Monday, 7 November 2011

Post-cards from Vizag

Lets start at the beginning.  Well - lets put to clock back almost a week ago.  Sometime in the swirling past. 

Take a look at the eyes of the man in the photo above.  Yes, you are seeing correctly.  They are barely open.  The result of a good two months or so without adequate Sabbath-rest.  The last few weeks were ones of chronic exhaustion.  Of a lingering headache that felt like a monkey biting my brain - or something like that.  Needless to say - I was not always sweetness and light to my colleagues (and dearest family members too).

Thank God for kids.  And kids holidays.  Diwali hols are 3 weeks long.  Its criminal to spend all that time in Thane.  It forces you to move.

With Sheba heading over to Raxual - absolutely immersed in the work at the Duncan Hospital - it is my special privilege to bring Asha and Enoch down to Vishakapatnam to spend a week with their Amamma and Thatha - and then have the 5 of us head back to Thane for the rest of the month that Sheba is using to re-immerse herself in clinic medicine.

I needed a clinical rest.  And by God's abundant grace - I am getting excellent doses of it.

Start with the sheer joy of train travel.

In which aircraft can you do something like this?  We spent a lovely day moving ever southward and eastward as we swapped the Arabian Sea for the Bay of Bengal.

And for all the ugliness that you do see from the train window - esp. in our wretched cities - once you get into coastal Andhra Pradesh - your eyes are soothed with green balm like this:

Photo courtesy Asha Eicher... who took tons of shots of paddy fields and coconut trees as we whizzed towards Vishakapatnam (which the Brits called Vizag).

The one draw-back was a small miscalculation on the amount of food we were to take - and thus we succumbed to the promise of a 'chicken biryani' which clearly had seen its better days - probably many days previously judging by the taste and texture of the 'bird' and the rice around it.

Asha spend the first two days of our time in Vizag vomitting and on the pot - and Enoch joined as a member of the throw-up-club on our first full day here too.

But whose complaining?

Amma and Appa had swung into action and arranged a taxi to take us on a tour the day after we arrived.

We went out to the zoo - to see stately birds like this amazing specimen.

And many other beasts as well.

Coming from the potholed-roads of Thane - to be zipping along baby-bottom-smooth highways was a minor culture shock.  "World Bank money" informs Appa knowlegably.

Sadly even the smoothest road doesn't seem to stop road sickness from the Eicher juniors.  Thank God for plastic bags!

Next stop was to go up to the peak and look down.  We chose to look away from Vizag town to the other side and were richly rewarded with this view:

Given the car-sickness of our juniour two-some we were home-ward bound at that point.  But a glance down at the beach proved irresistable.  We just had to spend some time in the water. 

A few minutes later we were at the beach.  Amma and Appa stayed and the taxi while our little trio of Eichers descended to the sea.

The sea water revived Asha and it was all I could do to extract her from the briney joy of jumping in the waves and making the obligatoyr sand castles.

The next day we were in church - and participated in an after-service love feast.   Amma and Appa fellowship at the Bethany Prayer House - a Telegu speaking fellowship that meets in the austere style pioneered by Bro Bhakt Singh and his associates.

 I was given the pleasant task of speaking.  Twice.  An hour for the main message in the morning.  And then another hour + in the afternoon with the young people (and young at heart).  It was a joy to share what God has been teaching us over the past few months. 

In the evenings we have been devouring books together.  I just love reading aloud to the kids.  We were working through "The Secret of the Shadow" by the Miller brothers.  After polishing off that meaty tale last night - we ploughed through an Enid Blighton "Famous Five" book today.  Famous Five Run Away Together has been packaged in a new format (at least for me) - one where you get some chances to choose what the characters should do - and try to keep points for getting the least number of 'red herrings.'  Good fun.  And good medicine to be lying in bed, being pampered by Amma and Appa with delicious food and having the joy of reading with our wonderful 2!

And so to the current report on yours trully.  The photo below seems to show almost the same level of tiredness in the eyes of yours trully - but I feel very much on the mend.  A few nights of actual sleep have left me very much on the road to being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  These days are exactly what the doctor ordered.

But do say a prayer.  No, say a bundle of prayers.  For my beloved Doctor who called up earlier today to report she has already seen scores of patients, has successfully done a lumbar-puncture procedure on a patient and has absolutely plunged into a maelstrom of care that the currently-understaffed folks at the Duncan hospital are dishing out! 

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