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First impressions -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1 October 27, 2006

First impressions

It’s 4 a.m. Friday morning. I lost Thursday along the way, somewhere between London and Afghanistan. We flew over Baghdad late last night. It was difficult to see anything because it was night, but I thought about the soldiers still there and wondered if any of them could hear our plane overhead.

I thought we would have to wait to really see the poverty in India that I heard about, but it was prevalent as soon as we got off the plane. Families sleeping under trees at the airport, along the sidewalks, under bridges. Some have little tents they have made out of scraps of cloth or other discarded material. It gives them some privacy, I suppose. It’s sad to think that someone having scraps of trash to make a shelter is better off than someone lying on the ground in the open.

9 p.m.

It seems like days since we arrived in Lonavala. I was able to sleep about 5 hours, which was just enough to deal with the jet lag. We went to a small village at the foot of the caves in Lonavala, which are well known throughout India. We were the only Westerners there and drew considerable stares!

The view was spectacular and the color of the bright saris and market booths were extraordinary. We saw cows ― India’s sacred beasts — walking down the center of the road. Cars made their way down the road, ferociously honking at other vehicles and pedestrians, but no one honked at the cows!

Tomorrow is Saturday, and we will take a trip to Pune to do some sightseeing and some shopping.