Wow. It is quickly coming back, all that I love about India. So far the pace has been fast and furious, and I think it will continue to be as we are doing so much traveling throughout India this trip. I am so happy for Shucks to be here with me, seeing it all for the first time. He seems to be loving it as much as I do, and he says over and over, "It's so different seeing it for myself. Describing it doesn't do it justice." I think this is especially true as we travel by car. Last night in Jaipur, he said that India driving is much worse than anywhere he's been, including Egypt. He keeps saying, "I can't believe how relaxed my wife is about all of this!"
I love Kota! The people are so wonderful. The office people are so warm. But I have to say that the girls who help out in the Bishop House (our orphans who are all studying in school or Bible college) are so near and dear to my heart. They are the happiest and most adorable girls who appear to get so much joy out of making our meals and visiting with us! Their smiles melt my heart. One adorable girl who is 16 sings so beautifully as she flits about her day.
This morning I had the amazing opportunity of teaching the Bible college students. There are about 70 of them and they are so eager to learn and hear from us. I used an object lesson with them and they loved that! It is hard not to love every single kid here because they are all very polite, happy, and adorable. We also visited the main for-profit school today. It is so impressive and I was happy to see it again. They are back up to 1,000 students and 60 teachers. While this is still low, it is so much better than last year's difficulties. The capacity is 3,000 and we are still hopeful that one day soon we will see those kinds of numbers.
We had a wonderful surprise yesterday. Our ministry leader, Sam Thomas, came to Delhi to drive us to Kota instead of having us taking the train. It was a wonderful day for the five of us and we had our usual light-hearted banter in the car. It was so good for Shucks to get time with Sam and hear his heart for the orphans. We have all had some great time together, and of course, well on our way to gaining our "India ten." We ate practically everywhere we stopped. Shucks slurped down about 6 ice cream cones yesterday, and Robby filled up both of his hollow legs and showed obvious signs of discomfort a few times after downing five times as much as the rest of us.
Yesterday, Sam also played a joke on Robby. He came up to him at one of our many stops with some weird looking fat green leaf containing some kind of red juicy stuff in the middle. With some skillful coaxing, he finally got Robby to pop the whole thing in his mouth, assuring him that this was an Indian delicacy. It was really Rob's expression that said it all (I just so happened to capture it on film). Let's just say that his breath smelled like a cross between tidy bowl and pine-sol for at least the next 6 hours! A very strange India treat for sure. Needless to say, we haven't had to offer Robby any breath mints since.
Tomorrow, I will be conducting interviews while the rest of the team visits many Hope Homes (orphanages). I am looking forward to this. There are some beautiful kid-stories I will get for the book I'm writing. Their stories are so inspiring that I can't wait to tell them to the world! I pray that they bless people worldwide with their commitment to the Gospel!
Well, I guess that is all for now. Since we have not had time to do much yet, there is not much to tell otherwise. I am excited for our next leg of the journey to West Bengal and Jarkhand. From what I understand, both of these places are still very "rural" and it will be such an adventure. We also get to visit Mother Teresa's "House of the Dying" while in Kolkata so I am very excited about this. I have read about much of her work there and I am honored to get to actually see this place. We will also visit many Hope Homes in this area and we can't wait to meet the kids! Thanks for your prayers.
P.S. Please pray that Robby will not have any run-ins with monkey terrorists and that I will not get attacked by any vicious dogs. These are our only real fears while here in India. :-)