Next stop was Delhi. We drove rather late into the night from Agra down to Delhi. We stayed is a rather interesting hotel that, well, lets just say it was interesting. Not quite what we were expecting. Delhi is kind of the like the Washington DC of India as it is its own state and that is where the Indian government is headquartered. There is a rather lavish area that includes all of the embassies and the presidential palace, then there is Old Delhi, which was one of the craziest, most congested parts of a city that I have ever been in in my life. It was amazing. You’ll see what I mean in the photos below. Unfortunately, we were all feeling a little sick this day, but we toughed it out and had an amazing day. We started off our day attending church at one of the branches in Delhi. I think there are eight branches there. It was so awesome to be there with our brothers and sisters in India. Though the cultural backgrounds were completely different, I couldn’t help but feel like I was there with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I just felt this overwhelming spirit of gratitude to God for the opportunity that we have to worship Him no matter where we are in the world.
On our way from church to Old Delhi, we stopped at a pharmacy – drank a couple bottles of Indian Pepto Bismol and we were set. We passed these slums which were beautiful in their own way. Built right into the rocks.
We stopped at this huge minaret – Qutb Minar. They started building it in 1193 and took a hundred years or so to build. The carvings (scriptures from the Koran) were so amazing and pristine.
I had to sneak a photo of this guy’s awesome tshirt. I love English tshirts in foreign countries. This one rivals some of the ones I saw in Japan.
On our way into Central Delhi we passed this statue. Raj (our driver) pointed out that is the picture that is on Indian money. In the statue, Gandhi is the leader and he is being followed by the leaders of other world religions.
The Presidential Palace. This place was HUGE. Something like 600 rooms.
The World War II Memorial.
Now we get into the crazy stuff. We got to Old Delhi, jumped on these bicycle rickshaws and rode into the masses. Here we saw everything from people bathing on the side of the street, getting haircuts/shaving, selling tires, you name it. So awesome. I will let the photos do the talking (sorry some are a bit blurry, the rickshaw was bouncy). Notice the wires. Wires EVERYWHERE.
Playing hide and seek with this little boy in the well. Behind him is the largest mosque in India.
Can you believe all of those people? This was in the middle of the day – not particularly rush hour or anything.
Kids playing cricket on the grounds of the mosque.
Fences didn’t get in the way of their cricket game. Holy Cow India loves cricket!
Here’s a video standing in the middle of this street.
Our rickshaw driver took us by a shop where Julie and Kristi learned how to wear Saris.
Our awesome rider/driver. He talked a lot but we couldn’t understand most of it. He smiled a lot though, so that was good.
A little shopping strip area we stopped at to buy some last minute souvenirs. I tell you, everywhere is just packed with people.
This is Raj, our driver as he dropped us off at the airport (the guy taking the picture did an awesome job).
This is about how we all felt as we waited to get on the plane. Luckily, we avoided the Delhi Belly until our last day in the country. From here, we all flew to Dubai – we said goodbye to Noah and Kristi (they flew back to LA while we stayed in Dubai for a couple of days). I know I mentioned this at the beginning of my posts on India., but wow, this trip will forever change my perspective on so many things. Seeing the incredible things that are happening at Rising Star, seeing the light in the eyes of each one of those students, their eagerness to learn, and the selfless people that run the school and organization, all of these things, just so amazing. Then traveling to places I only dreamed I would ever actually see. The fort at Jaipur, the magnificent Taj Mahal, the streets of Old Delhi. Wow. This world is an amazing place. The best part of all of this was having Julie there with me, and being there with Noah and Kristi. Those two are amazing. This is a trip we’ll reflect on for the rest of out lives. Hopefully we’ll get to travel with them a lot more in the future. They make life fun – they are afraid of nothing, everyone loves them, they are hilarious, they truly care about other, and they are just plain cool.
Thanks for joining me on the blogocation of India, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have (going back through the photos and remembering the experience). Dubai is up next.