With the iRiver being loaded by Glowstick Knight (who deserves some exceptionally prestigious award for so doing), assorted mosquito repellers, malaria tablets and thin cotton shirts beginning to pile up in a corner of the bedroom, and my passport sporting its first ever visa, it’s beginning to dawn on me that in 10 days time I’m not "merely" (and with trepidation) abandoning my beloved children for a month…
I am actually GOING TO INDIA!!!
And I’ve decided it’s time to get just the teeniest bit excited.
After all, I’ve never been outside Europe, I’ve not been away from home on my own for more than a week since I married LCM 21 years ago and I’ve never lived as family with people from a totally different culture. Seems to me there’s plenty to inspire incredulous wonder at there.
And not only am I being allowed to do all this, it’s actually part of my work…in the same amazing way as hearing people’s stories, praying with them and being able to offer them the Sacraments.
Did I tell you before that this is the most wonderful job in the world?
To ensure that I stay in upbeat mood (and yes, we can confidently predict tears of monsoon proportions when I actually say good-bye to the boys on 1st November) I thought I’d blog some background to the trip, as much for my benefit as a notional reader. Looking at things like maps makes it all seem real…and that has to be good.
So...here's where I'm flying to. Bangalore, in the diocese of Karnataka Central in the Church of South India. Bangalore is the black splodge at the right hand point of the triangle of 2 red and 1 black splodge at the bottom of the map (sorry, best image I could find)
Later on, I'll blog a bit about the city and the diocese...official briefing at this end has been minimal so I'm busy doing some belated research, while finishing Rohinton Mistry's amazing novels A Fine Balance and Such a Long Journey (both highly recommended - and certainly helping me to get in the mood)
Meanwhile, here's one image of the city it chooses to project to the world. Really rather different from Charlton Kings!