Monday, May 15, 2006

calcutta day 7?

Hello everyone!

I am in India now and have been for maybe a day and a half. I am
not really sure how long.

Our trip here was a bit rocky. Kim and I were supposed to meet
Kim's cousin, Jill and her friend Kyli at the London airport, but they
were not there when we arrived. By the final boarding call they were
not there either, so we were really worried. We asked the lady at
the desk if they had checked in and she said they hadn't. Their
flight from Chicago to London was delayed and their plane had
landed 30 minutes before takeoff in a terminal that was miles away.
So the plane left without them! The lady also told us that Jill was
all alone! So, Kim and I left a note for her telling her to take a
prepaid taxi to our hotel and the lady told us we would be updated
when we got to Calcutta. We ended up gettting her flight info on
the plane. She was rerouted to Delhi and then flew to Calcutta
from there.

When we arrived, Kim and I had no idea what to do or how to find
Jill. Kim ended up asking God to help us sort everything out and
as she was praying, an American who had been sitting behind us
on the plane came over to us. She helped us figure out what to do
and made us feel a lot better about the whole thing. It was really
quite amazing, in fact, because she would always show up just as
we were beginning to get frustrated and offer us just what we needed.

God is truly faithful!

Thanks to our American friend, we figured out that Jill had never
checked into her Delhi to Calcutta flight, so we were worried once
again. Eventually we found the British Airways offce and they
gave us her new flight plan. She was scheduled to arrive at 2pm
so we decided to check into the hotel for about an hour and then
return to pick her up.

The 45 min prepaid taxi ride was the biggest culture shock of my life! I
honestly thought everyone on the road was going to crash at the
same time. It was like the "drive as fast as you want and break
as many rules as you want" game. But everyone seems to get
by well this way. (They us their horns A LOT!) Everywhere you
look there are people and animals. The strangest thing for me to
see was people bathing in the streets and little kids running
around without clothes on. It makes you sad.

Our hotel was a breath of fresh air for me. Compared to American
hotels, it doesn't seem very luxurious, but it is clean and the people
are SOOOO nice! (And we have AC, which is really nice in 120

The hotel sent us back to the airport with one of their drivers to
pick up Jill. When we got back in there her flight ended up being
an hour later than planned. When she finally arrived, Kyli ended up
being with her and their luggage was lost. (It's in Calcutta now and
the hotel will pick it up for us.) When we got to the hotel we slept
pretty much all night.

Today we went to a market and bought some Indian clothes. I
got a very fancy sari and a salwar (long shirt with pants). I think
we ended up paying too much for them, though, but we have NO
clue how much things should cost.

When we got back to the hotel, the owner's handmaid helped us
put the saris on and then we took several pictures with her and
some of the other employees. It was a lot of fun. We wore them
to lunch too, but changed into american clothes later.

Now we are finishing trying to find a new hotel. The one we are
staying in is going to be much to expensive to stay for a month.
So far we have a couple that seem decent, so hopefully we can
figure it out.

I am so happy also because it only costs about $2 to talk on the
phone to the US for about 10 minutes and only $0.50 to use the
internet for an hour! (So I can update you guys frequently!)

We will start working with the sisters on Wednesday, after we
get the hotels figured out. We didn't do this before because we
wanted to see what they were all like before we committed to staying
in one of them, which is good. I am beginning to adjust to the Calcutta
way of life and know that I will feel more content after we begin
work. At the moment everything is a bit disjointed.
Thank you guys for the emails! They are very encouraging to me!

I hope you all have a great day! Know that you are all in my thoughts
and prayers!

1 comment:

Anita said...


I hope you're having a great trip.
I was on the internet searching for information about Calcutta and I came across your blog. I am having a dilemna as to whether or not I should spend two weeks of my holiday in Calcutta working with the missionaries of charity. The thing is that I will be on my own and I'm worried that the whole experience may be a little too overwhelming. I have travelled quite a lot in my time, but always staying with people I know. In Calcutta I will be on my own. How have you found your time there? what would be your advice to me? Any tips will be greatly appreciated.