Friday, July 3, 2009

2009 07 03. Friday.

2009 07 03. Friday.

I went to the compost field today at around 8am to do get prepared for the afternoon food waste but the cows were already in the field. No way I was going to work with the cows there. They were tied to trees that were right next to where I wanted to work. Since the cows don't know me I didn't want to take any chances. So I just went back to my room and worked on some other tasks.

At breakfast I saw that one of the young European guys who helps take care of the cows had a fresh cast on his left wrist and hand. I asked what happened and he said one of the cows shook its head while he was taking it back to the cowshed. The cow's horn slammed into his finger and broke it. Ouch!

On the way back to my room I shared the elevator with the young Norwegian guy who milks the cows at 4am. I asked him how safe or dangerous it was to work with the cows. He said that it can definitely be dangerous. He said one time one of the cows charged him and bumped him strongly in the ribs. He said he was lucky he didn't break any ribs. Also one of the cows stepped on his foot once but he was standing in soft sand so his toes just got bruised. If he had been standing on anything solid all of his toes would have been broken. I told him I now have a lot more respect for his courage in doing that work. He smiled and said the main thing is to be aware at all times and really pay attention to the cows. He said if you look carefully, you can tell when they may kick or charge and you can get out of the way. He said you can scare them when they charge and they'll usually stop. The word "usually" stuck in my mind in a rather frightening way.

Between the one guy getting his finger broke and what the Norwegian guy told me, I think I'll just go to the compost field right after morning chai at 6am and work for an hour or so. The cows get there around 8 or 8:30am. I'll do my morning sadhana afterwards.

At dinner this evening a big clump of about 15 older Indians where crowded around the food pots just before they were going to serve. I was at the head of the main line. Just for fun I called out to the group of older Indians: "Any of you speak English?" They all ignored me except for one older man who looked at me with a blank expression. I said "If you guys make a separate line here, we can alternate getting served. That way there won't be a big crowd blocking the rest of us." He listened and then just turned away as though I hadn't said anything. One of the German guys right behind laughed and said "Well, at least you tried!" I smiled back and said "Maybe they think getting in a line is bad karma!"

After dinner I saw the seva guy I had pestered yesterday about the situation with Murtena. I apologized to him and said the matter was settled when I spoke with Murtena and I shouldn't have pestered him. He was very gracious, smiled and said "No problem. I also should have spoken to him." I felt better. Its a good lesson on the value of leaving well enough alone. Sometimes I forget.

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