What can I say? Two months have passed since I last blogged. Life has been busy…very busy. Besides meeting monthly writing deadlines, preparing and traveling for numerous speaking engagements, coordinating all the necessary details for our India missions trip, revamping my website, and saying farewell to my mother-in-law when Parkinson’s disease claimed her life, I haven’t had a chance to even open my blog. In fact, I even forgot my password and my daughter had to tell me what it was. Sigh.
So here I am, sitting in a hotel room in Gangtok, Sikkim, with some time to spare. And I can hardly wait to tell you about this amazing trip. I’ll add a few entries each day, depending on internet access. Happy reading!
The actual adventure began on March 21 when Gene and I boarded a 747 in Vancouver. B.C. Nine hours later we landed in London, changed flights, and took off for an eight hour flight to New Delhi. After claiming our suitcases and going through a security check, we boarded yet another flight, this time for Hyderabad. We landed two hours later, exhausted but excited to return to Asia after a 22-year absence.
First impressions? HOT. It must have been more than 100 degrees – twice as hot as back home. Sweat trickled down our legs and foreheads as we waited for nearly an hour for our car and driver to arrive. It was also very noisy – taxi horns blasted non-stop, police whistles blew, and Hindi music blared. But that was nothing compared to the cacophony while driving through the city enroute to Operation Mobilization headquarters. Add never-ending bus and motorcycle motors and horns to the symphony, and you can imagine the ruckus.
Our driver appeared a little over-anxious to reach our destination. Or maybe he was an Indy 500 driver in disguise. He dodged vehicles of every size and description, business men wearing suits and carrying briefcases, and women wearing bright-colored saris. At one point, he swerved into the oncoming lane to pass a diesel-spewing bus. Several motorcyclists moved out of his way, but then came a little red car that staked its turf and sped straight toward us with headlights flashing. I swear we avoided a head-on collision by a mere hair. Welcome to India!