I apologize for the long absence. I have spent the last several days traveling a lot, without much or any access to internet.
Monday, I drove all day to Chilakaluripet to the AMG Headquarters and main office. What was supposed to be a 7 hour drive really turned into over 9. With only one bathroom break. Thank goodness I brought my own toilet paper.
Upon my arrival I was greeted by my long lost American friends Aneesa, Justin, and Chris! Sarcasm, jokes, and laughter proceeded as I again had the wonderful opportunity to speak English like I do back home.
Tuesday the four of us spent the day going to Veda, one of AMG’s schools here where we spent some time watching the children’s procession as they sang the national anthem, saluted, and read passages of Scripture.
We proceeded out of town after this to the rock quarries. Here it is very common for children to come with their parents to work alongside them, earning wages for the family. Besides being rather dangerous, these children have been deprived of an education, or a chance at becoming anything other than what their parents are. But thanks to some generous donors AMG has been able to set up a school near the quarries for the children to attend. At this school you have children who are the first generation in their family to learn English, or to even get a regular education. It was so encouraging to see the bright smiles and faces of these young children as you knew they were being given a chance their parents never were.
After being forced to eat a huge lunch that included soup, pasta, rice, potatoes, chicken, two desserts, and mango we had a long, fast, and bumpy car ride where I sat in the back. Not a good combination. I got pretty sick. Once we got back to the house I still didn’t feel better. I ended up getting sick three times that night, and had a fever of 99.5 (which everyone was worried about because apparently in India only a temp of 98.6 is normal). They also wanted me to eat more food (just what I needed!), drink warmed milk (also not great for someone who is terribly nauseated), and eat chocolate (ok, I’m a HUGE fan of chocolate, but seriously? It doesn’t taste great coming back up). I stuck with my Sprite and Cheerios. They don’t have plain crackers here.
Wednesday we drove to Chennai (Madras) for Justin and Chris’ flight back to the states. Again, the 5 hour drive turned into 7. Saying goodbye for the second time was not as hard as the first. I hope you are enjoying a nice cheeseburger and fries, you traitors.
Now I’m back in Chilakaluripet staying at the AMG headquarters and school. Back to living a life of charades as I mime my way through communicating with people. Just three more weeks…