Hi friends. We’re back from India as of Sunday night and not fully adjusted. There’s the cold – it was much warmer when we left (and obviously much hotter where we were) – the jet lag, and the inevitable flu/colds/stomach upset that we’re all experiencing to some degree. I think the overwhelming family feeling is gratitude to have had the experience and an even greater gratitude to be back. Perhaps over time, the two sentiments will reverse themselves.
I asked each of the kids what they liked about India, what they didn’t like, and what they’re grateful for.
Liked the elephants and monkeys and swimming in the local pool (she needed to buy a special bathing suit with a skirt and short sleeves). Disliked the motion sickness and all the travel (we drove a lot within the country) and being cold at night from the fan with only a sheet to cover her. And she was grateful to be back.
Liked the elephants and spending time with the Andrews family. Disliked the mosquitos. Was grateful to be back.
William was more loquacious:
Liked the elephants, spending time with the Andrews, and getting to see so many things. Disliked the mosquitos. He counted 34 bites and that was with the Deep Woods Off we brought with us. Was grateful for the presents (they each got two 10€ gifts for Christmas) and that God brought us back “sain et sauf” (safe and sound).
As for me … I’m still processing. It was a tough journey for me, requiring lots of leaning on God. My most frequent prayer was Psalm 16:1.
Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
When the driving was nuts (we fortunately only had one collision that resulted in a fender bender, but no danger to our person), and the toilets were frightening, and we were venturing yet again into the great unknown, I reminded God that I took refuge in HIM. He was faithful.
For lack of words to sum things up, here are some of the pictures from our trip. The first is from the Bay of Bengal on the coast of Pondicherry. (A former French colony).
In the same town, there is the statue of Gandhi.
And a beautiful park for the kids to play in
and a Hindu temple where people come to get blessed by an elephant.
Here are our friends, Jobby and Hisill, on the tea hills of Kerala.
(They were sooooo good to us).
And us. 🙂
And our kids together, who picked up where they left off in 2012.
They dealt famously together.
Here’s the elephant park in Kerala where the kids got to ride the elephants.
Riding the elephants was the only thing Gabriel wanted to do, so when we went and discovered it was closed on Monday, we canceled our river boat expedition for the next day so we could drive 1.5 hours back and visit again.
A satisfied customer.
A Hindu religious ceremony in the same town.
And here’s one of the four places we visited that we had collected donations for. The HOPE school in Chennai. More on that and the other places in a separate post. They made cards for each of us.
Even if all I can muster up right now is survival mode – I’m still sick, yet life and routine must go on – and gratitude to be back where things are familiar, I know this trip will remain memorable and that we’ll continue to discover its blessings as we go on.