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Dave in India at iRYLA

Day 7 – iRYLA, 3rd Day
By David GoWell
Posted on 12/29/2014 4:27 PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Ok, enough is enough, already! Can we talk about the dogs now?
If Egypt is the Land of the Cat (the Cairo and Luxor Airports were FULL of cats when I was there 20 years ago) then I have to say that India has gone to the dogs!
I didn't see any actually *inside* the Delhi Airport, but as soon as I went outside I noticed them immediately. And I've seen them nearly everywhere I've looked, on every day I've been here, in every sort of place, like on rooftops, in medians, in gutters, on top of weird things that you couldn't imagine would be easy to get up on, and is a few places that I would swear they MUST have been air-lifted in by helicopter! They are most often in groups of 2 or 3, but sometimes alone. They are almost always *nearly* sleeping, but I have the distinct impression that should I happen to fall unconscious within reach of their mouths, that they would suddenly spring into action and turn out to be the only non-vegetarians around me.
I have only seen one Indians acknowledge that they even exist and that was a fellow that appeared to be a holy man of some sort, who was diligently petting and scratching the head of the perfectly contented dog that was sitting next to him.
Here's the thing:  These dogs are all so very nearly identical, that you could easily convince me that they are all biological clones, or else, the same three dogs have been following me all across India
When I came out of Breakfast this morning (with a wicked case of 'Lime Pickle Breath', I'm sure!) There were three of them within 15 feet of each other, and one of them was rolled over on his back, sunning his delicate under belly. He looked so cute I *almost* was tempted to rub his belly (but don't worry, I didn't!)
Here are two of them:


I got to try a few of my favorite RYLA activities on my iRYLA students today. I did the Physiology Exercise with two of the groups, and the first one got SOOO LOUD that we got sternly yelled at - TWICE - by people that work at this college!

And I did the Heart-2-Heart exercise with my group and it was amazing to see them reacting just the same way the American young folks do.
And I did an hour of Trust Exercises for the entire iRYLA group this afternoon and everyone loved it! Several guys did the Blind Trust Run backwards, and one girl that was *really* blind, did the Blind Trust Walk and the Blind Trust Run. But she also couldn't HEAR!





Our Joint Session featured 3 young people who work for the Gandhi Ashram. Mahatma Gandhi was not born in Gandhinagar, but he chose this place for his Ashram where he lived and worked for many years. The site is a historical landmark, naturally, but it also seems to be the home to a variety of on-going peace and social activities. We heard from a young woman (originally from USA but she came for a visit and never left) who started teaching a group of children in a slum and ended up helping them build their own school and being their full-time teacher. We heard from a young man who decided to take 16 indian children to America to record a record album with him and to travel around performing. Everything they said was infused with such a sense of deep and abiding LOVE that the audience was on their feet and applauding like crazy, many, many times during the 2 hours they were on stage.

After lunch we took our Track (The Environmental Track) on 2 field Trips. Urmil took half our group to a high-tech sewage treatment plant, and I took the other half to GIFT City a very high-tech totally planned city of the future. I sort of felt bad for the group that had to go to the sewers while we went to the home of George Jetson, until I found out they got Samosas, and all we got was potato Chips!!!  <joke!>
Really, GIFT City is amazing and if it had residences now (they are coming in a few years) I would move there in a heartbeat, if my family would agree to move.  And not just for the endless supply of Lime Pickle, either! There are probably other reasons...


                  Continue to Day 8