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omni in India


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#41 Hippie3

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:47 AM

happy birthday, omni

#42 gema

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:49 PM

Awesome flix! What the significance of the locals dyeing their hair orange? Is it just a style?

#43 suckerfree

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 09:11 AM

thanks for the pics fix. i set my new background to that sweet field of dreams.

#44 SharkieJones

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:42 AM

Awesome pics Omni.

#45 omnibot

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 02:32 AM

"Awesome flix! What the significance of the locals dyeing their hair orange? Is it just a style?"

Yup. Don't think there's any religious significance. Maybe I'll dye my beard orange. haha It'd probably look like shit on me.

some more photos up.

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#46 omnibot

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 02:49 AM

A lot has happened since last posting. I visited Nainital (thanks Gamera). It was absolutely gorgeous. I've begun volunteering in Delhi in a couple of different spots. one is a leprosy colony and one is a school in the middle of a slum. Working with the kids is great and so is the colony, but it's much more intense. Here's a little write up I did for those who are interested.

"I am being handed a scalpel. “Your turn.” I am told unceremoniously. I am back in Delhi. I turn towards the leprosy patient seated in front of me. His leg is extended and resting on a small stand. I smile at him and utilize some of the little Hindi I’ve learned to comment on the heat. Sweat is pouring down my face. I carefully cut the old bandage from his foot. I follow the example set by the usual bandager as best I can. I use forceps to pick up cotton balls and dip them one by one into a bright orange disinfectant. One to clean the whole foot. One to clean each wound. One to dry the whole foot. One to dry each wound. Next is the most difficult task. Use the scalpel to carefully cut away dead skin and tissue, which might prevent disinfectant from reaching the inside of a wound. Inevitably blood is occasionally drawn. But the patient feels nothing. Leprosy is a disease that attacks and destroys the nerves. Someone with leprosy could pick up a burning ember with their bare hands and feel nothing. And that’s the problem. People with leprosy get hurt and don’t realize it. Bad burns are common because when something hot is touched, unlike you and me, nothing tells the brain “JERK AWAY”. A more gruesome source of wounds in leprosy patients is rats. At night they chew away at fingers and toes. Without anything to alert them of trouble, the leprosy patients sleep soundly through the night. I pick up some gauze and pour another variety of disinfectant onto it. There are many varieties of disinfectant. Each wound gets some disinfectant soaked gauze. The last task is to wrap the entire foot. The patient gives me tips along the way, and finally the task is done. The man leaves and the next one sits down. Only two more hours to go.

The length of time required for each bandaging depends on the number of toes remaining on the patient’s foot. With no toes the process is quick, with more toes it’s somewhat slower. The next patient has an empty socket where his eye should be. The next one has not a single finger or toe to her name. The next one is smiling and jovial. The next one is solemn and quiet. The leprosy clinic is situated in the middle of a colony dedicated to people with leprosy and their families. The clinic, called the Village of HOPE, also runs computer and tailoring classes, summer camps for children, and a nutrition program for undernourished youngsters. A young New Zealander named Phillip is also volunteering at the Village of HOPE. Together we make the nutrition balls that will be handed out to underweight children around the colony. They are composed of a dense mix of locally obtainable ingredients. Handing out the balls is by far the most fun.

A few days later I follow one of the directors out into the leprosy colony. Everyday he takes a walk around the colony to check on the progress of different projects and to see how people are doing. There are many smiles and greetings but also many complaints. The sewage and water system seem to be particularly troublesome. The director, however, remains calm and collected even in the face of angry reproaches. He notes the most urgent problems and discusses the probable solutions with me. The eventual goal of the Village of HOPE is to create a self-sustaining clinic and community without the necessity of outside NGO or governmental help. He estimates a five-year time frame."

I also visited Leh, which is in the far far north of India. Most of the community is Tibetan, and everyone is super warm and friendly. I took a packed jeep from Manali to Leh and the scenery was some of the most beautiful I've ever see. Unfortunately it was a 20 hour ride. Crossed over a 17,500 foot pass on the way, then ran into a snow storm.

I met up with a friend in Leh who is working on a summer camp or Tibetan children. Went on my first fast; it was a short one. First day had nothing but water, second day had only fruit juices.

Meditated some and had some interesting experiences. One of being enfolded in complete love, the other of being completely emersed in an overwhelmingly intense sensory experience (the birds chirping, the color of the sky, etc). Somewhat like tripping.

Volunteering has really added new depth to my time here. It's given my trip more direction and purpose. I get to interact with people on a level that I wasn't able to before. During my time here I've also begun smiling at everyone I see and doing my best to get them to smile and laugh as well. Whereas before I got the impression that Indians are generally somewhat solemn, I now am surrounded by a world of friendly smiling people. Amazing what changing yourself can do to the world you inhabit.

Everyone smiles at me now. :)

#47 omnibot

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 03:01 AM

On a lighter note I had an interesting travel experience a few weeks ago. I was having some stomach trouble and was on my way to the leprosy clinic in a cycle rickshaw when I felt a fart coming. I let it rip... "ooooooh shit" I though. "That was shit". hehe so I there I was riding this rickshaw with shorts full of shit. Crap.

So I sort of lifted myself up in my seat a bit in the hopes that it would dry and told the driver to go back to the subway station I had come from. When I get to the subway station I get up and feel something trickle down my leg. Haha. Oh fuck. So I mop it up with my shorts leg. I pull my shorts up as high as they go and pull my shirt down as low as it can go My belt is practically around my chest. I go into the station. They have security guards that frisk almost everyone. so I go in and the security guard feels me up and feels the belt buckle up on my chest. He tells me to pull up my shirt, so I do and he sees that it's my belt buckle and gives me a look like "what the fuck". I kind of chuckle and go into the subway and make it home ok. haha

So the moral is stay away from street stand mango smoothies in the slum areas of Delhi.

#48 siam_jim

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 07:21 AM

one advice if you haven't yet...carry tp always with ya. the mango are to bad wait till you have the tamarinds...stay close to base on that one...lol

peace
siam

#49 omnibot

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 10:13 PM

"carry tp always with ya"

yeh good advice.

btw thanks for the b-day greeting hippie

#50 Gamera

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 10:53 AM

Very beautiful and inspiring stuff, Omni. You have a big heart. Great pics too.

I now am surrounded by a world of friendly smiling people. Amazing what changing yourself can do to the world you inhabit.


"Unruly beings are as unlimited as space. They cannot possibly all be overcome, but if I overcome thoughts of anger alone, this will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes. Where would I possibly find enough leather with which to cover the surface of the earth? But (wearing) leather just on the soles of my shoes is equivalent to covering the earth with it. Likewise it is not possible for me to restrain the external course of things; but should I restrain this mind of mine, what would be the need to restrain all else?"

- Shantideva

#51 omnibot

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 10:04 AM

Good quote Gamera.

#52 mellowyellow

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 03:01 AM

"Awesome flix! What the significance of the locals dyeing their hair orange? Is it just a style?"

Yup. Don't think there's any religious significance. Maybe I'll dye my beard orange. haha It'd probably look like shit on me.

some more photos up.


just something interesting i learned, im currently taking a religious studies class and just a coupld of days after i saw these pics, my teacher was talking about how in India, some muslim males die their beard orange to signify that they have gone on their pilgrimage to mecca. just thought i would share :) btw your pics are awesome omni, hope your having a blast over there, i would love to go some day.

#53 omnibot

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 08:42 AM

thanks mellow :love:

#54 ridder

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 09:17 AM

Everyone smiles at me now. :)


* Ridder smiles at omnibot :)

#55 anticheffy

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:24 AM

what a journey !

I love traveling abroad, it gives you a whole new apreciation for all the different people out there.

great photos Omni, real fun stuff.

#56 omnibot

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 01:50 PM

"Ridder smiles at omnibot"

see what I mean? :lol:




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