June 14, 2019
Dear Tatenda Friends
Nagpur is the 3rd largest winter city in the center of India, known as the City of Oranges. It has a population of around 2.5 million and is considered to be the 5th fastest growing city in the world, the 20th cleanest city in India, and (here’s the good news) the 10th safest city in India (and one of the safest cities for women). It is also one of the hottest and driest cities.
We wonder a little about the clean part. On the rooftop of the new building, we can see thermal power cooling towers not far away. A little daunting in their resemblance to nuclear power. Considering earlier research on nuclear energy, we hope we don’t start glowing after this visit.
Also in view are the free-ranging cattle who seem to own the streets. They wander into unfinished buildings, lay in the middle of the road, and traffic has to navigate around them. They look at us as we pass on our way to Mass at 6:15 a.m. like “So what are you looking at? What’s your problem?” We are pretty saddened by the volume of trash in open lots and on the streets, too. If this is clean, what does dirty look like?
But inside here the women are beautiful, full of life, laughter, and spirit. We are trying to memorize all 34 names, plus the young helpers. Send up a prayer for us on this. There are smiles and hospitality all around us. It is so refreshing and heart-warming.
That’s it for now. We started the retreat on Wed. June 12 and are in full swing now.
Thanks so much for reading this,
Jolie and Nicki, TATENDA Travel Team for India