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India – Spring 2007

Journal 18 - April 5 - 7

Friday marked our 12th week in India and spurred on the group’s countdown of our remaining two weeks. After Hindi class let out, Eliza and I took a walk down to the river and found ourselves caught up in an extremely loud processional. We were confused as to what was going on until we saw a truck with a bed in the back carrying a bleeding and bandaged life-size figure of Jesus to His tomb, reminding us it was Good Friday. We stood there watching somewhat in disbelief until they were out of sight. Not long after that we turned a corner and saw a rather large elephant heading our way. We stepped to the side to let it pass, laughing at our series of surreal moments that make India, India.

On Saturday morning, we drove three hours through beautiful tea fields to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. After lunch, we took a boat ride through the sanctuary and although we failed to see tigers yet again, we did manage to see a group of seven wild elephants eating and enjoying the cool water. Afterwards, we visited an organic spice farm where we got to fully experience the tastes and smells of Indian spices.

On Sunday, we drove back to the center and later that evening we had our Easter service. We had communion together, India style, with sliced bread and Appy Fizz (apple juice). The Easter story was read and we sang the Easter songs we had been humming all week. We also spent some time sharing about our Easter traditions at home and how being in India for Easter has made us look at it differently. Although the weekend went fast, the trip to Periyar and our Easter service left me feeling refreshed and ready to take on these last two weeks!

- Rosanna Shetler