June 28, 2019 Update #5
Dear faithful friends who have been waiting for over a week to hear from us,
We apologize for the delay, but sooooo many surprises have altered our course of work. We have completed two retreats thus far: one with the Good Shepherd sisters in Nagpur, and another with their lay mission partners in Chennai. Both sites had insufferable heat, but it did not deter our retreatants. At the conclusion of our retreat in Chennai, we went on a field trip with the young girls from their outreach shelter. They took us to the beach! There we spent a couple of hours splashing with the children in the Bay of Bengal- the water felt like bathwater it was so warm. Marina Beach is the longest beach in Asia at 13km and considered the second longest urban beach in the world. Of course, like all the other visitors, we were fully clothed.
Leaving Chennai, we traveled by train for 5 hours to reach Bangalore, which is in the south-central part of India. We once again had access to the internet! At that point, we found out that our tickets home had been canceled due to the US government restricting all American flights to and from the Persian Gulf area. The next morning we were whisked off to Mysore to visit the Good Shepherd sisters there and see the 9th Wonder of the World – the Mysore Palace of the Maharajas. As foreigners, we were photographed as much as the palace itself.
We left Mysore and headed south to Sandanapalya, which is in the forest area, to see the rural ministries provided by Good Shepherd sisters and their lay partners. We visited a workshop where they collect rattan from the forest and prepare it to make furniture. We got to see their latest project, a life-size sculpture of an elephant, made with the rattan. A second one was just started. Another job site was a weaving center where the women used their whole bodies to weave cloth.
We are back in Bangalore now, starting our third retreat. More stories to come . . .
Peace and blessings!
Nicki and Jolie