holi and rafting

On February 27, we went to an ashram to see the guru of Smita, an Indian girl who does the course with us. It was crazy: at first there was a satsang, where they play music and sing. All the Indians started to dance like crazy, like they were in some kind of trance. The music was also very Indian and mantra-like, so after a while we came into the vibe too and started dancing as well. Then the guru came on stage and everybody could ask him questions. The room was filled with hundreds of people. Smita translated for us, because the guru spoke hindi. At one point Smita got up and told the guru about our teacher training course and asked for a blessing. The guru blessed us… It’s so strange to see the admiration for a person, I will never get it why people follow a guru. I’m not that spiritual to believe in such things. But it was a nice experience. And fortunately it didn’t lasted that long 😛

The next day, we left after breakfast for a rafting trip and we would camp alongside the Ganges river. It was a great experience! Too beautiful and too marvelous to put in words, but I’ll try.
First, we went by car to a small town where 2 rivers come together and form the Ganges (I can’t remember the name of those rivers). It was 2 hours by car in the mountains, so, we had a magnificent view of the landscape, the whole time. After that we had our first holi experience. Holi is a very important festival in India. It symbolizes the change of seasons and is celebrated by throwing coloured powder at each other. Our coordinators had some coloured powder with them and threw the powder at us. In the end, we had some bags of powder ourselves and threw it at each other. It was great fun! After that, we went on a raft (there were 2 rafts, with each 10 people in it) and we got some instructions on how to paddle. The whole time on the river we didn’t see any houses or other signs of civilization: we were in between the mountains and saw eagles, deers, monkeys,… It was very beautiful! We camped alongside the river, on a little beach and everything was arranged for us: the tents were ready, we got a sleeping bag and they cooked very good food. It was a 3 course dinner, with soup, main course which was a small buffet and dessert. We were surprised they could cook that with so little material. At night, we made a bonfire and sat around it, playing games and singing cheesy songs. It was full moon and it was a magic evening.
The next day, we did yoga on the beach, had again a great breakfast buffet and did the holi again: in the end we were full of colour, there wasn’t a single spot on our body that wasn’t coloured… It was great fun! After that we had a lunch buffet (Indians can do real magic, the food was delicious and abundant) and we went rafting again. It took another 2 hours on the river. We had a magnificent view again and in the end we saw a small town, the only sign of some civilization during the whole trip. Our trip ended at that village. We were exhausted, sunburned (it was around 35 degrees), but really happy.

This week is our last week of the teacher training course. And I’m looking forward to leave India, because I miss China and my kung fu practice. I already gave 2 kung fu classes to the other students and they like it a lot. But it’s also going to be sad to see everyone leave. We had such great time together. It was a great group, everyone got along really well. I had some deep and personal conversations with some people, we helped each other on all kinds of levels (emotional, practical, mental,…). Those people were my best friends the last 6 weeks. I’ll miss them for sure. Tonight we will have a girl night: put masks on our face, put some make-up and dress up. And tomorrow we will go to the beach and have our final night together.

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