dreamwranglers

Traveling, Parenting, Growing, Learning, Sharing

Fare thee Well Beloved Himalayas

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As our time in Incredible India has came to an end, I feel a blog entry is far overdue. We have been living, learning and loving in Bhagsu, India for the past 5 months. A majority of my time has been dedicated to my yoga teacher training program. What started out as me just planning on doing my 200 hour registered yoga teacher training program, evolved into me sticking around and completing the 500 hour advanced training program, with the encouragement and support of Dan. I am so grateful he pushed me to make the decision to continue on in my training, as the level of my yogic understanding, overall health, and confidence has dramatically improved. Plus I feel so much more connected and present than ever before in my life, which is such a precious gift to have received. I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had, friends I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned at Kailash Tribal Yoga School.

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My yoga teacher Yogi Sividas. So grateful for all I learned from this incredible teacher. Learn more about his courses and teachings at http://www.yogatribe.org/ Highly, highly recommend!

Dan has focused his time here in the Himalayas completing an Ayurvedic Practitioner program focused on disease management, prevention, massage, nutrition, Panchakarma treatment and so much more. I’ll get him to write a post specifically on his studies some time soon though, because it expands so much deeper than I can adequately explain. He also has an incredible story to share about his own personal Panchakarma treatment. He has experienced profound weight loss and overall health improvement results from this program and I am so very proud of him!

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As far as the kiddos go, I believe they have grown and learned an incredible amount in their time here. Ryah made her first friend (Aini) who I’m sure our Facebook followers have seen many pics of of the two of them being that they were basically joined at the hip ūüėČ she also had the opportunity to attend a lovely Montessori school where she developed some basic writing skills, learned songs, and most importantly began to experience being independent from mom and dad (tear). Also being that we have been living in the mountainous Himalayas our tiny little 3.5 year old has became an incredible little hiker. It blows my mind her physical stamina and exuberance for climbing this big hills. I honestly think her current endurance would far exceed most adults I know (including my own at times!). Such a strong little thing!

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Neko has had a few milestones of his own. He sprouted his first few teeth, had his first birthday party, learned to wave hi and bye, say his first few words, and stand on his own. He his such a happy little guy and we are loving seeing his joyous and gentle personalty unfold. Oh and he also got his first head shaving!

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From India we are now headed for a two holiday to one of our bucket list locations, Sri Lanka! We are all so excited about this adventure and are looking forward to having some down time to connect as a family. Top things on our Sri Lanka to do list include…

1. Attend an elephant gathering

2.Do some whale watching (hoping to spot a blue whale! Anothr bucket list for myself)

3. Take a train ride in Kandy through the tea plantations

4. Release baby sea turtles

5. and of course play in the Indian Ocean

After our two weeks in Sri Lanka we will be heading to Camiguin Island , Philippines for who knows how long? Were gong to see how island life treats us and go from there. I am however hoping the Philippines has better internet service than Indian so we can get back to regularly  posting on our blog and providing yall with more regular reads and updates on our adventures.

Until Next time, all our love

Namaste,

Kari (Yogini Adya) This is my yogini name given to me from my yoga teacher/guru Mr, Yogi Sividas. It mean the first; mother earth and I kind of love it.

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Our little Indian apartment in the Himalayas.

 

 

 

 


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Bhagsu Falls

 

Being that Ryah was in school the other day, and I happened to have the day off of yoga (or mommy school as Ryah calls it) Dan, Neko and I decided to hike to the top of Bhagsu falls. We figured only having one kid to carry up would be a much easier way to do it for our first time. So I tossed Neko on my back in the Tula and away we went.

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Of course on our way there we had to stop and get a bit of yummy Indian street food. For the bargain price of about 1$ we got 1/2 dozen of these little potato type cakes. The street food here is SO SO good. Seriously, Im planning on writing an entire blog dedicated to the foods of the local region here, Yum! But anyways, we began hike up to the waterfall. On the way up you could see hundreds of local goats grazing and playing, and the goat herders sitting back relaxing on the step. We let the one goat herder hold Neko, he was a sweet smiley chap. While we were taking his picture we caused a minor traffic jam because every other tourist within 100 feet also had to come and do photo ops with baby Neko. His chubby cheeks, bald head and pale skin have made him a minor celebrity around these parts. Luckily his ego hast gotten too big yet ūüėČ

Neko with the local sheep hearder.

Neko with the local sheep hearder.

 

All of the prayer flags hanging up around the falls and the  beautiful crystal clear pool at the bottom of the falls make it pretty magical .Two people total jumped in while we were up there, and we decided even though its freezing cold, next trip we HAVE to go in. You only live once, right? Also we decided mighty Ryah is strong enough to get her little butt up there as well.

 

Neko and I at the falls

Neko and I at the falls

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Besides our mini hike up the mountain life has been moving along nicely and we are settling into our place. We just got new neighbors who are foreigners also traveling with two little kids similar in age to ours which is fantastic. Finding our rhythm and enjoying our space. Until Next time…

Ryah and our new neighbor Ainie. So cute!

Ryah and our new neighbor Ainie. So cute!

All our love


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Unexpected events

Story time. ¬†0900 on May 6th 2014 New Delhi, India. ¬†We are all packed up and loaded in a Taxi and on our way to the airport to catch a 1200 flight to Dharmashala. All of a sudden baby Neko starts acting kind of funny, turns around and vomits all over Kari as she is holding him in the car. Not the most convenient¬†timing when all of your extra clothes are packed up and you’re getting ready to board a plane in 100 plus heat. Oh well, we wipe up as best we can with baby wipes and give the driver an extra nice tip to deal with the mess. Except for being covered in vomit, reasonably ¬†smooth sailing thus far, airport security was a breeze and the flow of people was amazing for an airport.

It made me laugh at the debacle it is flying in the States and how ridiculous our Security protocol and procedures are. ¬†Are all these infringes on personal space and property really providing us more security? ¬†I can’t really think of any headlines where TSA had saved the day once again. ¬†I can only really remember a recent story about a NFL player causing a scene. ¬†Poor Aldon Smith, I find it highly unlikely that (although collectively, they are not that intelligent) an NFL player is a legit bomb threat. ¬†He probably said the word “bomb” while the TSA agent was violating his personal space.¬†¬†Ole TSA, they do try hard…but what a joke. ¬†Getting off topic. ¬†The point here is that with close to 2 billion people in India they have designed at least their airports to handle mass amounts of people traffic at blazing speeds. ¬†We where through the ticketing counter and security in less than 5 minutes.

With some time to spare at the airport, we found a nice kids play area. ¬†Every airport should have these, they are life savers. ¬†Allowing the kids to run and crawl around before an airplane ride is a true blessing. ¬†Kari had developed a little Delhi diarrhea and had to run off to the bathroom real quick. ¬†I saw next to the kids play area was a massage parlor. ¬†I looked in and got Kari a 45 minutes head and neck massage for around$13. ¬†Things where looking great. ¬†We had about a 90 minute wait to board our plane, then about a 90 minute flight, ¬†and then a 30 minute drive to where would be calling home. ¬†All in all, in about 4 hrs we should be sitting in our new home. ¬†I was feeling great, kids where happy, Kari was happy, I was happy; and the only thing that could have made this better is if a guy popped around the corner, wearing ¬†hat with the words INDIA written on it, having a tray strapped to his waist that had full glasses of beer, yelling “Beer Here”

We went to board the plane 30 minutes prior to departure at 11:30.  The gate agent said that there was a delay, because of the heavy raining in Dharmashala and we would get an update at 12:30 and hopefully depart at 13:00.  1300 we get the news that the plane has been cancelled.  Ouch.  When trying to pinch pennies traveling between places is always the largest expense, which ever mode of travel you choose.  This was looking to cost us some money, luckily we had a few days to spare before classes began.  After 2 hours this is what we had figured out.

1.There was no other flight option today or for the next 3 days.  We did not want to stay in Delhi.

2.  A train left at 2100 and would take 24 hrs to travel to a neighboring town where would then have an additional 3 hr ride.

3.  private taxi would take anywhere from 4-12 hrs from the 3 different sources.  An 8 hr difference, HUH.

One of the few english speaking employees of Spice Jet (a domestic Indian airline) who had helped along the way came up and said he had a friend that would help us and for a good price, better than that of the airport taxis.  So we decided why not and this is where the story gets interesting.

We headed outside to wait for our taxi with one of the bag handlers of Spice Jet. ¬†What we know at the moment is that we have hired a car to Dharmashala and it would take between 4-12 hrs. ¬†Up rolls are ride and it was a pleasant surprise. ¬†A decent Indian SUV, designed almost like the old vans that I grew up with in the 80’s. ¬†It had 2 full seats behind the driver seat and then a bench seat behind those. ¬†From the car, out pop tweedle dum and tweedle dee. ¬†These two, I have thought long and hard about. ¬†I did not want to immortalize them by telling this story. ¬†But, it had to be done. ¬†The first fellar, slim n trim introduces himself as “tour guide”. ¬†I think because he never stopped talking. The other fellar was hearty and meaty, spoke few words, and introduced himself as “driver”. ¬† They help us load are bags into the car and as we turn the car about to enter the vehicle, I see “tour guide” rub his hand along the back right quarter panel of the vehicle to help adhere a decal that had just come partially peeled away from the vehicle. ¬†Upon further investigation, I notice that this decal says “tourist vehicle” and this decal is in mint condition compared to the rest of the vehicle. ¬†I’m not sure about you, but the picture forming in my mind is that tweedle dum and tweedle dee borrowed their cousins vehicle, stopped by their uncle’s house and got a tourist decal, and figured they would take a trip to Dharmashala and make a few Rubies.

They looked harmless enough and they were our¬†best option. ¬†So off we went. ¬†Uhhh…language was a barrier and as we exited the airport and joined the dirt roads, with patches of concrete that the locals referred to as what we know as highways. ¬†For the first hour we shaked and baked our way through New Delhi traffic while Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who were both on their phones the whole time and would¬†take a break every now and then, look right at each other, say nothing, and have that look on their face “oh shit, do we really know what we are doing?” ¬†I know that look, it’s on my own personal top 3 list. ¬† Through all their phone conversations the only frequent word I heard was Dharmashala. ¬†I figured these bone heads ¬†had probably never been more than 100 miles outside the city before and where calling to get directions and once we found the way they would know what to do. ¬†Boy, was I wrong.

After we had cleared the city traffic we had been in route for 90 minutes and it was now 2:30 in the afternoon and we were  supposed to have landed at 1:30 and been settled into our home for the next few months.  But, instead Tweedle Dum And Tweedle Dee have us stopped saying that it is a good spot for food.  They point us towards the food.  I look around to see them talking with a couple of taxi drivers and all of them are pointing and chatting.  Looks like giving and receiving directions from my viewpoint.  We ponder our near future as all four of us enter a rest stop to use the toilets and gather some food.  Shortly thereafter we are on our way again.  Hopefully, in the right direction.

We are laughing hysterically. What we know at this point in time is, ¬†our driver and “tourist guide” are freakin amateurs (to put it nicely) and have no idea of how to get where we are going. ¬†It could take anywhere from¬†4-12 hrs to get to where we are going if we know directions. ¬†You gotta role with the punches. ¬†Both kids are sleeping at this time. ¬†But, Kari looks rough and is still dealing with a case of Delhi Belly. ¬†She looks pasty and as she fades in and out of consciousness, I swear she sharted. ¬†She denies this, but was very lucid at this point in time.

Back to the lame ass version of Jay and Silent Bob. ¬†Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum have persisted¬†to slow down at every exit and crossroad and ask some person along side of the road if we were headed in the right direction. ¬† This carried on until about 9pm. ¬†We had been on the road 7 hrs and where pretty tired and not entirely sure that we were headed towards the Himalayas or the Indian Sea. ¬†We had stopped at a hotel/restaurant. ¬†I was able to get the number of the Ayurvedic doctor I was studying with in Dharmashala and get him on the phone to make sure that we were headed in the right direction at least. ¬†I got Dr. on the phone with Tweedle Dum. ¬†A few minutes later, I am back on the phone with the Dr. and he tells me that the two do know where we are going, but thought that we where going to a different Dharmashala. ¬† That is why they thought it could be as little as 4-7 hrs. ¬†In reality we have already traveled seven hrs and had about 7 more to go. ¬† I go over and talk it over with Kari. ¬†We conclude that it would nice to stop for the night and travel the rest of the way in the morning. ¬†As I turn around to go over and chat with our drivers. ¬†I see them standing on the side of a wall. ¬†Both of them urinating, with a lot of giggle and jolly. ¬†From here, it looks like these two men are playing swords. ¬†I am still astonished. ¬†I haven’t seen a game of swords since I was 8 years old. ¬†I still don’t know if I should give them props or add it to the list of things they will have to work on in their next life.

After the swords match, the drivers decided that stopping did not fit their agenda , and we jumped in the car and where off.  The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, except for the continued frequent stopping at every junction to assure that we where going the right way.  It got more annoying as the night progressed and people where hard to find.  We would sometimes sit at a junction for 5-10 minutes.  Which seemed like eternity at the time.  All in all we arrived in the town we had originally plan to get to, 13 hrs after our plane was scheduled to land.

At this point we hopped around the town looking for a hotel open, being it was creeping in on 3am. Found one that looked decent but was ridiculously high-priced. The only other open hotel had a very reasonable rate, so we take it! unfortunately after we unload the kids and bags and head into our crash pad for the night we realize it smells extremely similar to the camel we were riding on the previous day. Oh well, it’s a bed, and we were 4 tired creatures, tired enough to sleep through the stench. We woke up bright in early, hoped in the first taxi we saw, which was completely decked out in Bob Marley and marijuana stickers driven by an Indian with dreadlocks. After getting in, Cheech turns and heads the wrong direction, “umm what ya doing buddy?” He lets us know he needs to use our payment to put enough gas in his ride to get us to where we are going. Of course he does. Why would a taxi drier have gas in their car to get 5 minutes up a hill, right?

It wasn’t easy or planned. ¬†The kids slept through a lot of it, which helped. ¬†We stayed positive and tried to enjoy the ride. ¬†Thought it would be good to throw a story in there that isn’t all roses and bubbles. ¬†Stories like these tend to get funnier with time. ¬†Hope you enjoyed it, if not offer some pointers.

Namasta,

Dreamwranglo


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Our First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for Dan, Ryah and myself. So a very exciting day indeed! Dan is currently at his Ayurveda practitioner program so updates on how that goes to come. I began my 200 registered Yoga teacher training at Kailash Tribal school studying under Yogi  Sividas (www.yogatribe.org). This morning was my first class and it seems to be a perfect fit for me. Small class size, a mixture of asana practice, yoga theory, and some opportunities to teach in the classroom as well. The studio is about a 20 minute walk from our apartment. Currently I am doing 2 hours of asana practice from 8-10am. In the next month I will start theory as well. The walk early in the morning is stunning. The sun comes up over the mountain about half way through my walk and it feels blissful.

My big girl Ryah also had her first day at Wood Whistlers International School. Its a Montessori type program for children from ages 3-10. The curriculum is taught in both English and Hindi. Luckily our neighbor Nisha is also a teacher at the school, so Ryah will have a familiar face there to help her out if needed. Her son Ayyan, who is Ryah’s buddy also attends.

First day of school

First day of school

I had already left for yoga practice so I wasn’t able to put her on the bus for school (probably a good thing because I think I would have had a hard time saying goodbye!) Dan said she did great and right before she hoped on the bus was spinning in circles yelling “Im so excited to go to school!” Sounds like my girl.

Waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus

Off to school! The lovely lady stting next to Ryah in red is Nisha our neighbor, who is also a teacher at the school.

Off to school! The lovely lady sitting next to Ryah in red is Nisha our neighbor, who is also a teacher at the school.

 

 

Now I’m sitting at our apartment with Neko, waiting impatiently for my baby girl to get home. Hoping she did well and enjoyed her first day as much as I enjoyed mine.

Since I wasnt able to post this Thursday due to lack of internet, I’m going to add on a bit here….

Ryah loved her first day of school! She told me she colored, played with the big kids on the slide and wants to go back. Her teacher also told me she is started to try and speak in Hindi to the other children. It looks like Ryah may end up being our translator down the road because she seems to be picking¬†up the native language much easier than Dan or I ūüėČ

Ryahs school

Ryahs school

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In the clasroom

In the classroom

I am also really enjoying my yoga teacher training program. It feels amazing to have the time and space to be doing a couple hours of yoga everyday. I already feel myself getting stronger. Dan also seems to be enjoying his Ayurveda study with Dr. Arun at Ayuskama Ayurvedic Institute (ayuskama.com).

Besides schooling we’ve been enjoying trying new foods, shopping at our local markets, playing with the neighbor kids and exploring the epic forest that lays right outside our front door. Feeling blessed to be here now.

Ryah, Ayyan and Neko flying around our livingroom. They like to use the small blue dividing wall as a launching pad.

Ryah, Ayyan and Neko flying around our livingroom. They like to use the small blue dividing wall as a launching pad.

Exploring the Himalayan forest.

Exploring the Himalayan forest.


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Our Temporary Home

We have made it, finally, to the little Himalayan mountain town we will be calling home for the next 4/5 months at minimum. The town i called Bagsu, but it is basically a suburb of the more commonly known Daramshala. Fortunately for us, the doctor Dan will be studying under was able to find and reserve a cute little apartment for us in advance that is very near our school. Its simple but charming. Were on the top floor of a meditation center. We have one bedroom with an attached bath and a living space/kitchen with another bathroom. Also there is a lovely private balcony across the front of the apartment will epic views of the Himalayas. We sit out there and watch monkeys, large herds of mountain goats, and can get a glimpse of a snow covered Himalayan peak.

 

Ryah making a mess in the kitchen

Ryah making a mess in the kitchen

view from balcony

view from balcony

The family we are renting from lives right next door and have a little boy named Ion that is Ryahs age. Although the two don’t speak the same language, they have had no trouble being instant best friends. Its amazing how well the can communicate and are teaching each other their native languages in the process. There is a nice courtyard area in between our apartments along with a garden that the two run around in freely. In typical Indian style, the family we are renting from also has many relatives living in there apartment/home (its huge, 3 stories) including grandmother, sisters, so there is always someone watching or playing with the kiddos. Such a nice feeling to have so much help.

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Ion attends the local international school where his mother is also a teacher. Today our family is going to see the school to see if it might be a good fit for Ryah.  The curriculum is taught in both English and Hindi and there are many other westerner children attending so it seems it might just work our well for Ryah. Plus she is very excited about the prospect. Updates on that to come!

Other than that we are just getting settled in, and discovering our new local community.

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Taj Mahal

After some deliberation, we decided to take the 3.5 hour drive to visit the glorious Taj Mahal. It was totally worth it. We arrived there around 11:00am, I threw Neko in his sling, we meet our guide and were on our way.

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The history of the Taj Mahal is quite interesting. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz. If my memory is serving me correct Mumtaz passed during the birth of her 14th child to the emperor. Super mom, hey? The Taj is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage” and after first glimpse, you truly understand why. Its really a heavenly looking building and no detail was spared.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal

"No Painting".  This is precious stone inlay

“No Painting”. This is precious stone inlay

After walking in and around  we took shelter in a bit of shade next to this colossal building and had a seat on a big old slab of marble.  Ryah and Neko instantly became the main attraction. People were lined up around us to get pics/hold/touch hands and stare at the kiddos. I think for many it was there first time seeing a chubby bald, Buddha- esque baby, and a wild light haired blue eyed 3 year old.

 

I like marble

I like marble

 

Ryah totally hammed it up and was posing for all the pics and admiring the beautiful Bindhi and Henna art work, along with the magnificent jewels and garments the local women were wearing. Everyone was very sweet and kind and even offered to let us take pics of there babies (which of course we did, simply the cutest kiddos!). After enough of that we began the walk back to our ride.

Coexisting

Coexisting

"may we have a photo"  everyone wants a picture of the kids, so we thought it wasn't a bad idea either

“may we have a photo” everyone wants a picture of the kids, so we thought it wasn’t a bad idea either

About 10 steps into the walk out of there Ryah let us know “I cant walk.” This is the cue she is getting tired, super dad Dan tossed her up on his back and away we went. We came across 3 little boys of maybe the ages 8-10 who hustled us into hoping up on there carted camel named Razu for a pic and than a ride. We just couldn’t refuse.

Some people brag that their girls know how to ride a cowboy, mine know how to ride a freakin camel.  :)

Some people brag that their girls know how to ride a cowboy, mine know how to ride a freakin camel. ūüôā

After leaving we grabbed some food and air conditioning in a nearby restaurant. Tip of the day, if your¬† waiter in India asks if you would like you food spicy and reply “just a little” prepare to have your taste buds scorched. Dan was a champ and sweated his way through the meal, “building his tolerance” he tells me, lol.

Next we went and watched local artists create beautiful jeweled marble pieces of work. Some table tops, figure, cups, etc. Even the smallest of these pieces take months to make.   All the color that you see is precious stone inlay, no paint.  Just amazing.

little artist hard at work

little artist hard at work

shaping the gemstones

shaping the gemstones

all the color you see is precious stone inlay, except for the white which is the marble.  INCREDIBLE

all the color you see is precious stone inlay, except for the white which is the marble. INCREDIBLE

Afterwards we were on our journey home. The kiddos and I promptly feel asleep and pretty much slept the entire drive, which is probably why I am yet again up at 4:30am typing this blog. The time change has been a bit tough, but were adjusting more each day.

Our flight for Daramshala leaves today at noon. We are all so ready to get out of the big city and into the mountains and settle into our new temporary home. Until next time, thanks for reading and commenting with your supportive and encouraging words, we really appreciate the feedback and its so great to hear from you all even when were oceans away!

Namaste

Kari

Family Photo

Family Photo

 

Who says adventuring isn't hard work

Who says adventuring isn’t hard work

The architects notion of symmetry is untouchable.

The architects notion of symmetry is untouchable.


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Day Trippin in Delhi

We have arrived! After 24 hours, 3 plane rides, 2 hyper kids, and¬† 2 exhausted parents later, we’ve landed in Delhi! We spent a day sleeping and recuperating and the following day, hit the town. We decided the best way to get the most out of our short stay in Delhi was to hire a driver and private car (the former non parent traveler in me is saying “you wimp, use public transport, hop on a rickshaw!”) but the mommy in me is saying, “totally not worth the hassle”. A little additional comfort goes a long way when exploring with littles. So for the bargain price of 20 usd we hired a private car and driver and were on our way.

First stop was the Lotus Temple. This temple is of Bahá’í Faith, the oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind.  Very peaceful, very special. We were able to arrive at this site around 9 am which allowed us to beat the intense heat that is Delhi in the summer months. We strolled through the gardens, had a moment of silence and gratitude inside the beautiful temple, and than were on or way to the next.   Beautiful gardens surrounding a magnificent temple shaped as the universal design of a lotus.  For my info http://www.bahaihouseofworship.in/

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Following we went to the Dali Haat Market. Literally wanted to buy everything I walked by. Just amazing crafts, luxurious textiles, hand sewn tapestries, etc. We bought the kiddos a hand-carved wooden camel and elephant Ryah promptly named Spits and Ellie, to play with/chew on. Then somehow got haggeld into dressing Dan up in some Shek style clothing ( Im literally laughing to tears again just thinking about this!).

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Next we made our way to the “magic carpets”. Now these are not just any ole rugs, they are handwoven/hand knotted works of art. We watched the process of how one of these beauties are made, and mulled over the purchase of a silk rug for a ridiculous amount of time while Ryah pretend flew around and Neko drooled and crawled all over these precious works of art. Luckily everyone in this part of the world seems to adore small children so they were quite forgiving of our rugrats. In the end we walked out the doors with funny pictures, great memories, and yes, a new rug.

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