Anita diligently kept a journal.
Which I've adapted to share with you some of our experiences.
After two long
flights we arrived in Chennai to be met by Brother Raju.
After 7 years of correspondence it was a strange experience
to meet him in person. One of the kindest humblest people
I have ever met.
had been before. The shock of setting eyes on India for
the first time for me was almost overwhelming. I couldn't
believe that in the middle of the night that the streets
were teeming with people. All eyes seemed to be on us. We
must have looked like aliens.
As we raced through
the streets in a taxi every driving law in England was being
breached within the space of 5 minutes. I screamed out as
two vehicles looked like they would collide and make a sandwich
out of us. I soon got used to this way of travel where there
were no lanes but everybody weaved in and out. Even on dual
carriageways it didn't seem to matter which way you travelled
if the traffic was too bad.
We stayed in a
hotel for a few hours, but even though we'd arrived there
in the early hours of the morning Gudrun was up bright and
early at 8.O'clock, knocking at our door. I replied when
she asked if we were ready that I wasn't even awake never
As we took two
rickshaws to do some shopping, I was concerned we had lost
the others, but we found them and I soon started enjoying
this new way of travelling. It was like the dodgems without
the collisions (By the grace of God.... Phew!!!) Everyone
hoots constantly in India, which took a bit of getting used
to, but its probably the only way they survive!!!
The train journey
that afternoon to Tenali seemed to go on forever. Anita
spent most of the time sitting at the open door cooling
down and watching the amazing Indian scenery. People in
rice fields waving at her. Mud huts and dirty rivers.
Brother Raju assured
me that he would look after us until he handed us over to
Joshua and Caleb when we returned to Chennai on the last
few days of our visit. I had no need to be afraid. I was
to find that he was as good as his word and he must have
run himself ragged looking after us all making sure we had
enough of everything which certainly wasn't easy in the
primitive town of Tenali.
We arrived in Tenali
train station in the dark to a crowd of people throwing
petals on us and decking us with garlands of flowers around
our necks. I have never experienced anything like it. We
felt like film stars. Everywhere we went we caused a stir.
Children running up to the car wanting to shake hands. Even
in the streets people were wanting prayer and getting converted.