An Ashram and a Tattoo
If you know me at all, you know you can't get anywhere near me with a needle! It's a henna tattoo 😉. One of the shopkeepers was drawing with henna on her hand and I asked if she would do mine. She doesn't really do it as part of her business but we've gotten friendly, so she agreed. I sat with her for over an hour and learned about her life. She and her brother work their stall 6 am-10 pm every day. She only takes a break to cook their meals. She eats dal and rice and drinks water and black tea. That's it. She doesn't leave the stall during the season so knows nothing of Kerala. She will take the 2 day train ride home in April. I encouraged her to keep practicing henna and to put a sign out. I offered to write it for her because she only went to school until she was 10. She decided to wait until the fall. I shared pictures of my family and music from my phone. It was a really nice way to spend some down time.
Today we visited an ashram. Glad I did it but don't need to do it again. Sadly I didn't think a thing about how we would get around inside the ashram...barefoot. My foot has been healing but very slowly. Today was not good in that regard. At one point I just started crying. It was hurting to walk and I felt so incompetent. This is a hard form of surrender for me.
There were 2 highlights too! 1. I sat and watched a group of students learning to dance. They were the sweetest girls. Full of zeal and showing off for the foreigners.
2. We ate our lunch meal in the dining hall. We stood in a HUGE line and waited over an hour to get in. I pulled out my beads and prayed, reminding myself that there is more than enough. I was finally able to settle down and notice all the beautifully dressed Indians around me. The meal was fascinating. About 500 people were seated at tables and benches. We all received a banana leaf-like placemat and a small tumbler of hot water. Then students moved up and down the rows spooning portions of food for each of us. There were no utensils and the food was soupy. You just mix it with rice and try to make little balls of food. Oh, and you only use your right hand. The left hand is meant for toilet purposes! I'm a lefty and I'm not adept at eating with my hands so it was a challenging but fun experience.
And now, I've chosen to spend time alone at a cafe. I teach my first ever yoga class tomorrow evening.
Wish me luck!