2012 Summer India Rica Perez Temple Summer

Lost in the Desert, In the Desert Tonight!

Getting lost in the desert doesn’t sound like fun does it? Well, it’s not what I would call fun, but an adventure none the least.

At around nine o’clock last night they threw us into a cattle truck and set us on our way.  It smelled like hay and cow but at least it had a tarp on it.  We didn’t have to sit and remain still or anything so I got up and watched the night pass us by.  The breeze was amazing and the people waved or stared as we drove by. We left the town limits and then it was almost complete darkness except for the random street -light that made no sense.  Under those lights I saw a family eating dinner with their camel and dogs snacking on some trash.  Our truck had flashing red and blue lights and sounded like a dance truck and I think we were all hyped enough that it seemed like we were on the back of a party bus. There was music being played on cell phones, people singing songs, and we also had a tin drum that one of the staff was playing on and off throughout the night.

We entered the desert around 11 o’clock and the smell of salt and sand was overwhelming; it was really weird because I couldn’t see the land but it smelled just like the beach.  The truck rode on and on and then stopped. The staff jumped out and also our translator, Ojesviba, but nobody told us to get out and we sat there waiting.

.  Finally, I had to use the restroom so I jumped out with another girl, Shera, and we investigated the area.  The moon was out and shining bright but other than that it was dark and flat.  We started to walk away from the trucks to find a place and realized that the land was also a little wet in some spots, which seemed really odd being that we were in the desert.  All of a sudden I heard our leader of the trip, Bhaila, he is an older man and cousin to Bapa and gets very worried when we stray from the pack.  He told us to stay away from the darker land since it was soft and sent Ojesviba to help us find a place.  The dark land was wet because of the way the people there procure salt.  The land is so salty that the ground is not smooth, but rather it is cracked and the openings go very deep.  We had stopped on land that was mostly hard and soft salt and then we found out that we were lost.

Lost? Really, we are lost in the middle of nowhere? We were supposed to end up near a temple and a hill that had agate in it. Bapa had said that we could take a handful of agate and bring it home and make jewelry, so I thought I would grab some for my jewelry making friends and call it a day.  Nope. We were nowhere near that area and one of the trucks went out to see if they could find it; a half an hour later and no luck.  They decided we would just sleep where we were and we did.  The staff started to take the cots out of the truck and hand them over to us. They advised that we take it to an area not too far away and sleep.  I failed to mention how windy it was. Well, it was very windy and we had to keep our faces covered so we didn’t inhale too much salt. I also put my glasses on so I could see and not have salt flying into my eyes.

I lay back, looked up, and I didn’t care about the wind, being lost, and breathing in salt air, the sky was gorgeous.  There were stars everywhere and it felt like being in a planetarium in fifth grade. The moon was behind me and the stars were in front of me and I’m not sure if it’s true, but the wind stopped.  That’s how I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later and the moon had gone down and there were even more stars in the sky and it felt like the sky was wrapping me up in one of the many galaxies.

I awoke at 5:20 a.m. and was told to bring a bottle of water and walk into the sun. I started walking and got some pretty pictures and watched the sunrise over the desert.  The sunrise was peaceful and quiet and I stood there and watched it all by myself.  We had all separated to meditate and enjoy the quietude.

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