Trip to India offers eye-opening experiences

It is a rainy Monday around 3:30 p.m. back home. In India, it was a sunny 97 degrees — but it’s now 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.

I just re-packed since we are on the move tomorrow. But for now I’m brewing tea after taking my Malaria prevention, and have last Friday’s unread Daily Journal next to me on the bed as I attempt to share a few blinks of what I’ve seen.

I have enthusiastically been counting my blessings, as this is my fourth trip, and I’m traveling with a group of two pastors from The Creek Christian Church and five high school students — one of whom is on his first trip outside the U.S.

There is the eye-opening adventure of seeing Qutub Minar in Delhi, the world’s tallest masonry minaret originating in 1192 AD. Made entirely of rubble, the structure collages red sandstone and marble.

Inside its completed and restored state, it has a circular staircase of 379 steps leading to the top of the 240-foot structure. We visit the marble rocks in Jabalpur tomorrow and the Bandhavgarh Tiger Safari Forest on Friday with the Taj Mahal on Monday.

There are also the interesting and rather humorous experiences, such as traveling on SpiceJet, a propeller aircraft. You must love an airplane whose air-sick bag has the printing, “If your stomach isn’t willing to hold it, we will.” (It was an especially smooth flight, by the way.)

But the most moving and joyful experiences are in meeting people who have your same passions — and even through hardships exude love and joy. The gift of a genuine smile, eye contact and handshake — or kisses on both cheeks from women — are instant heart warmers.

To be offered a dance from the children’s Sunday school classes, rehearsed diligently, was an incomprehensible gift of joy — along with the praise and worship songs mostly in Hindi — but understandable in my language.

Now nodding of to sleep. Good night.