Thanks for the many responses from our beloved readers (note: if you're a reader, then you're automatically beloved!). If you haven't responded yet with your "aye, aye!" then I am personally holding you hostage and insist you take a moment to say, "Oh yes, here I am!"
On Friday night, we returned from our long, long train ride (30-hours) from Chennai to Agra (we actually enjoyed our train ride, but kept feeling like we were on a rocking train for days afterward), and our Agra experience, and our dubious "Day in Delhi." Erin got sick on Friday morning, Lily was sick Saturday, and Byron and Dawn came down with it on Sunday. Heidi seems to be sick today (Monday) and Dad has a terrible cough. I think North India took its toll on us, and can I tell you that nothing, nothing looked so good as Mani's smiling face and the familiar Chennai roads and our own beds and bathrooms and our beloved cooks upon our return to Chennai.
Now we're trying to get all of us healthy, and going through a lot of pepto-bismal and charcoal pills. Will post when we have more time, but for now must mention that the Taj Mahal was really incredible. The rest of Agra was good also. Our time in Delhi, on the other hand, was one of those experiences that is so dreadful when you're going through it, but the next day you sit around talking about it, and you start laughing so hard your stomach hurts. But then you get that cramp in your stomach that started in Delhi, and you go off in search of the Pepto Bismal and/or charcoal again.
Took lots of pictures, and hope to post before we return home. At this point, I can see us doing our last posts when we're home in Kansas!
Remind me to tell you about the attacking monkeys, the many Muslim calls for prayer blasting over speakers several times a day from mosques in Agra, the dozens of people who were at the Taj with us who went home with pictures of the Burkes on their cameras, Dad being the first one in the Taj on Thursday morning and hearing the most incredible echo ever in the burial chamber, the kitchens you don't really want to look too closely at before you eat there in Agra (and the mouse we saw running across the tops of the chairs in the NICEST restaurant we ate in in Agra!), the experience of riding in an auto-rickshaw in the rain, the argument Dawn got into with a petty-cab driver and her fear that he would lie in wait for her the next morning, Dad's discovery of some little bananas that are so sweet (and which he seemed to subsist on whilst in Agra), the protestors who shut down most the roads going into Delhi on Thursday so we booked train tickets instead of renting a car on Friday morning, and the vendors, vendors, vendors, vendors that were so "in our faces" the whole ten-minute walk from the Taj to our hotel.
Hope to find time to post soon. Please pray that we'll recover our health! It's not fun having our stomachs churn and having the smell of food make us nauseous.
We leave in exactly one week, to arrive home on Wednesday, June 11, in the evening. My list of things to do before we leave is so long that I have to sit down everytime I read it.
Dad leaves tonight. We're so used to having him here I'm not sure if we'll be able to cope without him! Please pray for him as well, as he's got a nasty cold and that's NOT fun to have when you're on a 21-hour plane ride, followed by 3 hours of driving to get to work on Wednesday morning.
P.S. Please also remember Dawn that she'll find time and experience God's blessings in composing a sermon they have asked her to give this Saturday at church! Though I don't like to write out sermons/talks word for word, it would be helpful to find time to compose my thoughts into a basic outline. . . !