Warning: This is a long post, but I thought some of you may be wondering how our travel and return to India has gone.
It would be very hard to describe the last few weeks. I'm not exactly sure what a "time warp" is, but I wonder if we were sucked into one! After attending one last missions conference, after sorting, discarding, rearranging, and packing, after some very emotional "good-bye's", we traveled to Boston on March 11th.
It is always a little nerve-racking to check-in at the airport on the way back to India. We are a family of seven...with 15 suitcases...and 7 carry-ons...7 passports...7 visas to be checked (and rechecked). India is a country that changes its policies often, and without warning. Sometimes they will ask for a different piece of paperwork that they never asked for before, sometimes they won't ask for anything, so we never know what to expect. This time they checked and rechecked my PIO card, they discussed it among themselves and handed me a piece of paper that said I could travel on the PIO with no problem. I never had to use the piece of paper, I was never asked for it, but then again "better safe than sorry"!
All of our luggage was weighed, and all were under weight! Yay! If you have to travel internationally and have to pack a lot, get a luggage scale (ours is from LL Bean). It's a lot easier to move things from one suitcase to another and get the weight right when you are in the privacy of your home, than it is when you are in front of a hundred strangers at the airport (this is the voice of experience!)
After a 6 hour flight to London, a long layover, and an almost 9 hour flight to India, we arrived in Delhi on Friday. We flew through customs (the customs agent just wanted to know if all these kids were ours :-))
And...we made it! We are back in India. The jet lag hasn't been too bad. It seems we are almost back to a normal sleeping schedule already. The children are excited to be back, and have been enjoying their friends, and their favorite Indian foods. I have been feverishly working to get this house looking like a home again, instead of a storage unit! Alyssa and Naomi have been a great help with this. We had to switch the older girls to a different bedroom, because the room they had been using has mold growing, and Alyssa has asthma issues if she is in a moldy environment. Since moving to the other bedroom, she seems to be doing well. Hopefully, the landlord will be sending someone to deal with that situation in a few weeks.
The weather has been beautiful (in the 70s and 80s). We should have a week or two before it hits 100.
We have a Bible Conference, next Thurs. to Sun. The guest speaker and his wife and daughter will be staying at our home, so I have to get the place "guest-ready" before then. I also have 4 ladies classes to get ready for, so my mind is whirling about all those things, but I am trying to get things done one step at a time.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. Our travel and transition back to India has gone very well. We miss many things about the US, we miss many people (and wish they would come for a visit **Hint Hint), but we are thankful to know that God has put us in this place for His purpose.