By: Kendall Cochran
For my blog post, I decided to take a photo an hour. I hoped these pictures would capture what we did that day, and hopefully they help explain what Lucas wrote a little more, as well. I felt like each picture really captured what I was doing during that specific hour and am excited to share.
8 AM – This was a before breakfast photo…I spent the early morning talking to friends, drinking chai, and embracing the warm sun that woke us up. I’ve been waking up earlier, here – and it’s great to have non-stressful mornings, when you don’t have to be anywhere too fast.
9 AM – As LOD’s, we discussed what to do for the day and decided to spend the first half having fun and relaxing in the river. This was the view from tent as we changed clothes.
10 AM – As I was taking this picture, I noticed how everyone was having fun with each other and enjoying the water. After being busy moving and going in Pancheshwar, we needed to take some time to really enjoy the Saryu River. It felt mindful to go in the river together, and was good practice to just relax.
11 AM – Here is Lucas, my co-leader, working on his drawings and getting things together for his part of the day. Both of us and our ideas worked together very nicely – Lucas wanted us to think about expectations, and mine was thinking about acceptance.
12 PM – Lunch!
1 PM – For the afternoon, we did two different journal entries. One, we thought about Pancheshwar as a whole community and our second one was about what we were just thinking at the time. I thought a lot during our journaling time about the Saryu River and how beautiful it is, and how people from the village come to relax. I also thought about the dam being built, and how once it’s built, this will all be underwater. No one will be able to enjoy it as we did in the morning.
2 PM – Pre-Rain. The winds started picking up, and the sand got in my eyes. As the wind kept moving and we zipped up our tents, I felt raindrops on my head. At the heat of the day, the rain helped it cool off.
3 PM – During the Rain. I like this photo a lot because it shows my friends being together, enjoying each other, and hanging out under the tent.
4 PM – After the rain. Suman explained that this was the first rain in ten months, as it’s about to be the monsoon happening. After the rain, the weather was cool. I thought about how it was crazy how it hadn’t rained in ten months, because back in America it rains a lot throughout all parts of the year.
5 PM – Laundry and river showers. After the rain we decided to wash our clothes and bodies in the river. This was a great way to show river appreciation and we had fun. I thought at first it was a little absurd to wash our clothes in the river, and I thought about how people might have washed their clothes at home before washing machines.
6 PM – We were walking to the temple to say thank you to the Sadhu for letting us come in to the temple to learn what it was for and how it was being used.
7 PM – At the end of the day we walked across a bridge from the temple back to camp. I love sunsets, and have always been drawn to them. So, this was the last time to see the view before we left, so it also could be the last time for us to see this before the dam puts it under water.
When I was talking to Mr. Cola about what my theme would be as leader of the day, we ended up talking about the COVID years at CCS, and how so much of that experience meant just accepting that we would have to live with COVID around us. This spurred my idea for acceptance – I wanted everyone to think about the idea of accepting what life throws at you, where you are, and the people who around you. When we were on top of the mountain yesterday, I noticed as we had been walking around how the man at the top of the mountain really loved his life and felt grateful for it. He was accepting where he lived, and it seemed to bring him joy and peace. Even though for me, walking up the mountain was not fun (you can thank Seaborn for that).
Thinking about accepting your situation, we asked people in the villages about the dam and what they thought about it. One family believed the dam would be built, but that the water wouldn’t make it to their house. Another believed it would never be built at all because it keeps being put off. So, thinking about the dam, the idea of acceptance gets complicated because, for the people who have been living here, they could lose everything.
Bonus Pic – Pinky! The best dog ever.