my writing table over the lake and the mountains, lunch at hotel, or at one of the BK’s complexes, both are very close,  one within walking distance, seeing BK friends, and other friends, meditating at my favorite places, going to market, etc.

Anyone who comes to India, has to realize they say yes to everything and getting them to tell you what is really going on is a skill you learn over time.

Indians are just brilliant with laundry. The best I have found anywhere in the world. I am being looked after very well by my friend Greeta and her very capable staff. There are 5 chefs in the kitchen and they work very hard to make delicious food I can eat. As I write this, I am eating great pizza and salad!

Indians can adapt to anything and are very bright and quick. I have always said, if you have 2 staff you can replace with one Indian and be ahead.

Planning and the execution of an event would take us 6 months in the west. They can in 2 days plan the most amazing event with all the trimmings. Tents, food, flowers, clothes for hundreds of guests, if sometimes not thousands. Sometimes, they just invite their whole town or village.

Once I was having my nails done somewhere in India and I was talking to this lady. She asked me my name, got up and said she would be back in a few minutes. When she returned, she had a formal invite with my name printed for her daughter’s wedding. I couldn’t go, but I was very touched and impressed.

The book is moving along well, I think I am too close and just want it to be very personal.

You will see pictures of an Indian wedding. The groom had to sit on white horse for a long time waiting for his bride!

I am on the way to Goa, the south part, which is very lovely. I am going to visit Canadian friends Greg and Victor for few days.

Very hot 35! I plan to get nails done, something that can’t happen here in an easy way!

Enjoy the pictures.

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From Cambridge, UK to Mt Abu, India!

I had wonderful time in Cambridge, catching up with friends, getting ready for 2 months in India, buying necessary items I can’t find in the mountains and of course sorting out luggage with a very patient Paul. There is a big luggage issue with Emirates airlines, they changed their baggage allowance to less, and I didn’t notice when I booked. If you are overweight, they charge you 50 US dollars per kilogram, very expensive!

Back to Cambridge. I feel that friends in Cambridge are like family in many ways.

I am on the mountain top, at a lovely little hotel on the lake. It is owned by my friend Geeta. I am being treated very well, great food, car and driver when needed, all in all very comfortable.

I feel a little all over the place, finding time to work on the book, which I am very excited about! I am adjusting to new surroundings and finding time to see BK friends.

In the first few days, I attended an event where the Japanese Government gave a sizable donation to my favorite hospital. I am told by my friend in Toronto that this could be a new policy to fund projects in the Asian, Pacific region. I must admit I was very surprised. I also attended a Medical Conference in Hindi where I needed a translator. The speakers were first class!

Enjoy the pictures!

PS: I also have found great Doctor at my little hospital, who is giving me hand therapy every day, so I can regain total motion and strength after surgery .

 

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Lovely Review of My Way!!

I received this review of my memoir that was written a few years ago from my dear friend Gordon Mcivor.  Apparently, he was on flight from LA to Toronto, so he read in one sitting. I must admit I became quite emotional when I was reading it.

This book is about overcoming adversity and finding the silver lining in every cloud that comes along to steal the light. My dear friend Betty Steinhauer lost her father while still very young and had to fend for herself and her mentally ill mother from a very young age. She persevered and found herself a wife and mother in the suburbs of Toronto, but a voice inside her was calling on her to do far more with her life. From housewife to community activist, she was soon running an international foundation and subsidizing projects in some of the poorest countries in the world. From there, she went on to meet world and spiritual leaders, often a guest at international meetings and conferences on community building. Through it all, she continued to pursue her deep and abiding love for India and engage in some very tender and romantic love affairs. Today, in her mid 70s, she continues to travel the world as what she refers to as a “nomadic intern”, still as much a student of life as when she was a small girl.

This is a deeply moving story of what I have come to realize is a remarkable woman who sees humanity as one family, sharing far more commonality than differences. The way she is able to reach out and help people all over the globe is nothing short of inspirational and shows what we can accomplish if we focus on the positive, the light and never stop loving each other especially at our most vulnerable moments. A delightful and purely inspirational read that may well change how you look at your own life.
Available on Amazon and Kindle Reader.

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2019 TRAVELS

20190102_135405

My cast is off my hand! I will have a couple of sessions of hand therapy, so, I am on the mend. I am very happy that this episode in my life is nearly over.

My intention was I may try and settle down in 2019, but I don’t see that happening.

On January 30th, I leave for Cambridge with luggage, which I will leave with my great friend Paul who is just so helpful with all my planning. Without Paul storing my 12 suitcases and what goes where, travels would be very difficult.

On February 2nd I leave for 2 months in India, to work on my book. I am staying in Mount Abu on the lake in a small restored hotel that my friend Geeta bought last year.

Geeta and her family own several businesses in town and have a very good reputation. They have offered me a tremendous price with meals, car, a driver and of course I will visit my BK friends, all is very close.

Early April, after changing luggage, I will head to Thessaloniki Greece to visit my wonderful friends Ana, Velko and their 2 beautiful children for 9 days.  I met them last year during my visit to Greece. After that I will head to Canada for 6 weeks, then Iceland for 5 days for a Spirit of Humanity Forum, from there Newfoundland for the summer with Peggy, Denise, Barb and Joyce. I really missed going to the rock, as it is called, last summer. It has a piece of my heart.

In September, I will be visiting The Azores, part of Portugal. I am told this is the place I really need to visit.

Who knows after that? I had a wonderful invite to Mauritius, which I just loved when I visited early in my Nomadic journey and Australia, which is just so far away.

But, all this aside the book is number one on the list and really needs completion in 2019, as all the 42 interviews are completed.

Happy New Year to all!

 

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Surgery

Well, I arrived at Bournemouth hospital in the UK very apprehensive about my upcoming hand surgery. The last time I had any type of surgery was in Toronto 35 years ago.

I have something that is called Dupuytrens Release. My little finger on my right hand has been very crooked for 3 years. I couldn’t straighten it and my next finger was starting to be affected, the tendons were shot, so I thought I should try and get it fixed.

I had discussed it with my Doctor in Toronto a couple of years ago and was told it wasn’t covered by OHIP, and it would cost $8,000 to do. I decided to live with a crooked finger.

I was visiting a Doctor in Cambridge a few months ago, he looked at my finger and asked what was wrong? When I told him, he said “We can fix that!!”

So, here I am with anesthesiologist discussing why I need to be put right under. I am requesting a local after he describes to me, they must drain all the blood from my arm and cuff it very tightly. I give in. (sounds like a Frankenstein procedure to me).

I have had the surgery. I can’t fly for 6 weeks, have cast on right hand and am learning to use my left hand, (tough going), but feeling good. I won’t have any idea if surgery has worked or not, until I can see my fingers.

I really appreciate all the messages I have received from my friends from both sides of the pond.

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