I’m so impressed with my Indian sisters. They’re on the front lines of service and their task is enormous, but they don’t utter a word of complaint. They simply dig in and get the job done. They display such humble hearts, but they are obviously women of great strength and passion. It’s hard to say goodbye to them – I wish I could stay with them longer and learn from them.
A 45-minute flight took us to New Delhi where three World Vision reps met us. We drove through bustling city streets for at least an hour, stopping and starting as traffic allowed. Two little girls, maybe ages 5-8, came to our car windows to sell red roses and beg for food when we stopped at a red light. I gave them three bananas I had in a bag, but they wanted more. The WV reps pointed at a woman wearing a green sari lingering on a nearby sidewalk and said that she was probably their mother, keeping a watchful eye over her daughters.
It took four hours to reach the region where our sponsored child lives. I’d never seen so many people anywhere. Even the rural bazaars were crawling with men, women, and children. There were lots of Muslim folks, too – women clad in black robes from head to toe (I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them in this heat), men with their white crocheted-looking hats. We saw dozens of farmers taking loads of sugar cane to the local processing mills, their loads stacked at least six feet high on flat wagons pulled by white oxen or black water buffalo. Our driver skillfully wound his way between the sugar cane wagons, men riding bicycles, horse-drawn wagons carrying 8 or 10 family members, motorcycles carrying three or four passengers, buses, and transport trucks. We finally arrived at our hotel around 7:30 p.m. – sweaty and dusty – and were greeted by the Canadian World Vision reps who’d arrived yesterday.
We’re definitely in a region of India where people aren’t accustomed to seeing white women. The female WV rep, Krista, and I garnered more than a few unwelcome stares from the male population. We were both wearing Capri pants – that might have had something to do with it! Tomorrow I’m planning to wear the Indian clothes I had a tailor sew for me while in Gangtok.