Saturday, February 09, 2008

India – February 8, 2008 – Plunging into the Countryside

Our day started early when we were picked up at our hotel by the Asia Action (ministry name changed) ministry leader for this area, Rabine (also changed). We stuffed ourselves and some small luggage into a fairly recent model vehicle hired by Rabine for the trip. It was relatively comfortable, really; and that was good, because we drove for the better five hours to get to Love Center, the orphanage operated by Asia Action on one edge of a small Indian village.

The drive was a long succession of near misses as we threaded our way along a mostly narrow series of paved roads, along which was also travelling an endless number of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorbikes, trucks, “autos”, a few cars, bullock carts, donkey carts, cattle drives, tractors with trailers, and vehicles a little hard to describe, but certainly never made in any factory. On either side of the road passed rural India: fields, rivers, villages, towns, roadside stalls, people sleeping in the fields, interesting birds and old ruins, statues to Hindu gods and goddesses, small village mosques….an incredible tableau of the orient.

We stopped for breakfast at Rabine’s favorite roadside spot and immediately became the center of attention for a number of locals. It was a pleasant, if unusual breakfast. The samosa, served in a bowl made of a leaf, was the featured attraction, but along with it came chai (tea) and some a few other baked items, including an interesting sweet item, dripping with liquid sugar.

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