Monday, January 7, 2008

REFLECTIONS OF INDIA - JOSE & ANAND
January 7, 2007 - resting in Bangalore, Karnataka and visiting Christian Medical College in Vellore, Tamil Nadu

THREE PLUS TWO. Little did we know how much of an impact the Indian riders would have on our 2,000-mile cycling trek from the southern tip of India to New Delhi. Three of us were North American--two from the United States and one from Canada. Two riders were from India--but a different two riders each week and each state. The Indian riders were companions to orient us to their particular region, language, culture, customs, etc. Since India has so many different languages and tribes, we felt it was important spread the experience and sensitize ourselves as best we could to India's diversity.

FROM NAGERCOIL TO BANGALORE. The first set of riders were two teenagers from Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. Jose (second from right) and Anand (far left) were best friends and Christians, though not Free Methodists. They were great traveling companions. Their humor and earnestness won our hearts. They rode slower than we wanted to ride and we tried to coach them in how to use the multiple speeds on the bikes we provided to their advantage. They eventually sped up--a little. As it turns out, they kept the best pace of any of the other wonderful and colorful riders who joined us in the remaining five weeks.

ALL THE WAY TO NEW DELHI? Jose and Anand hoped other riders would not be found in Bangalore and that they could ride with us all the way to New Delhi. There's a part of me that still wishes that could've happened for them. They were certainly capable to making the entire trek. But more riders were waiting for us Bangalore. I will never forget the heart pain of watching Jose and Anand head to the Bangalore train station on this day one year ago. I hope to see them again someday.

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