the trouble with india

or at least why i’m having difficult posting about india…

i think being sick 7 out of 13 days didn’t help.  it started with a fever and headache and ended with my entire body covered in a rash and swollen extremities.


and there were plenty of other unimaginable unmentionable symptoms in between.  i managed to only miss out on souvenir shopping excursions – which wasn’t too bad.  but felt very disoriented the rest of the time.  and then there was the eating.  i had no appetite, but knew i needed to eat.  however, i wasn’t at all tempted by indian curry.  which was served breakfast, lunch and dinner.

added to the not feeling well was the not really being crazy about india.  it took me no time at all to realize that had we moved to india i would have bombed.  in a big way.  the indian people were lovely.  but the noise and the trash and the noise and the honking and the scary driving and the honking and the indian curry served breakfast lunch and dinner – it was sensory overload.  and i’m still feeling it.

and i’m also a bit off here in the states.  i can’t put my finger on it, but it’s sort of the same disorienation that i had in india.  but i’m not sick.  unless you count a dry nose as sick, because it feels like i’ve got cockleburrs up my nose.  and that’s painful.

so, all of this is just to say that i’m working on the posts – i’ve still got plenty to say – and i’ve completely given up on trying to do it in any order.

christian missions charitable trust

the organization we were with in india is christian missions charitable trust (cmct).  our first morning with them they had a big welcome for us.

cmct welcome (3) cmct welcome (6)

cmct welcome (5) cmct welcome (10)

cmct welcome cmct welcome (2)

we then toured the building.  there’s a print shop.

cmct print shop

and a handicraft center

cmct handicraft center

they have a creche for the kids of their workers – who would be unable to afford daycare.

cmct creche

and a kitchen where lunch is prepared for their employees

cmct kitchen

there was also the hostel for young women

cmct hostel

and the orphanage

cmct orphanage (2)

we also had a tour of the nearby primary school.

cmct primary school (5) cmct primary school

it is astounding all that cmct contributes to and there is much, much more they do.  we visited many of their off site projects during the 10 days we were there.   i’m working on those posts – they’re coming together, but it’s more of a struggle than i thought it would be.

glenmorgan tea estate

while in ooty we visited a tea plantation.  it was amazingly beautiful.  and if you use lipton green tea tea bags then you’ve been sipping from the same tea leaves we saw.

glenmorgan tea estate (38)

there were tea pickers,

glenmorgan tea estate (53)

a monkey puzzle tree – which i thought was a made up name, but i’ve had it confirmed as authentic,

glenmorgan tea estate (69)

and it was a great opportunity to let our hair loose.

glenmorgan tea estate (32)

the first 36 hours

we spent our first night in india at the ywca in chennai.  then we had a day of not much.  we did a bit of shopping and some sorting out of stuff and then caught the niligiri express night train to ooty.  i was not enamored of train travel.  it was difficult to sleep on a middle bunk with my bags.  a bit cramped.  but i did manage a wee bit of shut eye and it only felt like we’d spent 48 hours on the train.

after the train we headed up to the hill town of ooty.  we traveled by private busses.  we were supposed to travel by the cog train, but there was confusion about booking the tickets and who was to do that, etc.   so we weren’t booked.  which was a little dissappointing because we had heard that this train was one of the top 10 train experiences in the world.  however, it turns out the train we would have been on broke down – in the jungle.  in a spot not accessible by car.  so one of those blessing in disguise things.

on our drive up we stopped at a small road side market for breakfast.  some curry and chai tea.

drive to ooty (47) drive to ooty (42)

we saw many naughty monkeys running to and fro across the road.  causing much swerving and slamming on of brakes.

drive to ooty (34)

there were many hair pin turns – which don’t mesh well with those of us who suffer from motion sickness.

drive to ooty

but then we arrived.  at farley guest house in ooty.  the girls shared a room.  all 7 of them in the same room that had been amy carmichael’s. and i had my own room.  which was fortunate since i spent a good deal of time resting and recouperating from whatever viral infection i’d managed to either catch just as we landed in india or that i’d brought along with me.

farley guest house (42) farley guest house (45)

maybe he’ll become bionic

while we were up in ooty the boys climbed trees, rolled down grass hills, swung on the tree swing – basically they had an all around good time.

farley guest house (40)

and they were left with the scrapes and scratches to show for it.  the first day we were at christian missions charitable trust (cmct) in chennai c15 started picking at a scab.  and he picked it off.  and it bled – a lot.  conveniently cmct has it’s own clinic.  one of the cmct workers noticed c15’s leg bleeding and he came and removed him from the group for a good cleaning up of the wound.

about 30 minutes later c15 returned.  bandaged nicely.  and he leaned over to me and said, “they gave me a shot in my rear.”  he didn’t know what he’d been injected with and when i went in to ask, the receptionist, nurses and pharmacist all agreed that they didn’t know what it was, either.  so i spent the rest of the week 20 minutes or so staring intently at him looking for any signs of anaphylactic shock.  nothing happened.

but he hasn’t tried to race a train.

we made it

gandhi had it right – india is a country of nonsense.

we made it to texas.   had our worst customs experience in dallas.  only 5 or so counters open (leaving 23 closed) and the computers went down.  but we made it through.

still lots to process from india. i’m really not sure where to begin – i’m guessing those tales will show up in the near future.   i also have plenty of pics to share.  some with stories.  some with out.


i did get sick in india. some viral infection. fever, headache, vomiting, lack of appetite, tired, and then 6 days in it bloomed into a lovely rash and swollen extremities. but i managed to only miss out on one day of activities and that was shopping, so no harm.

now there’s jetlag to recover from and a month to prepare for the return journey. that i’ll be making alone. well, not completely alone. the kids will be accompanying me. but i’ll be the lone adult.