The effects of this trip had reverberated in the core of my being for well over a month, following my return. Landed in New York, I traveled upstate and spent a week hanging out with a friend. It was a quiet scene, talking philosophy and spending time checking out the old Erie Canal. The mundane was beautiful.

Back at Helena, I was asked what I thought of the trip. By this time I knew the sisters had the then popular astrologer, Zipporah Dobbins, choose the trips date; it would be an ‘auspicious’ time. Based on this intelligence, I answered “Those girls should be jailed.”

I went to Starr School on the Blackfeet reservation, to pack up and head south for a few months, coming from the tropics into a Montana winter was not an appealing thought. I dropped by to visit Pat, my medicine man friend and he laughed at me … Native America has perhaps the darkest humor on Earth and the prevailing joke in the community was “Ron shot Mrs Gandhi.” It was a pun on the shamanic aspect of life not understood in western culture, but similar perhaps to a joke on someone who’d followed an astrologer into a disaster. Kind of like saying ‘your medicine man sucks’ relating to consulting over preparation for a journey.

Reprising a trip from over a decade earlier, when I’d driven a Volkswagen ‘bug’ to Arizona, to escape Montana’s cold, following my return from tropical Vietnam, here I was again, driving a Volkswagen bug to Arizona, to escape the Montana cold, following my return from tropical India.

It was at Agua Prieta, just on the Mexican side of the border with Arizona, I’d asked at the local grocery a simplest possible question; of a proprietor who’d probably never been beyond the borders of his native Sonora. My imperfect Spanish couldn’t find the impersonal ‘are there’ and instead I blurted out the personal ‘do you have’ .. eggs? His reply was:

Sì! Dos grandes!!”


notes to follow-


My Madcap Adventure (all episodes)

Letter to the De Sousa clan of India