I am seeing and experiencing so much that I’ve decided this evening, in Hyderabad, to jot down what I call “snippets from India”, basically some highs and lows and wonderings for me in the past couple of days.
– arriving at the airport tonight from Bangalore to Hyderabad and stepping, without previously noticing, into a lovely very large animal dropping (good thing it was raining and I could go soak my foot and shoe, sandal, in a huge puddle).
– spending 2.5 hours traveling by car today on a route that usually takes 45 minutes to a wildlife park where we walked around and then went on a mini safari to see bison, white tigers, regular india tigers and sloth bears.
– side note – still pinching myself sometimes in the sheer awe, wonder and amazement that here I am in India.
– being photographed, chatted and laughed with by some groups of 12 – 13 year old Indian girls who were visiting the wildlife park today from their catholic school. They all wanted to practice “Hi, bye, what is your name” and would giggle like crazy when I replied. I high fived one girl who just seemed beside herself with joy after interacting with me and she and all the other girls just laughed hysterically (that was such fun). I smiled often today.
– not sure what to make of small, young children spotting us in the car yesterday with Burt and Sheila and coming and running into the middle of traffic to beg – very sad. I really don’t know where/what to do with all of that. There is a depth of poverty here that is very disturbing, real and sobering.
– trying to practice celebrating moments and being present when there is so much acivity, masses of humanity like I have never experienced, beauty, laughter, sorrow, dirt, filth, smells…………
– now staying in an absolutely beautiful hotel. have met the rest of the group that we will be hanging with for the next couple of days – people from all over the world who are interested in micro-finance.
-looking forward to going out to the villages tomorrow (2 plus hours away) to meet with the woman borrowers and find out how receiving loans for them has and continues to impact and improve their lives.
-hung out yesterday with Burt, Sheila, and two of their children (connection through Jim Henderson and Burt spent a night with us in Seattle 8 years ago). They had us to their home for lunch and showed us around, took us out for coffee and back to our hotel. They nicknamed Dave and I the “riotous richards”. Hm………guess we had a fun time 🙂
– Dave at the wildlife park today being chased and fending off a monkey (ask us later to see a photo).
That’s enough for now. It’s late, 11 pm, India time on Monday evening. I’m very thankful for being here.