Raini Heads to India

India: January 4 (Boy's Home)

We arrived at the Dayavu Boy’s Home in Kannivadi around 3:00ish (at this point I have no idea what day or time zone I’m in so this is just a rough estimate). Brief history about the Boy’s Home:

  • Paramadass and his wife Amala run the home along with an amazing gifted staff

  • Surrounded by beautiful mountains

  • 24 boys living at the home

  • 5 acres of amazing landscape, trees, plants and variety of wildlife

(Guest house we stayed in. The staff at the home prepared our beds and living space for us! They were all so kind and hospitable.)

So after we got all situated with unpacking and exploring the area, the boys arrived home from school around 5:00pm. We introduced ourselves and played games until it got dark. They were all so polite! We moved inside to a larger area and did arts and crafts! We made tambourines!

By this time we were all so exhausted! We cleaned up and went straight to bed (after our guest house got raided by big red ants so we had a little killin' and cleanin' to do). Goodnight. 

India: January 5 (Boy's Home continued)

Today we visited where the boys go to school; St. Francis School (I now think this is wrong, it could be St. Francis of Xavier School but anyways WOW such an amazing staff/teachers that work there). 

Many kids from around the around attend this school and oh boy are there lots! They were so excited to see and wanted to talk to us so bad! First, we met the teachers and staff who give so much of their time and dedication to teach all of these kids. Each month they get paid 680 Rupees which is equivalent to $10 dollars here in the U.S. These teachers deserve a round of applaud for all of their hard work. Most people would say screw this but you can see it in these teachers eyes and their presence that they LOVE these kids and LOVE what they are doing. Some of the women started crying because they were so grateful that we came and visited. These teachers, these kids are so kind, so polite and the most loving people I've ever met.

After the school we went back to the Boy's Home. We rested up a little bit before the boys came home. Before every meal the boys would pray. Seeing these boys pray was the most inspiring thing I've witnessed. They DO NOT open their eyes at all during the prayer and they are so so into and you can SEE how much they love Jesus. It's truly amazing and it made me realize that I need to step up in giving 110% in my faith. These boys show how to live, breathe and love like God everyday and being around them made a HUGE impact on my life, forever. 

India: January 6 (Boy's Home. Last Day)

Today was the last day at the Boy's Home. We went shopping around the towns and small villages during the day while the boy's were at school. That night was the best night! We had a bonfire with the boys. We gave them glow sticks and we all danced around the fire! They performed their Christmas dance for us! 

I wish we had more time with the boy's but I'm we had the time we did to spend time with them. The staff members, Paramadass and his family were all so kind and welcoming. They made us breakfast and dinner everyday. There are so generous and I they make me want to become a better person. When we tried to repay them or help out with our food all they asked for was to pray for them, that was the most important thing to them. They live like and FOR Jesus everyday and you can feel it as soon as you are in their presence. They make me strive everyday to be more like them, to be more like Jesus and I thank you.

India: January 7 (Goodbye's and Hello's)

(Coming Soon)

India: Flight and Arrival

After our free hotel room in LA we headed to the airport. Our flight was at 3:00pm. At this point I wasn't nervous just really excited to get there. Only a 16 hour flight to Doha, Qatar then a short 4 hour flight to Chennai, India. 

The plane ride actually wasn't that bad. It went by really fast. We were served breakfast and dinner with snacks here and there. 

(Dinner: beef and potatoes. It was pretty interesting, not the worse thing I've had. I'd probably eat it again.)

During dinner I watched Lord of the Rings which made me feel happy! :D

(We had our own little tvs with music, movies, games, etc...)

Then I slept most of the time. Took a Zquill and I was out! 

After we got our bags, we headed to a guest house. We only stayed there for about 2 hours then had to catch a flight to Madurai, India at 9am. This flight was only 45 mins. Which was a breeze compared to the other flights. 

We arrived in Madurai to be picked up by Parmadass (director of Konnivadi Boys Home) and John (our awesome driver who has been driving us around since day one). We drove about 2 and a half hours to Konnivadi. Then finally we arrived at the boys home!

We arrived in Chennai, India around 3:30am! We had to go through immigration which took forever! We didn't get out of there till about 4:30am.

After we got our bags, we headed to a guest house. We only stayed there for about 2 hours then had to catch a flight to Madurai, India at 9am. This flight was only 45 mins. Which was a breeze compared to the other flights. 

We arrived in Madurai to be picked up by Parmadass (director of Konnivadi Boys Home) and John (our awesome driver who has been driving us around since day one). We drove about 2 and a half hours to Konnivadi. Then finally we arrived at the boys home!

India: The Day Of

I didn't sleep much last night. Woke up about three times. 

I got out of bed at 4:15am to catch my flight from MSP to LAX at 7:00am. I met my travel buddy, Stela at 5am. And man oh man thank God we got there that early! The airport was packed! The security line was out the door, wrapped around here, there and everywhere! Eventually we made it through security around 6:15am and started boarding around 6:30am so perfect timing! 
The flight was smooth, fast and caught up on some much needed sleep (fell asleep to WALL-E). We arrived at LAX around 9am to find out our 3 fellow travelers (who we were meeting up with us in LA) flight got delayed in Denver which caused us to not be able to catch our flight to Doha, Qatar at 3:10pm. They were unable to catch a flight straight from Denver to LA and the only option was to take a flight from Denver to Oklahoma to LA. 
Meanwhile, Stela and I are in search mode trying to find our other 2 fellow travelers that were already landed in LA, Malinda and Felicia! It took us about an hour to find them. The reason why it took us so long was because we didn't realize there was an upstairs portion of the international airport. They were upstairs and we were downstairs and we were so confused on why we hadn't crossed paths yet, well short story we don't take direction well and short short story we eventually found them. 
So with our other 3 travelers still traveling to LAX (who don't get here about 6pm tonight), us 4 girls have been at LAX for about 7 hours and still have 2 hours left! Hey, adventure right? We've been eating, laughing and enjoying each other's company, getting to know each other. We also made up a rap so keep an eye out for the music video. 
BONUS, though since the other 3 travelers flight was so delayed we get a free hotel room and tickets ;) (hopefully) so looks like a night in LA and then off the Doha, Qatar at 6am tomorrow morning!! 
(P.S. one of the best burritos I've ever had)
(Malinda, Felicia, Raini, Stela)

India: The Day Before

13 hours till I depart to India. 

I didn’t get out of bed till 11:30pm. I was too nervous to get out of bed and I didn’t want the day to start. Eventually I did. 

I made coffee, stared out the window for about a half hour, mind going wild with thoughts. I thought about my family, friends and what lies ahead of me, of India and what 2016 will bring me. 

2015 brought me a new beginning. I moved to the Twin Cities, bought a condo, started a new job and made new friends. This new beginning opened so many doors and I’ve walked through most of them, scared and unsure what I’d be faced with. 

Coming into 2016 I’ll be traveling to India, starting a new job and having a whole new perspective on life. 

After I finished my coffee I turned on music and unpacked all belongings from my pack. I needed to keep busy. (Still need to keep busy so here I am typing away). 

What I’m bringing:

  • RedWing50 Hiking Pack 
  • LifeStrawGo Water Bottle 
  • Flashlight
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper 
  • All the hygiene necessities (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, tooth brush, yada yada)
  • Lots of medicine (ibuprofen, tums, Dramamine, pepto bismol)
  • Hand sanitizer, lysol 
  • Bible
  • Journal 
  • Undies, socks, bras, yada yada 
  • 4 pants 
  • 3 shorts
  • Lost count of how many shirts but enough (including long sleeves)
  • Keen sandals
  • Rockport boots
  • Canon camera (packed safely without camera bag)

There’s more things but I forgot what they are...

Probably missing a whole bunch of stuff but oh well. I’m pretty proud that I’m just bringing backpack! I HAVE ROOM TO SPARE TO! My goal was to pack light and I sure did a heck of a job doing that! 

Anyways, while repacking my things I started crying (haha). Not a scared cry but just like woah, I’m actually doing this excited cry. There’s so many emotions inside me and sometime it’s hard to balance them all out, so crying is what I do! LOL. 

End of the story I’m super pumped and ready for the adventure! See ya soon India! 


The emotional newbie traveler 

India: First Thoughts

I first decided I was going to India when a friend of mine mentioned she was going in January and her team was searching for a few more people to come along for a missions trip. INSTANTLY, I knew I was going. 

I love traveling. But for me there’s two types of “traveling”:

1: leisure, relaxing, care-free, sleeping in, staying out late, eating, etc... 

2: serving people, experiencing different cultures (food, lifestyle, etc...), finding yourself, eye-opening experiences

I’ve been fortunate enough to do number 1 quite a bit but I knew it was time to take number 2 seriously. 

In a matter of two days I said yes, booked an international flight to India, applied for a visa and started to prepare myself for this life changing experience. 

So am I ready for this new traveling experience? Yes.. Let me rephrase, yes I’m all packed, have my plane tickets, socks, undies all the essentials but the question is: Am I really ready, spiritually? I’m not sure. 

I really don’t know what to expect. I’m anxious, not nervous but I’m ready for this experience to change me; to open my eyes and see what’s really out there in this world. I want to SEE for myself. I’m ready to serve people, find myself and look at life in a whole new perspective. I’m sheltered and I don’t want to be anymore. 


1 comment

  • Heidi H

    I can’t say if you will have an amazing time or not, but if you are willing to be India, yes BE India, it will be life changing. Some people exit the airport terminal in Mumbai and fall head over heels for the intensity of all that is India- some don’t. Most flights arrive at night, you are tired and exhausted. When you exit the doors the heat will hit you smack in your face. The night will be steamy and people everywhere will be reaching out to you calling you to choose them for a ride. You may, of course, be with a well organized team and climb directly into a van guided by the experienced hands of someone who knows how those first moments can feel. As you zip along the night streets you feel alive and will immediately begin absorbing the images that roll along the windows like the trailer of a new movie. Soak it all in, for in the morning the seemingly quiet streets will be bursting with life! I would never trade the time I spent in India for a million dollars. Tip: no ice, no watermelon, no salad, no tap water for brushing teeth; yes hot tea does balance out your body temp, yes choose fruits that can be peeled, yes skip the meat, yes you most likely will be pinched by someone. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures! Heidi (your mom and dad’s friend :) )

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