Safe and sound in Delhi…

February 11, 2007

Flying over Kazakhstan… arrived Sunday morning at 1am after a punishing flight over Kazakhstan and Kabul. As we banked over Pakistan and began breakfast, we hit some seriously angry wind that sent our trays into the air and all about the cabin. 200+ people had just opened their yogurt and been served hot coffee. Fun.

Ali-Isha-Khan's Tomb in South DelhiAfter touch down, every bit of Delhi seems to hit you in the face. The city is a study in contrasts: tantalizing aromas and putrefying odors, obscene opulence and shocking filth, lush abundance and total desolation, extraordinary kindness and harsh exclusionism, fast-forward stimulation and snail’s pace mindset. And that’s just one day. Less than 24 hours in, and I feel like I’ve been here for a month. It’s gorgeous and appalling, and I can’t get enough.

Scooter outside my flat I've had my eye onToday was about jet lag, meeting a ton of other volunteers and hearing their stories, doing some site-seeing, going through orientation, and even squeezing in a classical dance recital by way of an electric rickshaw in the rain. Not much to share yet other than I’m here, I’m happy, and I can’t wait to get to work. Trying to add some photos from Day One, but I can’t get them thumbnail-sized from this ancient LG in this tiny, leaky internet “stall.” I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, Namaste, friends.

((Edited to add: Picture #1: Flying over Kazakhstan. Picture #2: The tomb of Isa Kahn. Picture #3: A sweet ride that’s always parked right outside our flat.



  1. Kara, So glad to hear that you arrived safe and sound. I’ve been thinking about you all day wondering what you are doing, experiencing so far, etc. I am sooo proud of you!!!
    Love, Nell.

  2. Yikes, what a plane ride! That sounds like such a scary way to start your trip! But as always, your attitude sounds terrific and positive. And Kara, nobody does descriptive and concise like you! I loved this post, you make me feel like I’m there! Bless you!

  3. Wheee I found the blog! Now only if I didn’t feel like I was on line LARPing. India is the worlds largest Controlled Chaos experiment. Their utter disregard for each others poverty/starvation/cleanliness/lack of shelter is awe inspiring. Some time I will have to show you the running argument I have with Jen D, who just “LOVES” my perspective on India.

    Glad to hear you made it though!


  4. Kara, I’m glad you arrived safely, even with the bumpy ride. Rachel is right – your description makes me feel as if I’m there with you. I hope your first day at the hospice goes well – and all the days that follow, of course. ;-).

  5. Missing you, but your wonderful stories are continuing to fill everyone’s minds and hearts with the views of other lives and different worlds. What a wonderful gift with words you have, and how lucky we are to get to read them. It’s just like being there and seeing it as it happened. May God be with you, always.

  6. And she’s off…Kara, you’re my hero. So glad you arrived safely. I see you beaming, surrounded by light, touching lives–growing with every new experience. Absolutely love reading your entries.

  7. …we love you + we love you some more!
    hope your days are filled with light and wonder.
    you are an inspiration my dear…
    (big hug) a. + the little b.

  8. Love the pics as well – that scooter is so you. 🙂 Hope to see more of them as you get time!

  9. The most destructive habit Worry
    The greatest joy Giving
    The most endangered species Dedicated leaders
    Our greatest natural resource Our youth
    The greatest “shot in the arm” Encouragement
    The greatest problem to overcome Fear
    The most effective sleeping pill Peace of mind
    The most crippling disease Excuses
    The most powerful force in life Love
    The most destructive pariah Gossip
    The most incredible computer The human brain
    The worst thing to be without Hope
    The deadliest weapon The tongue
    The two most powerful words Can do
    The greatest asset Faith
    The most worthless emotion Self-pity
    The worst thing you can lose Self-respect
    The most satisfying work Helping others
    The ugliest personality trait Selfishness
    The most beautiful attire A smile!
    The most prized possession Integrity
    The most contageous spirit Enthusiasm
    The most powerful communication Prayer

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