Wendy has told you where we went today, and others will no doubt show pictures.
As I was thinking about today I was struck (happily not literally) by the many things that were on the roads we travelled.
Yes there were the tricycles- rickshaws, the motor bikes, the others cars and vans/mini buses, the trucks and the buses. But there so many other strange thins there too.
The roads seemed to be used as a warehouse. If there was not enough space on your place then you used the road to store truck loads of sand, shingle, shooks of rice,.. the fact that itimpared the traffic flow was no problem. The other vehicles on the road treaded them like pot-holes, things to be driven round no matter how much traffic was coming the other way.
Then there was rice stalks strewn over the road. This was touse the traffic to ‘thresh’ the grains of rice from the stalks. But not only that, because the road was nice and warm or hot, then the rice was laid out on the road in lines for upto 15 to 20 metres. The rice needed to be dried and the warm seal did a great job of it. That you swept up dirt later made no difference, all you did was use the breeze to separate the grainby throwing in the air – albeit in a controlled manner.
Then there were the goats eating the rice straw, the odd bullock, oxen or cow, maybe even the calves too. Then too the occassional dog as well. I must say that all the animals I have seen have been quite docile.
There lines of truck, not judt 3 or 4 in a row, but thirty or fourty!! So what did our intrepid driver do? Sit there quietly? No, rather sounding the horn, turned on the wrong side ot the road, born blaring, drove up the line of truck. What haooens when a bus comes the other way? Barrelling towards us at a great rate of knotts!!, well, use squeeeze as tight as you can beside the truck line and pray!! Then the bus slide by tooting its own horn!!
We did get stuck in a real traffic jamb, we were told to get out and walk to the place we were to eat lunch at. Happily it was in Berhampour and only a few mins walka way. We saw the press of vehicles causing the jamb – an intersetion were 4 streams of traffic confronted each other, and no one humbling themselves to allow another driver to go first. I should say that we were in a vehicle somewhat like a ‘Defender Land Rover”. But quite wide and noisy…. Enough of that..
Looking out the back of the vehicle I was able to observe the country side. It was like a patchwork quilt. Endless narrow green path-ways separated by a myriad different sized rice paddyfields. The rice harvest was in full swing. So there were lots of people tying the cut, dried rice, into shooks. Then piling them up – just like bales or shooks of hay – waiting for others to come and loadthen on to richshaw type flat-decked tricycles or trucks or trailers, or even oxen pulled carts.
Talk about going backin time some 3 or 4 hundred years…
Then too I saw quite a few white Herons, even a Kingfisher or two., as well as the of shag or two…
The countryside was live with people looking like ants gathering fod for the winter. It was a little monochrome in colour due to the haze in the air and the dust that settled on everything. The only real colours I saw was the violet of some lilies and the painted sides of house, and these had mainly political slogans on them I was told.
I did have two things on my “Bucket List”. One was to see a property given to Freeserve – well some buildings and the property. I felt strangely warmed whenwe specially droveto see it and stopped for a few mins. We did not get out, but I felt like I had seen something special, the other will come on Sunday, I’ll tell you about that then.
I haven’t mentioned the road works, the new concrete bridges(about 10 in all) the potholes, the earth moving equipement, the oxen pulling plows, and many other sights, people walking on the roadside the funeral we passed, etc, etc.
Looking out the back window of the van I found it hard to pull into focus the things that were near as we whizzed passed. Only when we slowed could I do that, rather I had to look at the things in the middle to far distance, otherwise it was all a blur. Somehow, this trip is like that. The more I seek to see the immediate, the more blurred it becomes and the more I loose focus on the big picture. Yet what is more important?, the micro or the macro? It is both /and… Lord, help me to see what You see…
Time to finish, only a few more days then back to kiwiland and a ‘normal’ life, if onee can ever be ‘normal again. Somehow the virus of mission, once it is in your blood, never leaves you. There is no cure, only a sort of heart-ache till you see more and follow the ‘Star O Bethlehem’ till you find peace in the mangerof God’s presence……..
Shalom, peace be with your spirits…….
A Fellow Traveller, Peter