Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 1: The Never Ending Day

Finally, we are settled into our hotel room in the heart of Bangalore. Twenty four hours of travel is no joke especially with a three-year-old! Thankfully there was a free indoor playground at the London airport which greatly helped our layover there. :)  We were all tired and slept 3-4 hours of the final flight to Bangalore (10 hour flight).

We landed in London mid-morning on Tuesday and then in Bangalore just as the sun was rising Wednesday morning. Somehow we managed to eat breakfast three times in a row (upon our arrival to London, aboard our next flight around 3:00am, and upon our arrival at our hotel at 8:00am) and welcomed the New Year aboard the plane. Everyone here in Bangalore has greeted us with an enthusiastic Happy New Year! Seriously, we've never heard that phrase so much at any other new year. Apparently, the road right off of our hotel was covered in a sea of people last night just six hours before we arrived. You'd never have known it this morning with all the empty sidewalks and shops closed tight (except for the piles of trash the street sweeps were forming). 

Taken at third breakfast

After some exercise at the hotel and a wonderful shower we slept from about 11:00am - 2:30pm local time. It took the strongest sense of discipline to pry ourselves out of bed...knowing we needed to adjust our body clocks. Levi was hilarious...he literally couldn't keep his eyes open as we tried to keep him awake this afternoon after that nap. 

We grabbed a late afternoon meal and decided to take to the streets in hopes of experiencing Bangalore and finding a park Kelley had heard of. If you haven't visited a foreign city for the first's incredibly disorienting. And most people on the street do not understand much English. 

We certainly got a genuine Bangalore experience that meant us walking probably five miles instead of what should have been two. We did find the park though! It reminded us so much of our first days living in Azerbaijan. 

Considering most streets aren't marked in English and the overall newness of the place, we could have been 100 yards from our hotel and not known it. The over-crowded streets, constant horns blaring, un-even sidewalks, beggers, and stares that communicated What on earth are these white Americans doing here? all mixed in with running for our lives across the over-crowded streets felt so much like our days of finding our way around Baku. Levi got his cheeks pinched, picture taken, and name spoken by strangers who were fascinated with his blonde hair and pale skin. And then the sun set as we left the park which made our walk back a little more of a challenge directionally. But the detour allowed for some 'local' shopping on the way back! The hotel we are staying in wants $3 for bottled we found some huge bottles for about $0.50 in the local stores :) Levi really has been great considering all...even the 4-5 miles atop my shoulder's tonight.

We're back at the hotel and have made contact with the representative who will take us to Reshma's (!!!) orphanage tomorrow morning. We will be with her 12 hours from now! Our bags are ready and full of goodies for the other kids at the orphanage (soccer balls, balloons, candy, glow sticks, crayons, stickers, etc). Our meeting with Reshma will be around midnight on Wednesday night eastern time in the U.S. Tomorrow we'll look forward to sharing lots of pictures and some details from our first day together. 

Good night from Bangalore...and Happy New Year!


Sam & Heather said...

Happy New Year, Tegens! We're praying for you all and are so excited for you!

bestgalphotography said...

We have been so excited all day knowing you are there!!!!! So stoked for tomorrow- I have chills just thinking about it!! Love you 4! -mudders

Cromer said...

I was looking back over my sisters updates today as well and realized she is in Bangalore TOO!! My heart has been drawn to the exact same place for two different major parts of my heart (you guys and my sister).

this One's for the girls said...

So excited to see you've arrived and spent a day exploring already! Every blessing to you as you first meet Reshma!

Heidi De Love said...

this brings back so many memories! happy 2014! What an amazing start to the new year!

natalie said...

You should be with your sweet girl anytime now!! I stopped for a minute to pray for you guys. Excited to see the pictures!!

Kindel said...

Totally meant to post my most recent comment on this post...anyhow, I so excited for you four that I can't even sleep! :) I pray that everything is going well!

Auburn said...

So I have the computer open on the table and I keep going by and hitting "refresh," "refresh," "refresh." I can't wait to see you all together!!!