Flexibility is the keyword, I believe. Within minutes of reaching our destination, we were ushered into a dining room where we were served a meal of rice and lentils – the first of many on this trip. That’s when I learned that I was scheduled to speak at a women’s conference the next day and for 10 minutes in the Sunday church service. Surprise!! By now we’d been awake for nearly 48 hours and our bodies were ready to collapse, but there was no time to rest. A wedding celebration was planned for that evening and we were invited to attend. We had a few minutes to shower (no hot showers here, but then, who’d want a hot shower in this heat??) and don fresh clothes.
The wedding bulletin said the groom was scheduled to arrive at 4:30. Some folks told us the ceremony would begin at 5:00; others told us we could show up at 5:30. When the ceremony actually began, there were about 20 people present. Within a half hour, another 40 or 50 had wandered in. The bride, a converted Hindu, wore a white satin sari with gold embroidery and the groom looked handsome in his black suit. They celebrated their marriage with a western ceremony, complete with signing the register. Midway through the service, however, Gene and I began nodding off.
Rather than embarrass ourselves by snoring through the reception, we excused ourselves and stumbled to our room that was, thankfully, air-conditioned. We bid each other goodnight and collapsed in bed, stared at by a curious five-inch gecko on the wall. If I was to be bright-eyed, or at least coherent, for the next day’s conference, I’d need a good night’s sleep.
Guess what? Even with the help of a sleeping pill, I slept only three or four hours. Jet lag was doing its thing on my body and my brain. Wide awake in the middle of the night, my thoughts flitted from one thing to another. And I began to worry about having enough energy to last the day. Only by God’s strength would I be able to speak for three sessions on Saturday morning.