Travel in India + DiwaliPosted: November 14, 2012
Post by Christopher
So the team is on the ground, working their way toward the village and touring a bit of the country during Diwali. Needless to say, travel in India is not as easy as other parts of the world. Although train tickets were bought as much as two months ago, they were not allowed to board their first train. Even for just two of them, it’s been a struggle to find transportation.
Traveling during the largest holiday of the year has been a problem, as you might imagine. Diwali (or Devali) is a Festival of Lights akin to Christmas and New Years rolled into one. It celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and the slaying of the demon Narakasura by the hero Rama. Also the end of the harvest season in most of India.
They made it to Jaipur from New Delhi and are there one more night, and tomorrow are forced to fly rather than take the train. They’ll bounce back to New Delhi then on to Varanasi, just south of Lucknow where they will meet up with the folks from KHEL. Then on to Basti and Saraiya.
Even though they’d been bracing themselves for it, they were shocked at the levels of pollution both in the air and on the ground. It’s a bit better in Jaipur than Delhi, but they’re not much looking forward to having to go back into “the thick of it” even for one night.
Here at home, “Mission Control” is scrambling to help when trains have failed and hotels need to be located. And when AT&T shut off Jodi’s phone because she went over roaming charges that were supposed to be changed on the 7th before they left. And there have been issues with purchases being run as Dollars instead of Rupees, which has sent personal accounts into our own little hurricane Sandy until it can be resolved. One American dollar equals about 55 rupees, so you can imagine the mess. Everyone keep your fingers crossed.
It’s been an adventure, some good and some bad. But they’re in good spirits and looking forward to reaching Saraiya and meeting the people, delivering their educational message, and helping the village. One week down, two to go. Send all your light and love to them.