Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Incredible India... Back again

What is the best way to start a new year?  I know… I know....embark on an adventure – with 9 motivated teens in tow – to explore three different regions of India and work long hard days at Miracle Foundation orphanages.  For the next 16 days, Rainey and I will be traveling with a group of high schoolers from St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin, TX as well as my son Jordan, my dear friend Marnie Cervenka, a school chaperone Kathryn Hoyt and – the real spice of any Miracle Foundation trip – Barbara Joubert.  Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I love India and it is GREAT to be back.

These kids have all traveled before but none have to come to India. How fun is that?

The teens started by taking the bus from Austin to Houston … two days ago. 

Then 30+ hours of travel, through Istanbul, to New Delhi.  

We had hours of sitting on cold, hard floors in various airports.  But  - so far - not a beep of whining or complaining. My kind of travelers. We also started doing "spotlights" where each person gets to introduce themselves to the group by talking for 10-15 minutes about themselves. 

We arrive in India at 6AM and kept going all day to try and beat the jet lag.  First stop, we took the Delhi metro to an open air  market.  This is not as easy as it looks as India has incredible security since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. You have to go through metal detectors and -for the women - a separate private search in a "frisking booth" to get into any hotel, metro station, mall.  We were searched three times just between the hotel and arriving at the market.  

From the metro to the market we took bicycle rickshaws, a true Indian experience.

The market was a blur of color and so many people, smells, hubs of activity.  Talk about sensory overload.

Our major goal at the market was to buy saris for the girls for a ceremony at the first orphanage. If you have not been sari shopping, it is quite an experience. The men literally pulled hundreds of saris from the shelves and spread them out before us … in every color under the sun …. And we had to start the difficult job of choosing the ones we wanted.  Lots of decision-making later, we left with packages and packages of beautiful saris.  Stay tuned and you will see us all decked out in our finery in a few days.

The boys got to escape the shopping experience and Rainey took them to Kentucky Fried Chicken, India style.

Then on to an upscale mall – via auto rickshaw - for some food and, more importantly, air conditioning.

After eating, we watched a Bollywood movie.  The movie was in Hindi with a startling amount of English phrases thrown in haphazardly.  But so over-acted and fun that you could easily follow the plot.  And, of course, there was lots of dancing and costume-changes (sorry, sari-changes).

The theater seats reclined, and the place was dark, so there were also lots of naps taken in the movie. By the time we left the mall, everyone eyes were drooping and we were back at the hotel by 7PM for an early night. We are meeting at 6:15AM tomorrow and have a long day as we head for Agra and the Taj Mahal.


Unknown said...

Keeping track. Thanks for the update. Still pea green.

Unknown said...

I love reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your amazing adventures

Ryan said...

Thank you so much for the update and photos!


Unknown said...

Thanks for the update, looks like Jordan is having a blast!. Mr. Preston

Unknown said...

The real comfort of travel is given by small little things not by luxurious things..........India Tour Packages & Indian Tour Operators


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