In India

by Barbara Ann Oliver

Finally, an internet cafe!

Well, the last time we talked, I was worried because J.C. took the back seat out of the van so he could get more luggage in. Betty rode to the airport in the back of the van on the suitcases, and I rode up front with J.C., because I get car sick (grin). The trip to India took a total of 48 hours!

We hopped on a plane to Atlanta, then back to Los Angeles. We were scanned and patted and passed through all the barriers without a problem. What they thought three old people weighed down with luggage would do is beyond me. If I were going to blow up a plane, I certainly wouldn’t bother taking a bunch of luggage! But in a world that insists on asking me if I get the senior citizen discount, it was refreshing to be addressed as “young lady” by the security people. So that more than made up for the inconveniences!

There was a four-hour layover in Los Angeles before we boarded Singapore Airlines (the best airline!) for a 14-hour trip across the ocean. Being the old pros that they are, Betty and J.C. fell asleep everytime they sat down, while I watched movies and read. We reached Taipei, where we had another hour layover, then another four hours to Singapore for a 6-hour layover. We went into town to get a video camera for one of the men for his TV work, and J.C. asked me if I wanted to eat at Popeye’s. I was scandalized! American fast food in Singapore?! After finishing our errands, we decided to get back to the airport, where we ate at Burger King. It is a small world. Then it was back on the plane for another four hours to New Delhi.

The brethren picked us up at the airport, drove us to the church building and lugged all our heavy stuff upstairs. After visiting for a few minutes, they left us to ourselves.
The good news was, it was shower time. The bad news was, there was very little water. I will try to attach a picture to show you the shower. It is actually a bucket and a cup. You collect the water in the bucket, wash down and then rinse with the cup. The problem: only a half-gallon of water came out before the spigot dried up! We are still working on this problem. But you would be surprised how far you can stretch a half-gallon of water!

Saturday was a rest day. We went out to buy me some Indian garb. Sunday was wonderful! I met folks I had not seen in 30 years. Some of them had been tiny children when I left India in 1974; others, like me, had grown old and gray and fatter! I also met my internet buddy in person, my friend, Ajit, who is married to one of Sunny David’s girls, Pretty. Sunny’s mama, who is 82, just hugged and hugged me. I honestly had never expected to see her again.

India is unimaginable to most people. But the brethren are the same everywhere: wonderful to be with. And no matter the differences in dress, customs or language, God is worshipped in spirit and in truth.

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Barbara A Oliver

Barbara Ann Oliver has worked with the church in Costa Rica for many years and serves as the associate editor for Forthright Magazine.

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