This is a repost of a newsletter that we sent on Feb. 22...
Traveling to a remote place around the other side of the world requires flexibility, stamina and the ability to be in the moment.
Taking off a few days early to connect with our friend and guide Nino, John Brown arrived in Dibrugargh on the 18th as planned. His plane ride, however, was via a route different then planned through Frankfurt, Germany. One of the contracted courier planes (in the US) closed the doors without including all of their passenger and flew off... welcome to the lessons in Zen. Going to a place that does not have the same costraints of schedule and time that we are used to, it is ironic that before the planes doors closed the journey had begun in the same energetic space. Maybe this was the universe telling John that he better get ready for the unknown, the unexpected, and the beautiful thing that happens when we enjoy the adventure along the journey.
Rerouting bags turns out to be more difficult then rerouting people, and the lonely objects were left sitting in Newark - unclaimed and lost - for 4 days. Guests began arriving in Dibrugargh, in the tea state of Assam, on the 20th to join John at the Hotel Rajawas. His bags had not yet arrived though. (Maybe they had some lessons to learn as well). After agents searched four airports in three countries, they were located and sent to join their owner and the trip and, thankfully arrived earlier today. Bags, owner and other guests took a Jeep after the reunion to take the ferry ride across the Brahmaputra River. The Brahmaputra is at low water and the ride was almost three hours instead of the one hour that I experienced at high water flows, and Nino and I were left worrying when they had not yet arrived with their driver at 9 pm. India tends to continue to flow in the direction that it wants to take you though, and they called around 9:10, safe and almost to Pasighat, soon after to arrive.
Currently they are sleeping, in India it is about 1 am tomorrow right now, maybe that is another way of telling people to get off of their old clock and ways of thinking. Nothing like immediate time travel to mess with your established schedules.
So glad that everyone is connected and safe, enjoying Nino's beautiful family and warm, welcoming home!
Once they leave Pasighat there won't be any more updates until they return, in about 12 days. Their journey will be epic, I'll unapologetically use an old and fitting cliche. Their lives may be changed. While we continue our scheduled lives, stopping at red lights and drinking coffee (as I am now) in shops that sell the product of the beans without too much thought for the far away people and places that bring us these things, they will be connecting to the remotest and most authentic representation of life as we who love nature and sustainability dream of. Waterfalls as water sources, Jungle cultivated vegetable gardens, dinner with family around the actual hearth every night with babies and teens and elders, quiet evenings with only jungle sounds.
"Sorry this was my first and last chance to email. Yesterday was hectic, but everything is going great. We leave Pasighat this morning. Everyone is having a good time, the women are very travel savvy. Nino is very good with the people now that we are with him... It has been raining the past three days but will hopefully clear up tomorrow. I got my bags just in the nick of time without a moment to spare to catch the last ferry! First good night of sleep since I got here. I will write again on the 4th or 5th. As long as there is WiFi of course..." Last email from John, now my job is to let go and let them enjoy the adventure while I do Physical Therapy and ready myself for my next adventure with them.
Thankful for being in a place where I can have a surgery that is healing still to fix my knee so that I can again enjoy these adventures, I am still envious. Mostly though, I hope they have an amazing time and come back ready to remind those of us that they left behind to enjoy family, and share food, and take time to listen to the sounds in the forest.
We are a group of boaters passionate about rivers, passionate about the environment, and passionate about educating others and sharing the things that we love. www.bendkayakschool.com