Saturday, February 26, 2011

Philippines or Bust!

So now that I’ve been home from India for a few weeks, I’ve given myself sufficient time to get over my lag. Now it’s time to leave again. I’ve got the travel bug, what can I say? Bill and Marissa (Bill’s girl friend for about a year), have been planning their Philippines trip since last summer. When I got back I stayed for a few days at their place and all they were talking about was their upcoming trip. I was envious that they would be leaving and I would be staying. And the whole time they were inviting me to come with them. I was on the fence when Bill finally made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. He paid for half my plane ticket, how nice is that? I’ve seriously been blessed in my life with super generous people. So booyah, Philippines here we come.

Monday, January 31, 2011

We fell in love....23 times over.

After spending Christmas day with the kids from the orphanage, all Drake and I wanted to do now was spend as much time with them as possible. They do have school and homework during the week so we weren't able to stay the whole time with them. But we were able to spend a few days with them and stay a couple nights at the orphanage.
These kids are so much fun, but before I go any further, I need to make some introductions...























It truly was an awesome experience spending time with these sweet, fun, happy, loving, serving, playful, athletic, competitive kids. I wish I could take them all home with me. We played several games including Enemy at the Gates (arguably their favorite), Red Rover, Hang Man's Challenge (one of the funniest things I've ever seen), Human Battleship, Stick Pull, Dead Weight (basically every kid with all their strength carrying dead weight Drake to his room), and the Name Game. I've played a lot of games with a lot of different types of people, but I'd have to say that these were some of the most fun times I've had.
So in our very short time that we were blessed with to spend with these kids mine and Drake's hearts melted for these kids. They have been blessed and are in a good place considering the losses they've suffered losing their families. But they each have 22 brothers and sisters that love them and will do anything for them. They also have their Uncle Drake and Uncle Bo that fell in love with them right from the beginning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Okay I got a little ahead of myself on the last post, I'm doing things out of order. This trip actually took place in 2010 before our New Year's celebration.
So Carol, Drake, and I wanted to go on a mini trip and see a bit more of India and decided to check out Rishikesh, which I'm sure you're all aware is in the state of Uttarkhand. But just in case you forgot, now you know.
We were debating about whether or not to take the bus but Raj our driver convinced us that he should drive us...cheaper, faster, more comfortable, and we get to enjoy the company of Raj, all good things. We were excited about this trip too because it would be taking us out of the city area of Delhi and through the counrty side.

Steve made all the arrangements for us to stay at this retreat type place. We had the choice of air-conditioned villas or tented huts, we went with the latter. It was pretty chilly too so the whole ac comodity would be very unnecessary.

This place was a little bit weird. Our host wasn't the most welcoming person you've ever met. And at the entire place we were the only one's staying there. I guess that means that the employees don't have anyone else to serve but us. Dinner each night was cooked over the fire. The second night it was a bit rainy so we ate inside and they skewered our bbq and cooked it right over the fire place, pretty cool. We stayed two nights and for each day we had a choice of one of 3 options: River Rafting on the Ganges River, a massage, or a hike/escursion. We went with the rafting and the massage and we cashed them both in on the same day.
We talked them in to letting Raj come raft with us too. Carol has never gone rafting before, so she was really excited about going. I'm just not excited about getting wet, its so darn cold, I hate cold. But who can pass up river rafting in the Ganges River in India? Drake and I will have rafted in Peru, in Colorado, and now in India. The rafting was just a two hour trip, but we hit some seriously awesome rapids. I didn't really expect to but they were really fun. The first rapid we hit got Drake and I soaked, so right from the beginning we were wet and cold. Also I'm not sure exactly but I'm pretty sure our guide's name was Asole (but pronouced more like....yeah you got it). So if we got mad at our guide for getting us soaked we could just yell and call him by his name and have done no wrong.
Half way down we started pulling over to the side and wondered if we were stopping for a bathroom break possibly. Nope, here's a hint: we're in India...yup, that's right we pulled over in the middle of a rafting trip down the river to stop for tea. Right there on the side of the river in the rocks was a guy with his little make shift stove boiling water to make masala tea for the rafters. Only in India.
All in all it was an awesome rafting trip. If anyone's looking to go rafting for cheap, this is the place to do it. We saw it advertised costing only $7. Which is pretty much a non-existant deal anywhere else.

When we got back we had lunch and then the massage people showed up, a woman and a man. I haven't had too many massages, the first one I had has been the best. Ones I've had since have been alright but not great. This one was probably the creepiest. Let's just say the guy was a little "handsy". Alright, moving on. All in all besides the actual river rafting the trip was a little bit too relaxing for us, more boring than anything. We need entertainment.
On the way back we pulled over to the side of the road when we saw a group of monkeys. We had some cookies in the car that we tossed out to them and by doing that we got the WHOLE family down. There were probably 50 monkeys around the car. I threw the whole package of cookies out the window and in, no joke, 10 seconds the cookies were no where to be seen.

Sugar cane is obviously big in this area because along the roads that all we saw. Loads and loads and loads of fresh sugar cane being hauled by tractors, trucks,buffalos, camels, horses, men...basically anything that could pull. We sampled the sugar cane, you would have thought that having lived in Hawaii I would have had it before but nope, this was my first time. And let me tell you's good, I mean real good.

We also got a flat tire on our way back but luck was there for us and we got it right by a tire repair place. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I wonder if that tire shop chuck nails and glass and other stuff in the road like a mile before their place just to give them more business, okay maybe not. But while we were waiting for the tire to get fixed we got a few more shots...

There were also these little fruit stands set up on the side of the road. I think we got 3 plates for like $0.60. You can't beat that.

Oh and just in case you thought your job was crappy, try picking up this one as a profession. Yup that's right, they collect cow and buffalo crap and mold them into convenient patties for fire building. You gotta look at your glass half full.