Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tales of India.....7 months later (part 1)

With the arrival of our son approaching (only two more weeks until the due date) I have been recounting my pregnancy and all of the blessings that have come with it. The Lord has been so faithful through out it all but I want to share with you how we experienced His faithfulness and goodness while on a trip to India when I was six weeks preggo.

In August of 2008, Jason and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to India with our friends, the Barton's, and take an adventurous journey through the foothills of the Himalayas via motorcycles. We were out and about camping for 9 days. Through the course of the 9 days I only took a shower once! Man, I never knew I could stink so bad! For some who are much more experienced at adventure than myself this may seem rather short and minuet but it was quite a feat for me. Also, while in India I got INCREDIBLY sick! I honestly have never been this sick in all of my life but God did some amazing things through this journey which I hope to be able to recount clearly over the course of the next few blog entries. You may wonder why I have waited 7 months to even start telling you about this and that answer is simple....I couldn't tell any stories without gagging or becoming slightly queasy at the thought of India. I am not sure if that was largely in part to being pregnant or what exactly but thankfully, I think I am mostly over it. Well, with the exception of an aversion to curry but I don't think that's going to go away for quite some time.

So, here's how it all took place....
Jason and I took off from Tokyo and landed in Hong Kong where we had hoped to spend a couple of days exploring this city before catching a flight to New Delhi. I don't have much to say about Hong Kong except that it has a cool cityscape. I am sure overall it's a great city but we didn't have much of an opportunity to explore it because upon our arrival we both felt a little sick which kept us indoors for one of the days we could have been out site seeing. But, we did get to take a ride on the Peak Tram where we got a great view of the city from above. Here is a picture of Hong Kong at night.

After our couple of days here we met up with our friends, Bernie and Cheryl Barton, in the airport to fly to New Delhi. We arrived in New Delhi around 2:30 in the morning and immediately began to feel cultural differences. India was a whole new cultural experience for me. The smells, the sites, the people, the food....everything. The gaping chasm that exists between the destitute and the wealthy is an aspect of this culture I have yet to fully grasp. Not really sure if I ever will. People were waiting outside the airport to beg for money, food, anything. Scattered along side the road ways were homeless people sleeping on thin mats with cracked, bare feet poking out from underneath the blankets that were too short to cover their bodies. They slept close to the buzzing and constant passing of cars to be near the exhaust as it kept the mosquitoes away. I tried to process what I was seeing but everything was coming all at was overwhelming. This was my first encounter with such frequency of poverty. I began to scold myself for not seeing things like this sooner.....for not being closer to the broken.....I didn't quite know what to do with my lack of experience with these sites and to be honest I still don't but I hope I am never so used to them that I become numb to the idea that people shouldn't live this way. Hearts.....souls should be tended to, taken care of, loved. I wondered if these people had known such things but the wondering and the unknowing of how to process all that I was seeing in a matter of 30 minutes left me....well, numb. It was too much. So, I narrowed my view and never REALLY looked around me. I didn't know how. I was stunned. I would like to say that after seeing all of this as we drove through Delhi inspired me to do something different, noble, or philanthropic but that just isn't true....and I want to know why that is and I am not done trying to figure that out. Anyway....

When we landed in Delhi we were met up by some of the Barton's friends who live in India. It was decided prior to our arrival that when we flew in we would have a rental van waiting to pick us up and drive us all to the Taj Mahal in Agra. It was said to be a three or four hour trip but ended up taking closer to 6. We rode through the night so we could make it to the Taj Mahal in the early morning to beat the heat. However, there really is no beating the heat in India. It was hot no matter what time of the day. After a long car ride we arrived at the Taj Mahal. Ever since I saw this landmark inside one of my history books in Jr. High, I knew this was one place I wanted to see. It was cool getting to fulfill a dream and hope I had had since I was about 12. However, while the Taj Mahal is beautiful and exquisite, it just doesn't compare to the beauty and majesty of the Himalayas. But, I still really enjoyed being there and I am grateful to have seen it.

Disclaimer: (please excuse my very poor punctuation....I have never been good at figuring out where commas go.)