Friday – September 7, 2012
Well today we fly to New Delhi. Brad and I are both anxious and sad to leave Kohinoor. We’ve made friends here like Sandeep from housekeeping – he brought Anjali a going away gift – this little windup toy. (See picture in previous post). We also said our goodbyes to Rupesh (we called him Rupert behind his back :) ) He is the head waiter in the restaurant that took to Anjali and would make her anything we wanted and always loaded us up with food at breakfast that we could use for lunch time for Anjali. He made us some great fried rice – which she LOVED, and also sweet semolina with pecans (which reminds me of grits – although not gritty) – smooth and sweet with butter and either brown sugar or vanilla – we all loved it. Rupert’s wife, Olivia works at the front desk and they have three boys. We left lollipops and bangles for Olivia and the boys – and gave Rupert a good tip when we left and thanked him…. we later found out that our tip was about a month’s salary in rupees – but only about $20 – he looked shocked and we felt great joy in giving it. Sena (pronounced like Sauna) was another person at the front desk we enjoyed seeing. She allowed us to borrow her cell phone (although we needed to get a sim card – which we never ended up venturing out to do – recall we couldn’t safely cross the street outside our hotel :) - - but it was such a sweet gesture to allow us to use her phone) – even though we didn’t end up using it – we promptly returned it and had a small gift for her too :) - We did end up calling Joshua from the hotel room and just charging to the room – at some point it doesn’t matter the cost when you long to talk to you child. )
Our view outside Kohnioor hotel room - they have a building top garden - and staff pick flowers to be used at the hotel - Anjali liked to look out the window (we'll later learn when we get home how much she LOVES being outside :)
We have been so blessed by the staff at Kohinoor. Rupert brought out the head chef and we felt honored to meet this man. He sat with us at our table and shared his experience working for Carnival Cruise line in the U.S. He is Indian – so moved back home by family – but spent several years in the U.S. and at sea. He managed 80+ workers in the kitchen and was the head chef for the boat! He said on a boat of 3000 guests, Carnival has about 1500 employees! Very interesting gentleman – and a great chef! The food was amazing here. One thing we noticed was that very few people tip the waiters – and they treat the waiter as if servants barking orders for their “two pieces of crisp toast” – even when the breakfast is a self-serve buffet! So it was no surprise we enjoyed all the waiters and they seemed to enjoy us. We tipped and I pray they saw the love of Jesus in our generosity.
Our friend, Rupresh. God has gifted him with a servant heart - he was awazing - even before we ever gave him the first tip - customer service is "who he is".
With Anjali, we are struggling. We can't tell if she is grieving, hungry, sick, or wet! I think we are getting better at some of her signs but other times she is not happy until I sit a certain way and hold her for a long period. She would be happy with me holding her all day and if Brad would leave the room and sleep elsewhere. Neither of these are reasonable ... Seriously holding her all day no trips to bathroom or dinner, etc. (Let me clarify – trips to the bathroom include her on my lap – you’d be surprised what you’d do for this little sweet heart). I love holding her but even I can't hold her 14 hours a day. She is not interested in play (she doesn’t seem to know how to play). We finally turned on TV and for some reason that calms her or at least catches her interest for a period; Bal Asha did say that the kids did get a little TV. The good side of her wanting to be held so much is she did great on the flight today to New Delhi and she slept most of the time.
On a personal note - she hasn't had a bowel movement since we got her – and I honestly wonder if that is on purpose because of a trust issue or if she’s just not eating enough or having too much of the wrong food. We've tried everything. Her doctor’s appt is tomorrow so hoping for help then – if no luck before then. She must be miserable. We emailed Bal Asha to find out what is normal for her – and found this is NOT normal – let’s just put it that way :)
Going thru the airport today was hard. Brad actually walked beside me and took most of her weight off me by holding her under her bottom- she seemed ok with that but she thought I was still holding her mostly on my hip. I long to have Brad hold her for just a bit – but she’s just not ready yet for that - she just gets heavy after a while.
Brad continues to hand feed her and he is also the one giving her the medicine we brought from home (she’s seemed to have a bit of a fever and green mucus runny nose). She is more and more allowing Brad to hand feed her without fussing. We believe this is key to building trust between Anjali and Brad. Right now she's sitting next to me on the bed with her snack watching TV and Brad’s on the other side of me within about two to three feet from her and she's not screaming - that is a good moment. He is ever patient helpful and loving - he unpacked our bags when we got to New Delhi, got me diet coke and got us some popcorn when we arrived. He has been amazing and I thank God for him - I know it's hard for him too.
Praise god for all the great people we have encountered. Airline today let her stay on my lap for the flight:). Housekeeping and restaurant, guest services have been amazing helping us with any need or challenge.
If only I could tap into what is making her content right now -can't believe I've had this much time to journal (as we sit in our hotel room in New Delhi). As she sits crossed legs and hands folded in her lap. She is trying hard I can see that - it's just hard to know what she needs and I hate to see her unhappy. Plan tomorrow is go to doctor and then if we aren't wiped out maybe walk around the attached mall - this hotel we feel is going to be key to getting out with her a bit.
Couple of notes on the trip to the airport – plan for the airport in well advance time!! We nearly missed our flight. Right before we left the hotel it occurred to me that I wasn’t sure which airport we needed to fly out of – Mumbai has two. So at the last minute the front desk called, as the time was clicking. Meanwhile Brad took pictures of outside traffic :) - as I asked. We wanted to take in all the sights of Mumbai we could and our hotel, etc. Our driver waited, we checked out of the hotel, and loaded our bags and raced to the airport. Brad and I (more than once) laughed about this adventure being our Amazing Race. Traffic was crazy as usual – and we got there just 30 minutes before our flight was taking off. Too close for comfort.
When we got to the airport, some bell hops saw the look of fear in us and took our bags in the cart and rushed us to (get this) BUSINESS CLASS! We tipped 300 rupees (which is about $6) – but he was pleased to get it. Then our first guy grabbed another guy to help with our other bags – of course we had to show all our paperwork for Anjali at ticketing – and just as the bell hop was picking up our luggage (from where our paperwork was always kept)… the bag flew open and all of Anjali’s clothes, toys, flew out and the sippy cup rolled along the floor – (Lucy and Ethel does airport for sure).
Anyway – got that put back together, while laughing, sweating, and having little miss on the hip all the while. Too funny! Tipped the other nice fellow and headed to security. Security is interesting – men and women get separated – women go behind a curtain and get the body pat down. Not sure of Brad’s experience. Of course my under wire bra kept setting off the security points – which made for very interesting conversation. (sometimes the ladies even laughed and went, “ooooooh”). Of course all the while holding little miss – and she looked around taking in all the new sights. Had a brief panic – because I couldn’t find my passport – but then eventually found it with Brad’s and Anjali’s in his pouch. We barely made our flight after hopping on a bus – where a beautiful Indian woman sat next to me – (as my sacrificial husband gave up his seat). She asked about Anjali and was very interested in the idea of adoption. On our flight – no seatbelt required for me holding a baby – I thought I’d have to somehow strap her on. She was allowed to sit on my lap the entire time. Two ladies next to us talked to us a bit and admired Anjali. Anjali was served first with water and food – they really catered to her….which I was a bit surprised given the societal order of people and norms.
Arrived in New Delhi without a problem and got right to our hotel – (other than a credit card denial at the front desk – Brad and I both had a bit of panic - we had called the credit card company and them we’d be using this card in India - and had no problems at Kohinoor) – then the front desk guy said, “oh, we’re sorry – we entered it in incorrectly!)…. We were beginning to wonder how the sidewalk was going to sleep for the next week :) The front desk guy chuckled – ha, ha…funny when it’s not you mister :) He entered it correctly and all was well… we went up to our room and with one quick look at the room – Anjali was like, “I’m out of here – this isn’t Kohninoor” – and she pointed to the door. This was our first real understanding that transitions for this little one may be a bit challenging. :) She warmed up pretty quickly after we did a full tour of the room including the bathroom – where she discovered the blow dryer – and how to turn it on. :) All is well. In all the chaos and transitions - when we went to bed in New Delhi tonight - we had no idea what our day would be like tomorrow going to the doctor's appointment :)
Daily Trip must haves:
Organized location for paperwork
Plenty of tip money :)
This little miss really has a great ability to adapt
Ask for two room keys – the lights only turn on at the hotel – when you insert the room key into the little box by the door. This was the same in Mumbai – we think it’s a energy conservation thing. (Not a big deal unless one of you needs to leave the room – and the other is left in the dark without air conditioning).