Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


2 February to 14 February 2008

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

As for myself, I must start making the quilt for the next grandchild who will turn seven years old in July. I have to have it ready when I leave for the States at the end of March. The design is almost done.

As I stated in the last Meherabad Diary, I included the 1st of February in it because it was part of Amartithi. So, this one starts on the second day. Also, I will end this Diary on the 14th instead of the 15th—because the 15th, 16th, and 17th are all part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the 1958 Sahavas. So, the 15th will be in the next Diary.

Saturday 2 February. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Baba's Cabin Room. There are still several hundred pilgrims here. Most of them are the volunteers staying at Hostel C and D. They will be mostly gone by tomorrow, but since they are still here, the hill was already crowded.

After cleaning the Cabin, I went down the hill and met Mariko and Joseph to clean the Jhopdi and Table House. We had to use all are own cleaning things since the room Bhauji was using still had a different lock on it. Bhauji uses it for Amartithi.

I then got ready to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. I was at the MPC to meet those who wanted to go on it. However, I found out there was a mix up about the bus bringing the pilgrims from the MPR to the MPC. It seems there was no arranged bus service for them on the 2nd, since the buses are used to take pilgrims to the train station and the bus stations. I had forgotten.

Anyway, I was told there were about 20 pilgrims waiting at the MPR. Finally a driver for the bus went up to drive it, but, by then, most of the pilgrims had begun walking down the hill. I waited until 10:30 AM and then began the Tour. It was a large group, yet we went to all the special sites and I only skipped a few stories.

I then walked to the B. T. Café for lunch. I was happy I had the rest of the day off, as well as Sunday off. I was feeling pretty exhausted.

Sunday 3 February. I slept late; it sure felt good. Then. I worked in the garden for a while, and also cleaned some of the Amartithi things I use. Or, I should say, I organized them in piles for our domestic help to clean. I rested for most of the rest of the day.

Monday 4 February. I was on duty at the Retreat. Many pilgrims had left after Amartithi, and many took some days to go to Goa. Yet, we are still so busy. Plus, next week is a three-day program for the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Sahavas with Beloved Baba. We are receiving many requests for reservations.

I was looking in our computer 'need booking' area. I booked a group of 15 Russians who are coming during the time of Baba's birthday. Just before I got off duty, John Gunn (who designed our computer system), stopped to update our program. The newer version now has an area where we can look at the history of the number of pilgrims who come from different countries, and have that number in order. John said the Indians had the greatest number of pilgrims coming. Next was the USA, followed by the Iranians.

Tuesday 5 February. I spent most of the day in bed. I was so cold. It seemed I couldn't get warm. I cancelled my evening Samadhi duty. I didn't want to be out in the cold evening air. I was sick with something.

At 4:00 PM I did go out to meet Gurdev, an Indian-Canadian who is a pilgrim here. Gurdev had bought land long ago and has started an organic farm. Two others and I toured the six-acre farm. He is using the most natural of everything, including using the urine of the female cows to mix with fertilizer. He has done so much research. He will soon be able to sell the products to the Baba community. Gurdev says he will only sell at cost. He has no interest to make a profit. I then returned home and went back to bed.

Wednesday 6 February. I was on duty at the Retreat. It has been very cold lately. I had on my shirt, plus a sweater and a jacket. I love this weather, but am just not use to it.

There was a bus to take any pilgrim who wanted to help in the Baba birthday play to the Music and Arts Center. During the afternoon there was a showing in Farsi of "God in Human Form." Then a second Baba film was to be shown in the old MPC.

When I got home, I immediately went to the clinic at our Meher Hospital. I decided to see if I needed medicine. Yes, I am now on doxycycline. I was also given cough medicine. I went to bed early.

Thursday 7 February. I rested until it was time to take our bus to the Trust. I got off and went to the bank. I am going to Pune tomorrow with several people. I am also taking my suitcase with the missing wheel that Continental Airlines broke. But, since Continental is only in Mumbai, I will have to pay to have it repaired. Then I will see if they will reimburse me. I spent most of the rest of the day resting.

Friday 8 February. The car picked Marge and me up at 6:00 AM. There were four pilgrims also in the car. Everyone would stay in Pune but one pilgrim and myself. Just as we were getting into Pune there was a huge traffic jam. After a while we got out of the car and decided it would be better to walk beyond the traffic and take a rickshaw.

We walked on the opposite side of the road, planning to stop and have a cup of tea first. But, before we reached the tea stall, we noticed our side of the traffic began to move. We quickly walked back to where our car should have been. But, the truck driver that was behind us told us our car left.

Well, I have to tell you, we walked for some time before we found a rickshaw. When we reached the German Bakery, there was our driver waiting for us! He seemed to have a chuckle that we arrived in a rickshaw. Hummm!

After breakfast, we all went our separate ways. I met up with the pilgrim who was to ride back with me at 3:00 PM. We were back at Meherabad in time for me to pick flowers for the next morning.

Saturday 9 February. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM. The removal of all the poles on the hill from Amartithi is not complete yet. Taking everything down, cleaning all the tarps that are used on the ground, etc.; those things take time to get done.

After cleaning Baba's Cabin Room and putting the flowers on the stretcher, Ghadi, and threshold of the Samadhi, I went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi and Table House. I went home and got ready to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. I saw Debbie Nordeen at the MPC. She was one of the persons responsible for having the Tour translated into Farsi. With so many pilgrims now coming from Iran, we need one of our Iranian residents to learn the Tour and take the Persians on it. Many of the Persians do not speak English and this will be of great benefit to them.

There were a number of pilgrims waiting to go on the Tour. We finished by 1:15 PM. I then walked to the B. T. Café and had lunch. Another resident was there and we talked about the elections in the States. When I got home, I rested most of the day.

I have been thinking of what design for the quilt I wanted to make my next grandchild. I have mentioned I started this when my first grandchild turned seven years old. I make each grandchild a specially designed quilt using their favorite colors, put designs of their interest, and put their name on it. This will be my fourth quilt. I have a total of eight grandchildren.

Sunday 10 February. I woke early and did my morning workout. I had not done it since before Amartithi. I simply didn't have the energy. I was happy that I also woke with ideas for the quilt. I could actually feel this beautiful creative spirit, and I knew I had reached the place where beauty flows in expression. We just have to be in the right place inside our selves, and it just flows

I was not able to go to Meherazad yet. If we have a cold, or are coughing, we are requested not to go to Meherazad because we then expose the Mandali to our germs. So, I used the day to work a little in the garden. But, mostly I worked on the design of the quilt.

Monday 11 February. I was on duty at the Retreat. We have been so busy since December, having well over a 100 pilgrims most of the time. January we had 300 pilgrims because of Amartithi. Now we are hitting 200 because of this weekend's 50th Anniversary Celebration of 1958 Meherabad Sahavas. Then we will have Baba's birthday celebration. When we moved into the Retreat last pilgrim season, we had no idea that once space is there, Baba quickly fills it up!

A most interesting oversight happened in the morning. I asked the Lobbyman where our porter went. He said to get a pilgrim for a phone call. I asked, "What was the emergency?" He said there was no emergency, only a phone call. Well, that surprised me as we Receptionists decided that when we moved to the Retreat we would no longer go to the pilgrims rooms and get them for a phone call—the place was just too big! Only for an emergency would we send the porter to a pilgrim's room.

To accommodate the phone calls for the pilgrims we put a system in place. We put a board in the Dining Hall where messages would be put for the pilgrims when they get phone calls. And, we made a sign that the pilgrim's name would be put on during meals if the call came for them at that time. We would have our porters go around the Dining Hall with the sign so the name could be seen. It was a very efficient system.

Yes, it was an efficient system—but we seemed to have forgotten to inform the Lobby men! Since the beginning of last season, we have been telling all pilgrims how our phone system would work. Yet, since the beginning of last season the Lobby men have been sending our porters to the rooms to get the pilgrims for the phone calls!!!!!!!!!!

Now is that not amazing! How was it possible all this time we both never knew what the other was doing?!

Tuesday 12 February. This was Dhuni Day. After working out in the morning, I took our bus to the Trust and got a rickshaw into the bazaar. I had to buy material for the quilt I was making. Also, Flint and Jessica had a baby boy, and I wanted to buy some baby things for them.

On the way up to the Samadhi for my 6:00 PM Samadhi duty, I stopped at Flint and Jessica's to drop off stuff. I saw their adorable baby—so much dark hair.

Evening Arti was 5:00 PM. The Dhuni was lit at 6:00 PM. Someone came to take over Samadhi duty so I could attend some of the Dhuni. There is quite a crowd, as those who are coming for the 50th Celebration have begun to arrive.

Wednesday 13 February. I was on duty at the Retreat. It was a busy day, but I was finished by 6:00 PM. Our bus took pilgrims to the Music and Arts Center to see a Baba film at 4:30 PM. First, tea was served on the verandah at 4:00 PM. Then at 9:00 PM, Peter Booth showed another Baba film in the Dining Hall of the Retreat.

Thursday 14 February. I was on duty at the Retreat, covering for one of the other Receptionists who was out of town. It was a busy day, with 47 expected arrivals. Suzie was able to help in the morning. Hostel-D has 600 pilgrims here for the Sahavas. We are going to have some very busy days ahead.

The welder who made the tire swing for our jungle gym came by today and took the chain and hook to fix it. I wanted the chain six inches longer, and the hook needed to have a ball-baring setup so the swing would swivel.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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