August 2, 2004

Mayfair

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 7:08 am

When we landed in Bhubuneshwar I was so relieved. Our hotel would be ours at last! We went inside, I took a 10 rupee note with me to give the bathroom “Attendant.” This one was young and had a dirty brown and gold sari on. She smiled at me when I gave her the note. 10 rupees is aproximately .15-.20 American. There were mosqitos in that bathroom though and I didn’t deet my seat! Yipes I was scared! They have mothballs in all of the drains to keep them out, but apparently it isn’t working.

After we got our bags we went outside to look for the Basundhara driver. No driver. I was a little upset, but decided to just get a taxi. A young man named Arun helped us out and drove us to our hotel for 250 rupees, about $5 US, not too bad.

You know I’ve read and read about India and what it is like. I’ve imagined the poverty and the crazy drivers. But I tell you what, there are not words to describe what it is like to actually see it in person. The poverty is terrible and it’s everywhere. And the driving? Wow, both Dave and I were cringing in the back seat. There are no rules apparently and you can go into other lane any time you want so long as you are the biggest. There are pedestrians, bycyclists, autorickshaws(a rickshaw pulled by a bicycle) and cars. I even saw a family of four ,husband wife and two kids, perched atop a motorcycle! Everyone is going every which way. It was unnerving. Dave said that a video game like that would make a fortune in America! LOL

Finally we got to our hotel room. It’s fancy but not as big as I thought it would be, or as CLEAN. I spent a while tonight scrubbing things with Clorox wipes and I’m still not satisfied. Many mosquitos came into our room, but it seems now as if the airconditioning has made them die. I hope so, because I’m nervous to sleep! We called Basundhara. Saila wasn’t there and the lady couldn’t speak much English. It was decided that we will be to Basundhara tomorrow at 10AM WOW!

I can’t believe in less than 10 hours I’ll be meeting my little girl! I’m so nervous. What if she doesn’t like me? What if she doesn’t want to come with us? How will I get her to understand me? I can’t sleep as these questions go through my mind. I hope that I can get to sleep though. I need to get up early.

Taipei

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 7:08 am

Whew! Well here we sit in the Taipei, Taiwan International airport. We just finished our longest flight. First we flew to San Francisco where we had a four hour layover. We spent an hour finding where we we supposed to be(wow what a walk!) and then spent three sitting at the gate waiting for the plane. Finally we were able to board China Air for our 12 hour trip to Taipei.

The seats were compact but comfortable. The plane was big with three rows of seats. Two along the sides and one down the middle. We were seated next to a very polite Seik gentleman. He had a nice orange turban and wore a silver bracelet. We were worried that we would be uncomfortable over time in the small seats, but really it wasn’t that bad. We watched three American movies; I read a little; and we mostly slept. Dave did get banged around a bit in the restroom when we hit some unexpected turbulence, but he’s OK. We were served two meals on the flight and the food was not half bad.

Taipei security was definately not as tight as American security. That was actually nice. 🙂 Taipei is beautiful. It’s right on the coast and is humid and lush(from what we can see out of the window that is). The airport isn’t much to write home about. It’s big and austere and smells to me like a nursing home—all musty and old and urine smelling. It’s too bad we have to sit in these hard metal chairs for three more hours *sigh*.

On the flights I kept telling myself that I have to be dreaming! There’s just no way I can actually be in a plane flying halfway around the world! I can’t believe I’m going to see Rani in less than 40 hours!!! I’m glad the big trip over the ocean is past. I tried not to think of it, but it’s a bit disconcerting knowing that you are flying over the ocean with no land in site for 12 hours.

It was a lot harder leaving my baby than I thought it would be. He wouldn’t nurse much and I had Dave take a picture, just in case it was the last time. He seemed a little sad when we left but was OK with it. I started bawling the second I got in the car. I wonder how his first night away from Mom has gone. I don’t seem to full with milk yet. I can’t pump because my pump is in my checked bag. I’m praying that I won’t lose my milk, but who knows what will happen.

***Well, it’s almost three hours later now. We sat in the hard chairs for as long as we could stand it. Finally we took our bags and went to find something to eat. After walking for at least ten minutes we found a little greasy spoon. The food wasn’t so bad. Mine was too spicy, so I traded Dave, and then his was flavorless. I went to get some salt from the condiment table to flavor it and the salt was sharing the table with a lovely little bug…probably a cocroach! URGH! At least it was small and didn’t eat much ;-). I took the salt back to the table and went to shake some on when I noticed, oh yes, bug legs in the salt! EW! Lets just say I ate flavorless Thai noodles and was happy. LOL

Well, our plane finally boards for Bangkok in about ten minutes, so I better put the computer away. I haven’t been able to get internet access yet. I’m hoping to find it soon. Hopefully when we get to the hotel I will be able to upload this to the website. But hey, at least I can say I flew all the way to Taiwan just to eat crappy food!!! 😀

Finally!!! Internet!!! :-)

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 7:08 am

Updates coming right up!

Calcutta

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 7:08 am

Wow! What an experience. As soon as we got on the flight from Taipei to Bangkok I started feeling nauseated. I think it was in part the smaller plane. I am prone to motion sickness. But since I am still feeling quite ill, I’m guessing maybe that Thai food isn’t sitting well with me either. Who knows for sure.

It was a miserable plane ride. I felt so ill and it was a three and a half hour flight. I made a joke to Dave that maybe I was hitting “transition” LOL. Now a few hours later I’m thinking I haven’t even hit active labor yet.

Bangkok is beautiful! Flying in we were surrounded by white fluffy clouds. We flew over them and through them and finally under them. After that you could see the most breathtaking site, all lush green fields and rolling hills intermixed with patches of rich reds and golds. I wanted to absorb it all in. To hold it in my mind and heart forever.

We sat next to a very nice Nepali man. He was travelling home to see his family after having visited with his cousin in LA.

In Bangkok we had only a two hour layover and we could not figure out where to go! We started to panic that we would miss the flight. Finally after walking for what felt like forever we found the desk. The man saw our large size and gave us seats on the front row for our flight to Calcutta. Ah, leg room!

I got even more sick on the flight to Calcutta. I was miserable and couldn’t wait for the plane to land. Finally I needed to use the restroom and I headed to the back. Let’s just say that Indian men cannot aim!!! EW! Soon we were descending to Calcutta. I couldn’t even enjoy it because I was feeling so sick. I kept trying to say to myself “India I have made it!” but I was too miserable. They “degermed” the entire plane with an aerosol spray and it made me feel even more sick. We left the plane on a stairway rather than a tunnel. That was cool. I was feeling sicker though and I really needed to use the rest room. First we had to fill out paperwork to get us into India. They wanted to know the adress of my hotel. I didn’t know! I’m standing there looking through all of my papers and really needing to use the toilet! Finally I put the adress of the orphanage instead. He let us through.

I headed across the very old rickety baggage area toward the women’s restroom. I was praying for a western toilet. When I got to the rest room there was a very old Indian woman in a purple sari. She smiled at me and I noticed that most of her teeth were rotted. She motioned me inside, gave me toilet paper, helped me with the soap for washing my hands and gave me toilet paper to dry off with. They did have a western toilet but it looked very dirty. I was grateful that I had my clorox wipes with me. After she helped me dry off she smiled and held out her hand. At first I didn’t understand but then it dawned on me, she wants money. I told her I didn’t have any but I would come back. She followed me over to Dave. We hadn’t exchanged any money yet and all he had was American dollars. I gave her two dollars, and she looked dissapointed. I told her I was sorry, it was all I had. I really did feel sorry. I headed back to the restroom. I needed to change my clothes to Salwar Kameez and put on some deet. Purple Sari Woman followed me back and stared at me while I changed my clothes. It was disconcerting, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get changed.

At Calcutta we found we had to switch airports. It seemed like it took forever to get our bags, convert some money, and leave the building. I knew that we would be surrounded by beggars the second we left the building, so I was watching, preparing. As we walked out I walked confidently, I turned to the group of beggars lined up there and smiled at them and continued walking. I guess we looked like we knew what we were doing because they didn’t even move a muscle to come toward us. I was relieved.

On the way into the other airport(domestic) we walked through a group of men gathered near the door. As we passed I heard the men make catcall type noises at my back. *sigh* it sounds the same in any language. We passed a guard booth. A guard in khakis had his gun pointed in our general direction. As we passed he looked me up and down and smiled at me invitingly. *sigh* I smiled politely and just kept walking. In the airport, more and more men were eyeing me. I was so relieved when we finally had to sit down. What they could see attractive in a 250lb American in a Salwar is completely beyond me.

Our flight didn’t leave at that point for another four hours. So we had to wait and wait and when we finally went to check in, it turns out the flight was delayed! We were so tired. I fell asleep just sitting there. When they finally called our flight number we were half dead. They took us out to a rickety old bus. The bus then wisked us over to the tiniest airplane I’ve ever seen. We were squashed in there like sardines. I was grateful the trip was only an hour and that it was our last. Dave and I both slept the entire way.

July 28, 2004

Leaving on a jet plane!!!!

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 1:07 am

:lilplaneOh how long I’ve waited to write those words! I can’t believe after 15 months the day has finally come for us to go get our daughter! So many things have happened over the last year. I have grown so much; our family has grown so much; and Rani has grown as well. We are so grateful that the Lord led us down this path to adoption. We know without a doubt that He guides our every move. Over the past few days we have had spiritual experiences that have solidified this knowledge in our hearts. We do not go on this journey alone. God and His angels :angel are watching over us and guiding us. Together we will accomplish this task, and all together we will become a family.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we embark on this adventure. Our plane leaves 8:25pm mountain time. We arrive in India at 8:00AM mountain time on the 30th. We meet Rani on her third birthday, the 31st.

I’m still not sure how much internet access I will have, but I plan to update this site as often as possible.

We’re going to India!!!! Woooohooooooooo!!!!!
:skip:hug:dance:clap:wave:pray:photo

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