Friday, November 30, 2007
We finally heard him cry on the way home - he finally pooped (one statement that only mom's are proud of)! I'm too exhausted to write anything else.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So, I have to get this story on record now. It is part of our journey, and it really affected me. I'm still trying to recover from how awful it made me feel. . .
As we walked down the alley to Mother Teresa's, a little boy (7 or 8?) showed us the way (it's a tiny little doorway that we walked right by). He was so happy, smiling, and did cartwheels down the alley. We offered him money and he declined, asking instead for milk when we came out. We assured him that we would do this. He was there waiting when we came out, and guided us around a puddle of vomit. He was just a doll. We agreed that Mom and I would get in the car, and Dan would go with him to get his milk (I thought we made that clear, the boy had said milk at least twenty times). So a bit later, Dan comes walking back with his typical confident swagger with a bottle of Pepsi in his hand. He gets in the car, and as we're driving off, the little boy knocks on my window with the saddest, most confused expression, and says "Milk! Milk!" I looked at Dan and he said "What?" I said, "Didn't you get him some milk?" "No, was I supposed to?" "Uh, yeah, that's what he's been asking this whole time." "Oh, I thought he just wanted me to buy something from his father's store."
It was too late to turn back without a big ordeal (remember that traffic in India is unbelievable), but I told Dan that if we went out at all the next day we were coming back to find the boy and buy him some milk. It's silly, but it changed the way I felt for the whole rest of the trip, and even after we got home. I was so mad at Dan for not having as emotional reaction to everything as I was having.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Mom finally let Daddy hold him.
Nana and Max playing ball
And this is where I am now. All tired out and sound asleep.
On our way to the orphanage, we stopped to get some treats for the dear people at the orphanage. Mom and Dan went in and I stayed with the car. I wish I could remember the name of our driver. He was very sweet and was our driver the whole time we were in Kolkata. While they were in the store, a woman with a very young baby came up to the car and kept knocking on the windows asking for money, gesturing that her baby needed milk. We were prepared for this, however right then it was more than I could take. I was on my way to get my baby, seeing all of the poverty that he could have been a part of. I was crying, and she was very persisitant. The driver kindly asked her to leave, but she persisited. Dan had all of our money - I had nothing that I could have given her. If I had, despite the warnings we recieved, I would have given her anything. I was able to pull myself together for the most part before we got to the chilrens' home.
I was so surprised that I didn't cry upon meeting Rup. But the home was so wonderful, and being able to go to the other building and focus on pics of the other kids was perfect. I wouldn't change anything about this day.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Unknown family member buried at Humayun's tomb
(My favorite pic yet)
Entrance to Humayun's Tomb (that's our gruff tour guide).
Maddie and Myles - today we saw monkeys running all around on the President's lawn! We also saw a green parrot peeking out at us at the tomb. I didn't get a picture of the monkeys, but I did get a picture of the parrot for you.
Aunt Ang, I thought of you today. You would have been a wreck. There are so many stray dogs, and one in particular struck me. Obviously a momma and wanting attention. It was so hard to not pat her.
Aunt Dawn, somewhere in my house there is a book "How to Potty Train in Three Days" - there's still time :)
Love you all,
So, we were wrong about the India idol thing last night. We found out today that it was a Sikh festival for the sick. This is according to our tour guide, who seemed relatively knowledgeable, if not overly friendly. He was "complimentary" with our very expensive hotel car.
I was a little disappointed. I'm a history buff and really wanted to see the red fort, especially since we didn't get to Agra. But, apparently all of "Old Delhi" was closed off today because of this Sikh festival. But, we saw what we could.
Our guide's name was Vijay. He was an older gentleman and a bit gruff. He explained things well, but was irritated with questions, and didn't answer any of them. I think he has his speel for each location and doesn't like to vary from it. We saw the president's house, Humayun's tomb, India Gate, and a Hindu temple.
The architecture is so impressive and we learned a lot about how the Turkish, Persian, and Mughals each had different styles. I took notes on it because I'm a geek :). Then I think our tour guide was sick of being our tour guide. He gave us the choice between a department store or a Hindu Temple. We chose the temple. He had the driver drop him off first.
I was very uncomfortable at the temple. I felt like we were being very invasive in a place that so many hold sacred. There were a few other tourists there, but we didn't stay long because it just didn't feel right to me. The temple was gorgeous (no photos were allowed and I wouldn't have taken any anyway for the reasons stated above).
It is amazing to see these places that have existed for thousands of years, where our country's history is so young. There is such a mission here to revere and honor, and preserve these places. We were talking about how in our country buildings aren't built to last. When they get old and dingy we just destroy them and start over.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I didn't get any very good pictures from the street which I'm disappointed about. The colors of fabric, and wall hangings, and the people are gorgeous. Dan found a musical instrument shop and had a wonderful time talking with the gentleman who runs it. He bought 3 instruments and was so excited about them. The owner joked that he could put on a concert. Mom and I each bought a salwar kameez - she got hers for less than half of what I paid for mine - again, not so good with the bargaining. We found beautiful outfits for all four kiddos, and shopped around for the best deal on those. We spent a bit of time in this shop and wished that the gentleman could have been our personal tour guide. He did ot pressure us, was so helpful, friendly, and just wonderful in general. He was also very handsome ;) I cannot wait to see this kids in these gorgeous outfits. The material and colors are just beautiful.
Next we went to the Ghandi memorial. What a peaceful, place. We took a lot of time reading about the history of India's Independence movement, and just soaking up the atmosphere of serenity.
I would love to hand cards with this quote out at work.
We came back to the hotel and had a fine Indian meal at the hotel restaurant, and came up to go to bed early. Before we fell asleep there was a parade outside the hotel. There were lots of drums, a horsedrawn carriage, and lights all over the place. We think it is in relation to a wedding taking place in the hotel. I was asleep by 7:30pm . . .
And awake at 10:30pm. There were fireworks that went on for literally hours. Peeking out our window we could see that the president's house was all lit up with white lights and the fireworks were right over the building. After a bit of research we figured out that it was for the finale of India's equivalent of "American Idol." What a celebration. I can still hear people and the fireworks just stopped about 15 minutes ago.
For Dad - Mom is snoring so loud right now that I can't get back to sleep! :) She's gonna kill me for posting that. Also, I wish this last picture had come out better. It is this huge elaborate set up/playground with burrows, and tunnels, and such filled with rabbits. We thought it might give you some ideas for your own fluffy bunnies ;)
Travel, the flights in particular, was my biggest fear about this whole process. I was so anxious about it that I requested an anxiety medication from my doctor for the flight. . . and then I forgot it. It is THE only thing that we forgot (I think). I didn't need it at all.
We got to the Boston airport nice and early and it was deserted! One bonus of flying on Thanksgiving, I guess. We breezed through and relaxed while waiting for the flight which was completely smooth and uneventful.
We had a 3 hour layover in Amsterdam which was much more crowded than Boston. By the time we got on the flight we were so tired that my Mom and I slept through takeoff. We landed in New Delhi, and everything was exactly as Adrienne described, so we had no problem whatsoever. We got through immigration, got or luggage, and got a prepaid Taxi. That's where the adventure began.
We left the airport at 1:19am - I looked at the clock. We thought it was a short little drive to the hotel. There was a bunch of traffic (I'm sure this is typical) so we didn't worry at first. Then our driver pulled up to this little alley way with bricks laying all over the place and told us all to come with him to "tourism" (he didn't speak english well). We were quite nervous about htis, so MOm and I went while Dan stayed with the luggage. This guy asked us where we were staying, asked to see our reservation, and asked why we were in India. We didn't tell him about the adoption, just that we were tourists. He gave the driver directions, and we thought we were all set.
After 20 more minutes the driver pulled up to a YWCA and asked someone else for directions. HE kept on saying, "all set, all set." He still wasn't. He pulled up to this area with all these people around tents and fires and asked THEM for directions! We were irritated, and a little nervous. He finally found the place at 3:30am! Then he refused to take a tip in rupees, demanding dollars. I said I didn't have any but please take the rupees, and he demanded dollars again, and then stormed away. This was the only point in the whole trip over here that I was remotely frustrated. I was offering a tip at all to be polite - had we been home I wouldn't have offered anything for that ride.
So, the hotel is lovely, people are polite. Breakfast was good. That's it for now, we'll post more tonight after we actually venture out.
OH - for Maddie and Myles - we saw some birds here that looked just like scarlet macaws! We miss you so much already!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I am amazingly calm thus far (subject to change at any moment). I'm just worried about leaving Madeline and Myles. They'll be fine and will have a blast being spoiled. Because of the holiday, Dan's Mom will get to have them for a couple of days, along with our neice and nephew Olivia and Peter. We are sad that we will miss them this Thanksgiving. Then my kids will be spoiled by my Aunt Dawn. Also, MooMoo and Aunt Ang plan on spending a day with them to continue with the spoiling. :)
And, Goal attained, we'll be home the day before Max's birthday. Thank you, Tami, for working with us and being flexible enough to make it happen.
Northwest Airlines – Flight NW 0038
Depart: Boston 715P 22 NOV 07
Arrive: Amsterdam 810A 23 NOV 07
Northwest Airlines – Flight NW 8423 Operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Depart: Amsterdam 1105A
Arrive: New Delhi 1130P
Jet Airways - Flight 914
Depart: New Delhi 840P 26 NOV 07
Arrive: Kolkata 1050P
Jet Airways - Flight 913
Depart: Kolkata 525P 29 NOV 07
Arrive: New Delhi 740P
Northwest Airlines – Flight NW 8366 Operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Depart: New Delhi 130A 30 NOV 07
Arrive: Amsterdam 545A
Northwest Airlines – Flight NW 0059
Depart: Amsterdam 825A
Arrive: Boston 10:25A
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I don't even know what else to say, but I'm brimming over with excitement! We'll update soon with travel plans!!