Enote 59 – Chris in IndiaJanuary 23, 2010
Chris Arrives in India:
I am rather hurriedly writing this enote between lunch and our next interview with students we support in Aizawl. No matter how we try to arrange our schedule, we always seem to be late for our next appointment.
We left Hamilton for Asia on January 10, arriving in Bangkok after a long flight (Syracuse, Chicago, Tokyo, Bangkok) late at night on January 12. The trip is not as bad as it sounds, and we can immediately sleep after arriving, so we can be reasonably active on the 13th, and well on the road to recovery by the following day.
We are excited to have our son Chris with us for the first time in India. It took a little bit of doing, getting a visa, makeing schedules coincide. and getting special permission for all. (All of the northeastern states of India, are somewhat politically unstable and persons entering them are carefully screened.) Already he has shown his value as a sympathetic, engaged interviewer of our students. Many of them are very shy and reluctant to answer questions. Chris seems to have a way of drawing them into the conversation.
Chris, pictured at the left with No Kap and Tluanga, tells us that he will be happy to write his first impressions of this remote and interesting place as soon as he has time. Watch for them on our web-site soon.
Reorganizing our CWO program:
We arrived in Aizawl to find over a dozen CWO representatives who had traveled many miles over crooked, rough roads to visit us and request support for the coming year. We had not asked for them and hardly had a chance to catch our breath. Apparently they were informed of our coming, and all had decided to meet us as soon as possible. With no email, and uncertain post mail, communication is a formidable problem for us and them. We met with them, but determined to change our way of operation for the future. Rather than bringing them all here to meet with us, at considerable expense, we decided to hire a young person to travel to them as our representative. Recognizing that authority is important to the Chin people we also chose a mature woman to accompany her.
Meet Man Cen and Chin Chin in the picture above. Chin Chin, pronounced Chee Chee, is our representative, and Man Cen her traveling companion. We look forward to smoother relations with the regional CWOs in the future.
The picture on the right shows a view of the remote Indo-Burmese border. The valley contains a river which is the actual boundary. Burma lies to the upper right and India is in the foreground of the picture. The country is very beautiful, but the people are very poor.
- Finalized arrangements for our Asia trip.
- Took flight to Bangkok.
- Visited with Janice Sarntikarn and her husband Steve.
- Took flight to Kolkata and Aizawl.
- Meetings with committees and students in Aizawl, Champhai, and Zokhawthar.
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