Saturday, September 22, 2012

India journal writings - Sept. 6, 2012

Thursday – September 6, 2012

We started our day in the restaurant for breakfast and then back to the room for some play and bonding time. Shortly afterwards we got a call from Meenal, we need to get VISA photos taken before we get to New Delhi – and she arranged a driver to come to the hotel and literally take us across the street to get them taken. The traffic is nuts and there are no pedestrian rights. There seems to be a hierarchy of who controls the roads – something like this from what I can tell. 1.) Big cars and taxis, 2.) Smaller cars. 3.) 3-wheeler “autos” – rickshaws, 4.) motorcycles, 5.) those on bicycles and 6.) pedestrians. It’s weird – people walking in and out of traffic – I guess I should say people “running” in and out of traffic. Everyone uses their horn – even when stuck in gridlock – it’s as if to say, “look at me, I have somewhere to go, and my car is bigger – so you in the smaller car need to pull aside and let me through”…. And guess what, the small car pulls aside and the bigger car pulls through! It’s wild!! Using your horn in India is polite and expected - so different than in the U.S.

Our driver arrived and we ventured off to get the VISA photos. Brad and I both – unsure about the idea, but decided we had to make a go of it – you see, the driver is waiting in the lobby :) Of course Anjali was scared to death. They allowed her to sit on my lap during the photo session and then they just kept clicking the camera trying to get the required (2X2 size, shoulders, and both ears showing)…. But what about the momma in the background?? Photoshop will fix that – and they finally got the picture they wanted and clipped me out!! Amazing!! For you camera buffs, he had what I think was a VERY nice Nikon :)  Check out her sweet fearful face from her VISA photo. I was shocked they caught her without tears and with her mouth not wide open.  Bless her heart - this girl is tough and has been willing to plow through all these changes and new experiences with such courage :)

Well it's been a couple of rough days but Anjali is doing great overall. She is grieving and that is good . She is already calling for me as her momma which is great (but I’ll later learn she calls Brad, and anyone else momma that will do things for her – or that she connects with and has fun with - she even calls Joshua momma - which is so cute and funny to hear) :) Today she ALMOST smiled (I guess I’d call it a tiny grin) when I blew on her belly changing her diaper that was huge!! And it looked like she started doing, “itsy, bitsy, spider” during diaper changes --- so of course, I went along with that – and did what I remembered of the song – she had the funniest look on her face like, “hey, you know it too!”…. another sign of how Bal Asha loves. We spent most of the day in the room with her and she began to explore a bit and come out of her shell. We did have breakfast in the restaurant and she did great! That’s was our first encounter with the restaurant staff -- who grew to become like family. Tomorrow we leave Mumbai and fly to New Delhi – nervous about the flight and really sad in a way to leave Kohinoor.


  1. Renae, I'm really enjoying reading all of the details of your trip. You're doing such a great job with your beautiful little girl!!

  2. I love reading about your trip :) Thanks for sharing!! When it comes to be our turn, I'll have to pick your brain for things you wish you had packed, or tricks that helped or whatnot advice you have :)

  3. I love your vivid descriptions of traffic, etc.! It brings back memories, and helps me get excited for travel in 9-12 months (hopefully!).

  4. Hi Renae,
    We brought home our son age 3 this July. Everything you write about is so so true especially with Anjali's behaviour and habits, its like you are describing our son. He too spent the first 2 weeks calling every woman in the house "mummy" and every man "mama"(which means uncle in Marathi). Even the banana peeling episode we have been through and putting on his own shoes and always putting everything back in place. I would appreciate it if you would email me at
    Good luck

  5. Sorry i forgot to mention, our son was at Bal Asha too!

  6. Renae, Anjali is going to LOVE that you wrote all this up for her. You are doing are just going to be able to help SO many people through these first few days, weeks and months.