Yesterday, I had a day off -- Thursday. The day before was a long one and a tough one so It was nice to catch up on a little sleep and on e-mails and on a whole host of other things. I find that I am not able to get to this blog as much as I would like to .....in order to keep people up to date on what is going on. It seems moving around can take time here, not too mention be an adventure in itself. Also -- I am wanting to do more video -- but it takes time to download and then upload the images on the blog. When I get home late -- that would mean working on it sometimes until 2 or 3 am -- which can't have too many days like that.
The other morning I was supposed to go and speak to the Staff at Oasis in Kurla. Oasis is a Christian http://www.oasisindia.org/
The brother who was going to pick me up was supposed to get me at 9:00am and it would be 10:00am when we got to Oasis. At 9:45am -- I still had not seen him and then a knock on the door and he was here. Only -- there was no auto-rickshaw -- evidently they were on strike today so we were going on the back of his motorcycle to the train station and we would take a train. So we head off to the station. He didn't have any helmets so I got to really "feel" the open air - and bugs, etc., against my face. Since the auto-riks were on strike -- there were about 50,000 less vehicles on the street - -so even though it was crowded -- it was not normal. We drove along and I was filming until he started saying something that I couldn't understand and then he said it in English......"Police" -- which meant -- shut the camera off on the road!
We got to the train station and I noticed a sea of motorcycles parked there -- it was pretty amazing site. My friend Ajay who was my escort to Oasis -- got tickets and we headed toward the proper train. When I got to the platform I noticed that the trains in our direction -- were absolutely packed -- in fact, people were hanging out the side. I thought -- there is no way we are getting on the train and he said you have to push your way in. I was about to try when the train started to move -- and then we had to wait for the next train. When it pulled up to the station -- with my backpack and camera bag I just literally put my head down and pushed to get inside the train with all my might and then apologized --(typical guilt!) It is so amazing that what would be so rude is acceptable and common behavior as it is just the way it is. I couldn't take any shots inside the train 1) because I couldn't get to my camera -- and 2) because I felt invasive shooting so close to people -- so you will have to trust me on this one -- perhaps I can do it at another time.
We got to the station in Kurla and moved out into the city to try and get a bus to the location -- that is where the video I shot ends.
I had a great time at Oasis with the staff - -learning about their new center and the work they are doing and then had a chance to share some of what God has been doing with me and then we spent some time looking at the scriptures. Afterwards we shared a meal and I was on my way with Pastor Stanley John from an Assembly of God Church. We went to his house to visit for about 4 hours in between -- it would have taken too long to go home and then come back as I was scheduled to speak at their home church in the evening. So, I even got to lay down for 30 minutes between on the couch in the living room for a rest -- but what a trip to wake up and have people sitting in chairs waiting for me to speak -- I was like -- Hi.....where's the coffee!
Anyway -- we had a good time together and Pastor Stanley is a wonderful, Godly man who has dedicated himself to the work in the area. He also has a heart for those living with HIV and has people in his congregation that are living with HIV and have also died from HIV. He has a very open mind for learning and is a real gift to the body of Christ and to Kurla and the country of India as he takes a lead in this way.
My way home was even more eventful -- because I did not want to deal with trains at night by myself for the first time I decided to take a taxi. Well a one hour taxi ride took 3 hours. I left the meeting at 8:30pm and walked into Dr. Stephen's place at 11:30pm -- absolutely fried. I was in a car where I had to bend my neck because I was too tall -- and the back seat touched the front seat so my knees were pressed against it -- it was an old ambassador -- that I think the Ambassador of Lilliput is the only person that could fit in the back seat. However, Traffic Jam -- took on a whole new meaning. But by the grace of God I got home safely and I was able to even complain about it!
Enjoy the short video that I shot on the back of the bike......