In February I was Writer in Residence in Wells in the Cariboo. I used this time to work on the book I am writing about my experiences with Samuha in India. Title yet to be determined! There was a contingent of skiers from Prince George in Wells at the time enjoying the Wells Gourmet Ski event. As part of my Residency, I gave a reading from excerpts from the first few chapters of my book. This was well attended and well-received so I was encouraged and am writing whenever I have a few hours to spare. I have now finished Part 1 and I expect the book to be in 3 parts when I’m finished.
I anticipate that it will take the rest of this year to finish the first draft of this book and then maybe another year to get it published. After expenses have been paid, I would like the proceeds from sales of this book be a fund-raiser for SODA to go towards the running of Samuha’s disability program.
I am attaching a photo of myself dressed in Tibetan garb at the Wells ski event. My ambition is to eventually write another book about my experiences in Tibet, Ladakh and Bhutan and then maybe another one on South Africa. I should have started writing long ago!
I will also attach a short teaser here from my book.
Excerpt from Book:
Every day brought surprises and new experiences. One day we passed two men on a motor bike carrying two live sheep between them. The sheep were held with their backs supported on the seat and their feet tied together, held by the pillion rider. Presumably they were heading for market. It was fairly common to see whole families traveling together on one bike. The most I have seen are two adults and three children. One child sits in front of the father who is the driver. Another child sits between the parents while the mother sits side-saddle holding another infant on her lap.
Bullock carts were loaded down with huge loads of crops across their width, taking up most of the road, as the driver in front coaxed the pair of bullocks straining under the load. Villagers walk several kilometers between their home and their fields carrying their tools on their head and some of them carry huge loads of hay on their heads so that all you can see is a pair of skinny legs under a moving hay stack. Others lead the cattle, goats and sheep out to the field every morning and back to the village each night. Everyone who is physically able has a job to contribute to the well-being of the family.
It was interesting as we travelled from village to village to observe the various local crafts and cottage industries. We saw people making bricks from the bright red soil, which is moulded then baked in small brick ovens. We saw others making rope from sisal plants, which lined the road. The coarse fibres were stripped from the leaves then twined into bundles, which were picked up by brightly coloured trucks and taken to a shed, where others plied the fibres into various thicknesses of rope, using simple machines.
To begin with I thought our jeep driver was inconsiderate when he drove over bundles of millet strewn across the road but it turns out this is the accepted way of thrashing the grain. The grain is then swept up and placed in metal trays and scattered from a height on to a sheet so the chaff blows away and the grain drops on to the sheet and is bagged for storage.