I thought you might like to have some details about the trip. There are 17 of us, mostly from western Michigan. We are currently in Amsterdam. We had breakfast in the air before landing . . . at 11:00 pm our time. Right now my body says it is 4:00 am. We will be flying for about 17 hours. There is a 10.5 hour time difference. India’s time is ahead of Michigan.
We are bringing with us 16 suitcases of items for the kids and adults we will be meeting.
The photos were taken on Tuesday night at the packing party where all donations were packed into suitcases. We literally had a living room full of items to divide into three locations: Manali, South Delhi and North Delhi. Some of the items are for gift bags for the kids and adults, some are vacation Bible school supplies, and some are sports equipment. All suitcases and items will be left in India when we finish. So for example, each location will have a soccer ball and lots of school supplies when we leave.
We will be doing vacation Bible school activities in each location and playing games. In Manali our theme is the Olympics. In addition to items to donate, we also have 3 suitcases of materials for lessons, crafts and sports equipment for the ‘Orphan Outreach Olympic’ games. In the evening we will eat with the kids and have a movie/popcorn night. We will be with the kids from the The House of Grace Orphanage on Sat after we arrive, and all day Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday we will go on an outing and have a picnic with the kids from Rainbow School.
In the Northern and Southern Slum Schools we will also have vacation Bible school activities, crafts, and games. We won’t be able to do the Olympic theme, because we won’t be at each site as long as we are in Manali. One highlight is an outing with the kids to a doll museum.
You can see from the photos that the suitcases contain the types of items I mentioned above and also have hygiene items, over the counter medicines, lots of school supplies and candy . . . lots of candy. We have one whole suitcase with only candy in it.
I asked a friend, who is also a missionary in India what kinds of things we should bring for the adults who help us and who help the children. She said they would like a really good pen, one that the ink flows nicely through and has a good grip. She also said that the ladies might like scented individually wrapped bars of soap. Her words, “It would be a prized possession.”
When we were waiting for the security guards to go through our luggage at the Grand Rapids airport this is what I saw. The guard opened a suitcase which revealed it was brimming with a mountain of multicolored toys. I watched him poke through it a bit and he must have decided it was too much trouble to take things out and have to put them back, so he zipped it back up.
I am unsure when I will have another opportunity to write again. I was disappointed to find the airplane from Detroit to Amsterdam didn’t have WiFi. I don’t know if the next plane to New Delhi will have it or not. The next hurdle is going to be to purchase a plug adapter to charge the computer when we land in Delhi. I did read that type of adapter will be available for purchase.
(I tried to upload some photos, but after half an hour I had to stop trying.)