Thursday, January 3, 2008

REFLECTIONS OF INDIA - VILLAGE UPON VILLAGE
January 3, 2007 - to Namakkal, Tamil Nadu

Here is my journal entry in India on this day last year:

FIFTH DAY RIDING. Today was our fifth day riding north from Nagercoil and Kaniyakumari at the southern tip of India to New Delhi. We rode 74 miles from Dundigal to Namakkal. It was our best ride day yet. The wind was at our backs and it seemed like we were riding on the clouds. We are striving to make it to Bangalore by Saturday. Bangalore is a major Indian metropolis, called the "Silicon Valley of India" for its computer technology centers.

VILLAGE TO VILLAGE. The names of the villages and towns we are passing through on our 2,000-mile trek northward are quite interesting, but they come and go with such frequency that they are starting to run together. We passed through hundreds of villages in six weeks. We are weary when we arrive at our destination for the day, usually a town large enough to have a lodging house. We shower, rest, eat dinner, and retire for the evening. But each place and the people fill one's senses. Whatever the community or village or farm or industry we pass by, it is insightful and instructive.

SUPPORT TEAM. Our journey would not be possible without our Indian team members. Sanju "Gope" Sumadre (on right). Gope is not oly a professional driver by vocation, he makes all sorts of arrangements to make our riding smooth, supported, and refreshed. Gope is from Yavatmal in Maharashtra, near Umri. We are also supported by Sathi San (second from right), the Hospital Administrator at Umri Christian Hospital. Sathi San is from Tamil Nadu, the state through which we are now passing, and his ability to translate and talk to local folk has been invaluable. He will leave us in a few days, replaced by another host in another state. We appreciate his guidance and help. We are also accompanied by our Tamil Nadu riders, Anand and Jose (on left). All are healthy. All are safe. We press on.

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