It all started while we were stuck in the little trucker stop village of Marhi. Waiting patiently for the dangerous Rohtang Pass to clear, I came upon a little local vendor selling hats. Now, I had been looking for "the hat" since I arrived in India. Due in part to the Jewish mother's voice in my head, warning me of the dangers of excessive sun exposure... And now at 11,000ft , in the little town of Marhi, this "slightly used" brown rimmed hat, glimmering in the mountain light, caught my eye. I tried it on. It was a perfect fit. The two elderly Japanese women next to me were raving about how great it looked on me, and asked if they could take my photo... I took this as a sign. For only 100 rupees, I crossed into a new realm of being - I was now a "hat man." After a warm hat welcome by my friends, we learned that around the rim of the hat was written "Seahorse" repeatedly. With great laughter, we had a new addition to the family - Seahorse.
Now, fast-forward to the small Ladakhi village of Summur, while on the Dalai Lama tour. At the end of the teachings of Day 1, while the stampede was leaving the monastery, I happened to spot out of the corner of my eye... Seahorse! I had to do a double take. Sure enough, sitting in the grass, was a little Ladakhi man, wearing his very own Seahorse hat. Excitedly I pointed him out to Charlotte while I scrambled for the camera..
After that first Seahorse encounter, we began seeing Seahorses everywhere! And each one, was resting on the head of an old Ladakhi man. We quickly discovered that I was rockin' the old Ladakhi man hat. And everywhere we went on the Dalai Tour, Seahorse became a way to connect with the locals - to cross invisible cultural boundaries, and connect the human heart. They loved it! And so did we...
Here my friends, is the Seahorse Montage: