Amman, Jordan to Delhi, India to Bangalore, India

07.07.2010

Today was a really long day of travel.  I left Amman, Jordan last night and arrived in Delhi, India around 5a.  Our flight was a bit late.  That was okay.  I knew I had plenty of time to get to my connecting flight to Bangalore.

I got in line for passport control and when it was my turn, I handed over the paperwork and then proceeded to get questioned about where I was going.  I told the man I was going to Bangalore and he wanted an address.  I explained to him that I didn’t know the address, someone was picking me up at the airport.  Then I got questioned more about where I was going and what I was doing and I could tell he was getting upset with me.  We finally agreed that I would write down the name of the organization and the city I was going to on the form and then he stamped my passport/visa and I was on my way.

I collected my luggage from baggage claim and proceeded to find the area to transfer to domestic flights.  Everyone was very helpful and made sure I got on the right shuttle bus to the domestic terminal.  I collected my bag off the shuttle bus and found the IndiGo ticket counter.  They were very efficient and I was checked in with no problems at all.

I went through security AGAIN.  I swear I have been patted down more in the last 24 hours than the last 2 months of traveling.  I am starting to feel self-conscious about what I am wearing!  (which, by the way, is just the usual t-shirt, pants and sandals)  In Israel, Jordan and now, India, the women are screened separately from the men and receive the pat down in a little curtain area.  In India, your carry-on bag also has to have a special tag with a stamp on it from the security checkpoint.  I made it through with flying colors, then I started to wander around the terminal.  I bought a fruit salad and some coconut water for breakfast.  I exchanged the last of my euros into rupees and also got some money from an ATM, but I didn’t get enough.  I wasn’t sure what the exchange rate was and didn’t want to have a repeat of what I did in Budapest!

Our flight finally boarded at 9a and as soon as I got on the plane, I fell asleep.  I was exhausted!  I don’t even know if they served food or drinks because I was sound asleep the entire flight

We arrived on time and I retrieved my bag.  I was supposed to meet Sr. Lily, so I started looking for a nun and I found her without any difficulties.  She gave me a very warm welcome.  We got in the van and started to leave the parking lot. The driver accidentally dropped the parking ticket slip into the car door and lost it. We had to tear the door apart and finally found it.  I got the great idea to use the gum in my mouth and attach it to a stick to reach in their to get it.  It took a while but I was able to retrieve it and then we were on our way!  Sr. Lilly was impressed with me, I think. 

It took us about two hours to get from the airport to the Bannerghatta vocational school the Salesians run in Bangalore.  They work with primarily poor girls,  helping them with their English skills, which according to the sisters is a vital part of their training.  Without English, these girls don’t have a chance at a job or creating a better life for themselves.

While we were driving, it started to rain.  I was so excited!  Monsoon season is coming and I am enjoying the thought of having rain after spending so much time in the desert the last two weeks.  I also enjoyed all of the scooters and motorcycles and the chaos of driving in India.  I mostly spent the time in awe at how more people are not killed while driving here!

Upon arrival to the vocational school, Sr. Lily showed me to my room and I washed up a bit before having lunch.  After lunch, I took a nap.  I had intended to just sleep for an hour or two, but it ended up being a bit longer than that.  I was retrieved by another sister who brought me over for dinner.  More of the sisters were there and we had a great conversation about my travels and I learned a little bit about the school and their plans to use me to teach English.  I am really excited about this and can’t wait to start tomorrow!