Sunday, January 13, 2013


Wow! I have been in India for 4 days now. So many new sights, smells, sounds. It is hard to know where to begin writing. How about some background. I learned about Rising Star Outreach several years ago, maybe 10, from its founder, Becky Douglas. She and her husband are friends from Atlanta of many years. A couple of years ago I started thinking about some of the things I wanted to do over the upcoming years and Rising Star was on my short list. Following the end of my mission this past May, I started thinking about my next big project. I considered teaching English in China through a BYU program and going to India with Rising Star. Looking at the calendar and upcoming family events, a 3 month stay in India seemed just right. I contacted Rising Star, was asked to submit a resume, created a resume, submitted the said resume, had a skype interview with some of the directors and was accepted into the program as the Education Coordinator. There were several things I had to do to be able to go. The first was to be up-to-date on my vaccinations, which I was except for typhoid. I also had to get malaria pills and begin them one week before departure. I was nervous about the typhoid and malaria pills as I had heard that both could make you very sick. But, I was fine with both. I also had to secure a visa. It was a slight pain to do and a little costly at about $100. But it came through just fine. I then had to book my flight. With our family cruise being over New Years I waited until January 8 to leave Atlanta. I also heard from Anita about the importance of bringing alot of snacks and supplies, so I packed one suitcase just with food, vitamins, etc.
January 8 I left Atlanta. About 30 hours later, on January 10 I landed in India. You do the math and time zones and it all works out. The flight wasn't really so bad. Flying to Thailand twice has helped me figure out how to deal with those long flights. Mainly you watch movies, sleep and turn into a zombie for 24 hours with a good neck pillow and blanket. The part I was most concerned with was the 9 hour layover in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I had heard it is a pretty sketchy place. But I found a nice reclining chair next to several other people and camped out for the night.
Upon arrival in Chennai I was told to look for the man with a sign with my name written on it and Rising Star. Exiting the airport door, I must have seen a hundred Indian men, all looking the same to me holding up little signs. And then in the sea of all those men, stood Anita, smiling and waving. It was a welcome sight. Two hours later we arrived at my new home for the winter (or I should say summer). (to be continued...)


Post a Comment