Day 1: After arriving to our guest house at 3.00 a.m., we started the first full day in India in Mumbai. Here we are at the Gateway to India. Tough to see all of the people sleeping in the streets. Visited the world's largest laundry.
The heat is more intense than I imagined.
Day 2: Got to Panvel, our home for the next week. Headed out to the village where the community center is being built. Got an introduction to rural life, saw the community center, moved bricks and concrete in diabolical heat. That night, we went to a pre-wedding celebration where the groom is covered in Turmeric to ensure a pure and clean body for his wedding day. Guests were invited to join the fun, so we did!
Day 3: Sunday worship with the Panvel Church. Awesome welcome from the community. Each person was given a shawl and garland as a sign of welcome. Incredible singing. Got teary when they sang How Great Thy Art in Hindi. I was introduced as Rev. Mrs. Jodi Doug, the best way I've ever been introduced! Doug preached. It was a blessed morning.
That night, we participated in the wedding celebration of the couple from the church. Blistering hot in the robes and stoles. The reception was great with Bollywood style dancing from all ages.
Day 4: The team prepped in the morning for our visit to the Panvel slum. We put together some gift bags and prepared some crafts for the children. We could not take photos in the slum. Conditions unthinkable. People generous and beautiful. Children awesome...responded to songs and crafts with incredible joy. Kids are kids no matter where you are, no matter what language you speak, but seeing the difficult conditions of their daily life was tough.
I am loving this experience even though it has been challenging. Surprised by how tough the heat and humidity have been for me. I wake up every day to the sound of thick traffic and horns honking. Our team is awesome. So positive, so engaging. No complaining. Many have sore throats from going in and out of heat and air con. Stomach issues minimal. I am so thankful.