Someone told me once that journals are good for you – your mental and physical health. He believed writing out your feelings would keep you from getting sick. The semester that I wrote everyday in my journal, I was healthy. The semester I didn’t touch my journal, I got sick 3 times.
Now, I don’t know if writing kept me healthy, but I do know it can help you sort out any dilemmas, get any negative feelings out, make you realize something you never knew, or just keep a record of your personal adventures.
Write stories, poems and inspirations in here or draw pictures. I know in your busy life, you don’t have time to always write, but it’s nice to have a place to go to that’s just yours.
I love you. Happy Father’s Day!
June 15th, 1995
Do you remember those “Anti-Coloring Books” we used to have? I found one the other day in a box and began to look through it.
Under “What is your favorite story”, I drew a picture of us three kids sitting on the ground and you on a chair, and in crayon were the big letters, “Jock DuPont” scrawled in my handwriting. I still remember watching you draw intricate designs on our tickets to listen to you make up the wildest stories about the great explorer – Jacque DuPont.
June 15th, 1995
Found on pages 1 and 70 respectively, these were the first
entries in this journal. It was a
Father’s Day present I received 9 ½ years ago.
It just took me about a decade and another trip to
What follows is the chronicle, observations and reflections
that came out of our (Mo and my) recent trip to
Very brief overview of itinerary: Denver à New Delhi à Corbett National Park à Ranikhet à Mendoli à Himalayan trek (2 weeks): Roop Kund, Kauri Pass à Auli à Rishikesh à New Delhi à Agra à New Delhi à Denver.
Just as we walked in the door of our Steamboat home at 4 PM the phone range. Mo picked it up.
Mo: “Tim Lange is on the phone. Who is Time Lange?”
Dan: “I don’t know”
Mo: “He wants to talk to you”
Tim: “Have you confirmed your flight yet?”
of thought as I place Tim as the representative from International Travel who
had set up our trip itinerary for our trip to
Dan: “No not yet”
Tim: “ Well, due to a delay out of
Dan: “Sounds easy, but what was that part about flying out tomorrow? We leave on the 2nd in two days.”
Tim: (Laughter in the back ground) “That is correct you will be flying out on the 2nd, but that would be tomorrow. You will be ready to fly from DIA in the morning correct.” (statement not a question)
Smilkstein is checking out his Outlook calendar realizing that either there has been a devious cosmic time warp episode, or there has been a near disastrous error in the communication between his limbic system (memory) and his prefrontal cortex (associated with higher level thought, decision-making and planning). He makes the assumption that it is the latter and moves ahead.
Dan: “Oh sure, no problem. We’ll be there on time tomorrow.”
We had planned this trip about 6 months in advance so loosing a day and almost missing our flight by 24 hours was hard to grasp, but we took it in stride and adjusted.
The reality was that it was now 6:30 PM and we still had about 2 hours of mandatory things to do to actually be able to leave the house for a month with out worrying that some disaster would occur in our absence. By 8:30 all of our connections had been confirmed, we had a printed updated itinerary from International Travel, the dog had been dropped off, etc., etc., etc., and so on.
We headed to
I kept thinking, “I am Tina’s brother after all”.
Check in was smooth and we are now flying over some old
haunts in the
Let’s see?? I have to back up several hours and few
countries ago to explain this one.
Since we had plenty of time we took a little walk around
their beautiful airport and then decided to play it safe and go to Gate 7 early
and just wait. Mo headed for a bathroom
to wash up a little and I headed for the gate.
As I strolled down the concourse, a frantic Korean Asiana representative
came running down the concourse calling out my name. As he got his breath, he explained in heavily
accented English, that he had held our flight for 10 minutes and we had to get
to Gate 22 immediately or they would have to leave with out us. I tried to calm
him down by explaining that we still had at least an hour and a half before our
flight left from Gate 7, but this only made him more upset. I thought he might be over reacting due to
the Apolo Anton Ohno incident in
He called a cart and we (agent and myself) raced for Gate 22. At that point someone realized that we were
With the help of a very nice and patient Korean fellow who worked for Asiana we unraveled the mystery.
When we landed in LA we collected our bags at the United baggage
claim and made the mile trek to
In reality he had no idea what the special code was and
apparently understood little or nothing of what we said. He may have also figured that when we were
6,000 mile away in
In the end we did get on our rescheduled flight to
After the ticket was finished he took us on about a ½ mile walk out to the tarmac. We though we were boarding our plane, but instead we were being brought out to the plane to confirm that the luggage on the ground was ours. We did so and then walked ½ mile back plus a little extra to the Air India gate.
About 5 or 6 hours later we were landing in
We selected the area of
Fortunately, to get to our remote destination we were
required to pass through some of the mass of humanity that constitutes the bulk
of Indian society. I do mean fortunate,
because unless you see all of
We had about a 30 kilometer car ride from the airport to our
Of interest was that almost all the motorcycle drivers wore
helmets, but the woman passengers never wore helmets. It turns out that
I can say with out challenge that there are no traffic laws, or at least no traffic law enforcement, on Indian roads. It is clear that the only one who ever cared about the nice line in the center of the highway was the guy who painted it. Other than NASCAR level driving skills, the only requirement for driving is knowing how to use the horn. We asked our driver how old you had to be to drive (after seeing a kid about 9 on a motorcycle). His answer was something about at conception.
As we got closer in to the city, beggars of all ages, kinds
and genders appeared in large numbers.
Begging is the social support system in
Every building, structure, car and person has some sign of imperfection, damage, decomposition, deconstruction or construction. Nothing is finished or new. As a westerner it is hard to imagine how this mass of cogs, chains, springs and rust continues to function day after day in this state of perpetual desperation.
Somehow the Indians not only survive with it, but they seem unstressed by it. It is as much a part of their normal life as a traffic jam is in LA. The difference, from what I observed, is that there was no road rage, no one was yelling at anyone, and people just seemed to calmly be going about what ever task they were doing.
While in the
Gandhi’s non-violent revolution to gain independence from the British Raj advocated non-violence in all aspects of life from political to social to economic. Over time the call to non-violence has become a decree of non-action. They are hard working, but have no ambition to achieve more. This lack of ambition is not the outgrowth of poverty and hopelessness as occurs in American ghetto’s, but simply an appreciation for what they have and a desire to live this life as best they can, as they believe is prescribed by dharma in the Hindu religion.
If a man in a village has an ox, a grain field and a wife he is happy and desires nothing more. An ambitious man might want to get a phone so that he can get the grain prices from the next town rather than have to travel there to obtain the same information.
In spite of the appearance that
That means that below the open outdoor sewage, beggar
hobbles, decaying buildings and streets, ancient Muslim and Hindu ruins, there
are more T1, T2 lines, satellite hook-ups and hardware than in
Visited several of the oldest and most impressive of the Hindu/Muslim historic sites today. Hamayan’s Tomb, built by the designer of the Taj Mahal as his starter project, and Outab Minar.
Outab Minar was most interesting, because it visually showed
the relationship between Hindu and Muslim religions and politics. There were
originally 20 Brahman Hindu temples in this area. Hindu’s created elaborate designs containing stone carving depicting human life and the
likenesses of their gods. In the 13th
century the Muslims invaded
In this area of
Tomorrow morning we start our 3 day drive to the mountains and trekking. Can’t wait to get going.