Sunday - Arriving in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Trip Start May 15, 2009
15Trip End May 24, 2009
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After we finally arrived, we re-picked up all our luggage and made it outside. We were a little worried at first because Christopher was no where to be found. As it turns out, he thought we were arriving at the international airport vs. the regional one (which would have made so much more sense, lol), but he eventually found us and greeted us each with beautiful flowers.
While we were waiting for him to arrive, Heather befriended 3 young boys outside the airport. They played cars and blew bubbles, etc. thanks to the things Nicolle & Eliot had donated. The boys were laughing as Heather showed them how to make the cars crash, and other folks around began getting interested in which car would win the races
Christopher helped negotiate with the cab drivers to get us the best fare. There were about 15 of them all trying to get our business! The one we ended up with was irritated with Mar for giving money to the men who helped carry all of our luggage over to the taxi. Christopher told him to mind his own business - they had worked for their money the same as he would so he had no reason to complain.
However, giving them money did suddenly produce a slew of outstretched hands and people surrounding the cab begging for their own bit of money. We made a group decision at that point that we can't give to everyone, our resources are limited, so we would have to use discretion re: how much we give at any given time, who we give to, and for what purpose (ie: where our gifts could do the most good).
We then had an amazing ride through the city on our way to the YWCA, where we are staying.
The Y is the perfect place for us. It has open air meeting rooms and breezeways, large fans, clean bedrooms, etc. This is the same place the team stayed in 2007 so it was cool imagining them there, walking the halls, meeting around the table, etc.
We had arranged to go out later in the evening with Christopher to his church and then on to the dump, but Tom, Heather and Alanna all fell into a deep sleep and could not be aroused. Mar and Christopher decided to postpone the plans until another time, and just talked instead.