As a KWI Board member, I was invited to visit the two international schools in India; glad to take Lynda, then a college student, along.
May 17 – Left only five minutes late, after usual flourish. Glad J helped w tasks/errands during last couple hours. Drive to Chicago O’Hare ok; checked in British Airways, bought snack & waited for 8 pm boarding. Quite uneventful flight, sleeping for several hours. Evening meal & continental breakfast (2 breads) before landing London where 45 min. through customs, though bags not checked, just long, slow lines.
May 18 – In London airport lounges for five hours; L. saw four GC students who had been in London for drama course, who to return to Chicago that afternoon. Learned that Jeevan had met Roger Martin when in city, in a restaurant—one of those coincidences. From London two Indian women (d/m-in-law) beside me w all kinds of assorted hand baggage—flight attendants just ignore quantity. Slept a couple hours soundly before awake to customary anxiety about making connections.
May 19 – Arrived in Bombay at which time L and I slipped (from row 36) w speed down aisle before others entered. First in one of customs/clearance lines for disembarking. Cashed traveler’s cheques while luggage coming, ours among first. Great time saving only then to check for coach/bus (“yes, yes, going soon”) finally back to taxi booth for ride over to domestic. Each wrote letters in waiting area—L to JD & I to J & G—inserting into ‘post’ before into ‘checked’ section. Amazed at number of children (at least 35) & families flying to Coimbatore, whereas only a few years ago mostly men (business) on flights. Impressed also w how genuinely fathers responded to children—middleclass phenomenon?
L. not feeling best en route—over tired from weeks before. Fairly large snack. Amazing surge on landing into Coimbatore—as if need, on short runway, to put on personal brakes to help bring craft to stop. New airport, much improved over one of four years earlier, though, as usual, bathroom leaves much to be desired. Driver met/recognized us as for Kodai, along w a mother from Abu Dhabi who going to KIS for 8th grade graduation of one of her two sons. Much to observe, beginning 5-hour drive, yet increasingly sleepy. Stopped at Palani for food (Limca/chai). Sights en route remembered—palm trees, strong breeze, people trotting w assorted loads; bicycle riders loaded w, large plastic pots piled high; road construction w short-handled, wide-bladed hoe to scrape away ground; shaped mounds of stones to later be spread & covered w tar; inevitable vehicle diversity plus horn-honking to alert others of its presence—amazing knack of how two drivers avoid each other yet each retain narrow space on roadway (itself unevenly edged). Ghat road seemed extra-long, brief, light rain en route. Driver noted where bus had recently missed a curve going over edge, across road below & down further embankment, killing 15. Pleasant tale? Uphill traffic w right-of-way not always honored. Gratitude for safe arrival.
Immediately to East House where Raju showed us to our room. Though electricity off, warm water in reservoir enough for ‘bucket shower’ & hair wash, plus washing out travel clothes. Surprised to learn Jim Miller staying here too, having come to heal/bring closure to leaving four years earlier. He felt “great change” w-in school, not clear in spelling out meaning.
May 20 – To church in morning, meeting briefly numerous people known before. L and I to adult Bible study group, reflecting on Elijah study recently completed. Ate in dining hall—staff now get lunch free school days, eating in dining room, at different tables. Likely improved food for students, though sound level still ‘wild.’ Struck by how few drink water w meal. L. slept soundly in afternoon. Jeevan stopped at East House to walk w us to briefly see Peggy. L showed China SST photos to Peter while Peggy & I made plans for creating lyrics/narrative/music of Esther story plus Easter women (for adult choir).
May 21 ff – (Anxiety about upcoming Madras segment (no meals at ICSA where stay & mosquitos) but pleased to learn from Sumitra of swimming option for L in Madras.) Many conversations w faculty/staff, getting feel for divergence over social experience, yet believe components will continue to emerge in intentional ways. Conversation w Shanti—educated Christian “on hill” w Hindu husband—daughter and western husband had been on flight from Bombay to Coimbatore & from there to Kodaikanal. Struck by crowds in Kodai; can’t imagine why masses come in light of unpleasant result for all. Again, struck by “cutcha” bazaar area, perpetual horn-honking, dirt, males in clumps who stare. Recognized by Kashmir shopkeeper (upper level) who has trouble getting items from Kashmir—turbulence there. Conversation w mother of twins, married to Iranian—one child had applied to Goshen then to St. Olaf. Also talked w an Indian mother who lived in Malaysia 16 years about how fearful she finds people, especially in Delhi, over political upheaval w Kashmir, Pakistan, Punjab. Example of women who spend time playing bridge, tennis or entertaining others of husbands’ company/community. Might Kodai students w that model of parental ‘haves’ connect/integrate social experience activities at school w disadvantaged of world or India in more paternalistic ways?
Gerald Coleman likely most articulate faculty member describing aspects of understanding/naming why of social change needs & realities—how approach facts of economic gap, meaning of privilege, cultural influence, impact of technology. advances w-out apology (yet faithful Christian commitment). He calmly clarifies own faith orientation, reason for being follower of Jesus whose prime call for justice not to be avoided. Helps understand why CE thrives in context of his approach/authenticity/integration. Grateful for contacts w Mrs. Avari & Mrs. Thomas—helpful teachers about Indian cultural dimensions for person like Sumitra. Numerous times arranged to meet Lynn N. but never worked out.
Glad to see Saimary (our family cook of evening meals, ’86) & a sister Mary, after alerting other sister who works at Cottage Craft that I hoped to see them. They work w family in Powell house—quite mutually agreeable arrangement. Enjoyed good memories/giggles w genuine appreciation. Also enjoyed lunch w Pawates & Dr.Panaia, the latter a gracious, informed, conversant man. Links w Pawates remain solid, w appreciation. They more confident, outgoing since sabbatical experience; son into engineering. Met M/M Raj (art); both glad to see; interested in John & girls. Evening meal w Mark/Nancy; pleasant, really good to be w her again, see how she’s developed since Woodstock School years—confident, free self-expression, involved. They adaptable types (he a Kodai grad from about ’58); they deserve more spacious quarters. Meal w Easters typical—informal, genuine, interest in ideas/world beyond Kodai. Surprised to learn that Barbara Block an MB, former student here; parents now w UMN at Patan hospital. Pleasant soup/pudding combination. Went w her to take a Canadian student visiting from Madurai to Mother Teresa Women’s University. Saw Pres. Josephine Louis who seemed pre-occupied, distracted. Reported that some departments moving to Madras, w research segment to remain here. Branches of MTWU beginning elsewhere too, fully intent to retain distinctive focus on/by/for women. In library, recalled by librarian who showed remarkable expansion of women’s studies resources. Grateful for Prof Louis’ friendly, unapologetic “God’s best” to me on leaving.
Saw her from distance later when she & vice chancellor arrived KIS campus for event w Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state. All hill retinue came to campus because largest meeting place for centennial event of Kodaikanal Boat Club. Many officials, plus guests’ cars rolled in, but not all 1,000 invited ‘showed.’ How many security people came to campus for this figure! If only police of land were known for discipline & being reliable for needs of masses. Many preliminaries including garlanding of all on review/speech row. All speeches in Tamil (appropriate) except for Paul Wiebe, KIS principal who effective in meeting public. respecting cultural expectations. Many people lined up outside school gate to see caravan of cars w Chief Minister. Many archways &decorations prepared public for this special visit. No time for CM to take brief tour of campus as had been hoped, partly to nudge request for permit to build Performing Arts. Wiebe said that CM likely received 100 letters during course of visit, requests of all kinds for political. attention.
Notes of conversation w diverse Kodai staff: Paul Wiebe, Peter Lugg, Ben Flugg, Daniel Panaia (IB), Clyde Russell (math), Adam/Brenda Pleasance, Solomon Jayery, Rufus Paul, Jayshree Kumar (Middle School), Eve Ricketts, Peter Time, Rhosan Bhagwallen, Peter Timmermans/wife (gr 5), Priscilla Mohl (Middle School coordinator), Gerald Coleman, Mrs. Thomas (dorm), Manfred Laun (Board chair), Rocky Nichol (principal’s secretary), Daniel Wilms (German), Ernest Chandrasecharan (accountant), Dency Michael.
What KWF (Kodai Woodstock Foundation) wished for me to learn/give attention to: “how things going”; where go from here; who has seen KWF education proposal & how to refine or implement it; how make KWF useful to schools; raise financial support; long-term planning; how present distinctiveness of schools; how broaden multi-cultural base; how broaden contact base; new brochure about “package option.” Ever toward more global interdependence through curricular and extra-curricular enrichment; retain best while being open to difference; enable to own/value cultural heritage, change; college/university preparation & transition.
1. Need more convincing inclusion of Indians among westerners; Martha E does good job.
2. Measure of resistance to person who critiques the present or “too ready” to promote revision
3. Kodai people expect those returning (alums) to reminisce/revel in past/previous experience rather than show genuine interest in who they’ve become since leaving.
4. World view here fairly narrow. Although international diversity, yet not enough in-tune w current global situations—communication limits.
5. Need more reflective space—faculty so driven by teaching, plus extra-curricular activities plus personal needs (appropriate) that not as oriented to envisioning/reflecting on where gaps, where introduce new, without too much disruption.
6. Not sure how alert faculty/staff to Christian segment w-in India that is working at religious pluralism.
7. Many staff working in teaching fields for which less professionally educated—handicap for content/seeing how social experience instruction might be integrated.
8. Quite a “show of wealth” in attire for graduation events; gap between haves/have nots noticeable inside/outside front gate.
Down the hill in school van w Chandlers (4), Ursula, Jacob P, L & me. Gradually felt temp “hot up.”
Return to trip to Madras 27th night. David Chandler quite intent on getting some of water from Nichol residence to take w him to US to test for mercury content from Kodai Lake. Jacob Paul intent to pay for train fare for three of us in 1st class bogey, along w one Indian man. Sporadic dozing thru night as we moved in/out of stations, w-out too many stops. Bogey fairly clean, though all windows open so plenty of dust, soot, etc. accumulates by morning. In Chennai directly to ICSA (Inter-Church Service Assoc.) where Jacob showered before going on to Methodist Conference at Tambarim. ICSA spartan but at least fan works. Fortunately, Nichols had introduced us to ZeroB—Indian made device to filter water. Took it along to Ashoka Restaurant, & though drew attention of people near, helped me feel less anxious about our drinking water.
Not able to connect w phone numbers—telecommunication strikes at various places in India. Did get through to Sarah Matthew who invited us to join her & Vera Augustus for dinner at her place—they to talk about documentation procedures. Vera came by ICSA from Women’s Christian College where she teaches history (Though ‘low” choice among students, I gather that she’s quite informed as a prof.) Extended conversation from 3-9:30 pm; at tea time drank 4 cups, aware of need for liquids. Garden well in front of house, her father having owned a fair amount of land there which later was divided up by government. Discussed many topics related to women, what Sarah & Vera doing, attempt to get FASA established. Need money for documentist—also to locate one. Such a person essential to getting credibility for organization, for connecting/being available to others who wish eventually to use their archival resources. They have stacks of materials to get organized but no one w time to concentrate on it. Sarah evidently depends primarily on stocks for personal income. Her two daughters live w her; married son lives elsewhere. One daughter studies math/statistics at Masters level. Sarah showed good interest in Lynda—in China experience particularly. Fish dinner, beet root, rice plus meal prepared by woman who then left. Gather that Sarah assists w work. Kitchen large but none too orderly or clean. Grateful for reliable water & opportunity to experience Sarah in her home. Driven back by daughter—she to be commended for ability to maneuver streets at night, w distinct Indian nighttime shops open, people walking, cars driving w-out lights until suddenly to ‘show’. Passed section of slum dwellings where many lying on edge of street, probably cooler than in shacks but wonder what depth of sleep possible so close to traffic. Next night when rains began, I thought of those people wondering whether worse to lie out in rain or w-in their shelters, a hodge-podge of materials, likely not rainproof.
Tuesday morning (after routine all four days of Limca first at general merchandise store) by auto rickshaw to find Gurukul. Driver not familiar w where to go so retraced. Arrived to find Women’s Studies Office locked, Prasanna gone to England (with children to see husband who studying there 2 years). Met Mrs. Chetty in library (left a book) who connected by phone w Sumitra Ghose who said she’d call later about our coming. Back to ICSA, waited for Jacob & to Ashoka again for lunch—very glad for milk-based mixed vegetable stew. Decided to “take it easy” at ICSA (L spent half hour on roof swimming)
W Jacob headed toward Marina area of beach, overcast sky making heat manageable. Saw catamaran boat loads of fishermen arriving w loads of 6-in, slender silver fish. Men took head basket loads toward shore while women spread out bulk on sand. Drying process makes fish ‘savable’ for several day; sorry not to have camera along. From beach to Parry’s Corner section by city bus, standing en route. Parry’s Corner area very congested, careful not to step into refuse or bump into merchandise along street (Sellers bring wares in boxes which become selling stand.) Many people plus perpetual horn-honking or bell ringing of cyclists, plus exhaust from lorries, buses, cars & auto rickshaws, all w “pecking” order of who overtakes whom/where. Also assorted carts—food or supplies on those hand-drawn or an occasional motorized cart or hand-pedaled bike—like framed carts attached to haul wares.
Found myself increasingly saturated by peoples’ noise, ever-needing to watch out for impromptu transport maneuver. Onto electric train back to Egmore station area to then walk a kilometer. Jacob suggested we stop at Ashoka Hotel; he must have read my mind’s decision against a small, hot, open air food stall for food. As for 6 pm “meal” I simply ordered chai, Limca, & water; L bought bananas too. Jacob soon left to return by train to Kodai & we “stayed in” at ICSA. After shower & clothes washing, I not disciplined enough to journal but dozed off as rain/thunder made their presence known.
Wed. – Knowing that Aruna Gnanadason to arrive at 11:00, we went to art (old & contemporary) museum, plus to see bronze statues for hour before. (I recalled seeing same museum w Sunithi & Fulbright group.) Aruna drove minivan to ICSA where we visited before going to Harrington’s for Chinese food. Conversation topics varied from clarifying differences between Orthodox & Church of South India, to power of a single orthodox Bishop w a measure for change (as w divorce for women in unmanageable marriage), to her current or recent writing & study. She’s now pursuing Bachelor in Theology at Bangalore—adjunct, going only for exam-writing. Resonate w her pattern to do more than necessary prep. She recently in Kansas City for all-Methodist Women’s meeting (10,000) only international speaker (3 presentations) She’s editing writing in honor of A. Zacharius about ecumenical issues for which she had written an article—3 articles by women one from Delhi dealing w Gandhi’s ecumenical openness. Aruna also wrote chapter recently for book to be printed by Orbis plus gave lecture series at Bangalore (for which she aware of an official “conveniently” not able to attend). Resistance universal for men of any culture not able to credit women’s strength. She commends Gurukul Lutheran as seminary most open to/supportive of women’s studies, validating women in theol/bibl studies combined w social action for/with women.
Aruna represents good blend of moving momentum along while aware of what too strident, for which officials not ready. She has strong sense of working w R Catholic, Orthodox, & Protestant women’s groups, strengths/drawbacks of each. She travels for block of each month (when her mother-in-law comes from Nagercoil to care for 2 sons—especially if husband Jonathan also traveling). She continues very active w All Indian Women Christian organization & WCC, one of three commissioners for women’s agenda, going yearly to Geneva plus other regions as Russia last year. Yearly meetings to plan women’s activities/publicity, though Geneva staff carries out most of work. Aruna very involved w regional Asian women too, meeting this coming fall in Madras w 3 from each country gathering to construct Asian women Hermeneutics. Each to prepare disciplined response to interpretation chapters in Elisabeth Fiorenza’s In Memory of Her plus other sources & outcomes. Also resourceful to Asian women will be Rosemary Radford Ruether’s being at Gurukul from Jan.-April for speaking, teaching while she writes. She’ll likely be more personable than was Mary Daly when working w women in Australia.
After lunch drove to Women’s Center that integrates global & local needs. Fine advocate (lawyer) works there plus others among slum women to process women’s legal rights—helping them understand rights & assisting as legal aid to women going to court. She told of women’s experience being belittled by judges/court system if not accompanied by defender. Impressed w program managed from 2 rented flats—library/remarkable book collection plus “cuttings”—many notebooks focused on themes. Two main organization foci–legal & violence toward women. Legal dimension a threat for some in broader field of activism. Although some women’s attention span not more than 10 minutes, they skip a day’s work & spend Rs. 4 for bus to join Center’s activities. This day children also present—girls in grades 4-6 drawing pictures, enjoying each other directed by older girl/woman.
From Center close by to Aruna’s pleasant home—met sons w friend. She showed her office area—place of considerable creation like STREE, book editing, studying. All told most worthwhile day of information, inspiration, & awareness of how much a person can accomplish. Aware that she benefits from domestic help & struck by extent of time that she gave us, her friendship genuine. She also knows Mercy Amba Odoyoye, Virginia Fabella, Stella Faria, Sun Ai Park, & others who address feminist issues globally—both church-related & secular. She’s correct to observe that Mennonites more conservative in India, that ridiculous to be invited to Chicago (CIM) meeting last Nov for “mere 2 days—so much money for limited time.” Most grateful that Lynda & I shared day w Aruna.
From Annanagar w fine young scooter driver directly to pick up few items at ICSA before out opposite direction to Besant Nagar to Sumitra Ghose (GC student Krishnan’s parents) home on coast. After talking a while, to coast several blocks away before rain more noticeable. When sun out, watched rising/falling white caps, a sight of beauty, also noting universal responses to water among children—some w eager, itching feet to get in, others w strong fear as when cling to parent or refuse to get into even wet sand. Back to Sumitra’s place for cake before they drove us to scooter stand. Ice cream & soda, plus few crackers our ‘supper.’
May 31 – Went to Indian Airlines where issued ticket # 62 (at 10:05). While L stayed for number, I back to public phone on Pantheon Road to call Sarah Chanda; pleased to be invited to stay w them two nights. She & daughter Shaku took us shopping before shift from ICSA to spacious Chanda home. L & I taken to Giggles where struck again by quantity of books, quality of helpful workers; one even brought couple books from near-by shop. Used credit card for purchase of 11 books. L. tired enough to fall asleep before good vegetarian dinner.
June 1 – Driver took us to efficient Thomas Cook, Wearhouse, & p.o. (where not enough stamps for post cards!) Caught up on journaling while L to Madras club for swim/sun. Conversa w Chanda daughters about education system, lunch, & to Park Sheraton (where I had stayed w Fulbright). Two cups chai for Rs. 30! Gatsby restaurant newly decorated—rose color predominant w decorative, iron chairs. From 7:30-10 pm at boat club w Chandas, pleasant outdoor eating, most dishes w tandoor sauce, relaxed conversation. Fans all night likely not help L recover from head cold, but many other locals must be wretchedly hot w-out moving air. Glad for phone call w Sreekala Rajagopalin’s mother.
June 2 – Up by 4:00; driver took us to airport where paid Rs. 220 for overweight (20 kilo per person allowed; we at 54 together w 3 bags). Discovered to arrive Delhi hour later than had told Biyani’s because of stop in Hyderabad en route. Upon arrival, “technical difficulty” waiting for baggage. (A man had told L at Indian Airlines office about waiting 2 ½ hours for baggage claim at an Indian airport.) Met by Raj’s (G. C. student) parents & his cousin staying in Delhi w aunts. Taken to Lisa Inn where Mr. B has access to rooms nearby to his company. Needed to clean room on arrival. A.C. quite welcome though water leaks in ‘b’, a few cockroaches, & poor drainage from tub. Flush works & even TV but of little interest. Reception near door plus lounge area where young men gather to watch TV—especially about 25 around “Mahabharata” Epic serial Sunday a.m. – going for 100 weeks straight.
To Chanda flat where 2 Biyanis & we ate, w Mrs. B working in kitchen all time, making more. Very tasty vegetarian food; she adds food to plate in spite of our saying ‘enough.’ Raj’s parents very pleasant doing all possible for our comfort. Great advantage to always fill water thermos w cold water. M/M B took us to state emporiums before back to Chanda flat until Mr. C returned from work. In 2 cars to major Hindu marble temple; Mr. B explained gods & goddess stories, Mrs. B waiting in car; both quite religious. Mrs. B intent to tell us of Raj’s mischievous childhood—many falls. To more Buddhist-like temple (starts w M) top of hill having left shoes at base before walking up. Heavy traffic w unbelievable honking, weaving in among assorted transport; masses of people out. Stopped for good pineapple drinks. L & I becoming exhausted—by heat, traffic, lack of space, noise, exhaust fumes. Intent to stop at India Gate for picnic; on arrival & seeing total congestion, L & I just asked to be taken back to hotel. L actually w tears, though concerned for me, she had reached her limit—“bugged” by little girl cousin who demanded L’s full attention. They also tired, so had ‘picnic’ back at Chanda flat.
June 3 – Had asked not to be picked up until 1 pm. Expecting letters at McDowels, decided to get them after L down to basement area under construction to jump rope among open air/birds. Auto rickshaw (“taken” by charge of Rs. 25!) over to Greater Kailash II & found Steve/Norma plus visitor Anna quite pleasant. Letters from J.D, Mother & Pop Pop. Said that we’d walk back but Norma cautioned angst sun stroke; after 20 min, took rickshaw back to South Extension, ring road & nice shopping mall, getting shoes and Punjabi outfit for L. Another good meal, along w colleague guest of Mr. C. At 5 pm guest, Mrs. C, Mr. B, L & I to Bahai Temple—lotus shape, much larger than Bahai temple in Wilmette, Illinois; clean pools, whistle-blowing security that kept everyone off grass, quiet w-in temple (quite a feat for Indian crowds). To basement area to read history/philosophy of Bahai. Mr. B. really quite religious, sensitive to others, & welcoming of our interest in Hinduism. Next to Lord Krishna Temple where prayer service beginning. Stayed near back w another woman. Most people prostrate on floor on entering. Then began sequence of lead chanter/cum drummer singing/praying line followed by most gathered including a few sadhus. One in Lord Krishna/Radha image area did series of motions while chanting continuously, as temple crowd increased w more vigorous stomp/shuffle. Obviously, group effort compared to most individual Hindu worship. Sadhu moved multi-candle wick around before circulating it among all—moving hands through it then overhead. Main leader had started & ended sequence w blowing on conch shell several blasts, moving fan-like plus other items in varied circular motions. Near end holy water thrown out over all; Mr. B & Mrs. C gave offering before we 5 left, L and Mrs. C taking handful of blessed food. (L said, “I’m sure that God understood my action.”) Being Monday, Mrs. C. fasting most foods; back to C’s flat for pleasant hour w cookies, tea, & watermelon.
June 4 –To C’s flat for 9:30 breakfast, mostly fruits & several dried rice preparations—all quite good before off (M/M B, Mrs. C, 2 children, L & I) Delivered letter for Ron Y then while Bs and children to Dr., Mrs. C helped L & me barter w shopkeepers, especially along Janpath Road. Lunch at Volvo restaurant quite pleasant though I chose minestrone soup, egg roll & cold coffee w ice cream over Indian dishes. To British Airways to confirm tickets, be checked in to computer one a vegetarian. Book shopping (New Book depot, 18-B, Connaught Pl). Back to Lisa Inn for several hours while Mr. B did office business, L getting good nap & I catching up on journal. Will read Woodstock Board of Management materials before to C’s flat at 8 pm. Finished 3rd letter to J & G. Dinner w C & B’s & conversation before to Guest House. Mrs. B gave me nice papier mache bowl.
June 5, Tues – To C’s for breakfast before M/M B took us to McDowell’s place in Greater Kailash II; bedroom very hot; first night sat up part of time. A.C. of last 3 nights more beneficial than realized at time. Norma, L & I to “Centre for Women’s Development Studies,” where read for while & purchased a few materials. Scootered on to “Kali for Women” (feminist publisher) location (not likely to have found w-out Norma). Back to house for vegetables on pizza shells. 3 of us out to park area where walked some distance, giving L feel for where she could run early a.m.
June 6, Wed. – Scootered in to Connaught Place, Bonnie King having called inviting us to eat lunch w them at Le Maridian. Successful shopping along Janpath, Bookworm & several other places—L pleased w couple baggy pants for herself & black ones for G. Really good to lunch w Stan, Bonnie & David, hotel & restaurant being “something else”; they paid. To late afternoon tea at convent w Norma, Steve, & Anna (Berkeley U. student doing research on women’s organizations & contributions from foreign sources—out of SNDT/Juhu, Bombay) To McDowell’s where a Mr. Wood (WS student father) joined for dinner.
June 7, Thurs –Stayed at house for ‘loose’ reason while L & N to Manushi (women’s journal) office and Saheli, the latter w Sister Ann. L really valued these contacts & I sorry to miss.
June 8, Fri – By taxi to YW International Guest House, only to find no Glen Conrad. L & Steve had taken our extra luggage (not taking to Mussoorie) to Sisters at convent evening before. Driver seemed eager to go after wasting ½ hour. Learned later that Glen’s flight delayed 24 hours from Madurai. Ride to Mussoorie quite pleasant; driver not trying for “close misses” w other traffic but put on a “show” when on ghat road up to Mussoorie. He knew how to lean w curves, but I grew weary of his need to pass everything, even out on Tehri Road portion. Arrived safely, amazed at how Bisleri water cooled off before long into hills. Soon met Saroj and Ranjita who showed us to room 7 where so good to have hot water for bucket shower & hair wash. Invited along w Joy Michael (Academic Affairs Convener of Board, former principal of St. Thomas School/Delhi, quite capable, connected person) with Principal Hugh & Ruth Bradby.
June 9, Sat. – After breakfast, L and I walked down to Hanson field; quite the trek back up—considerable puffing while she waited patiently several times. June Sale opened by 10 a.m. after band. Numerous people to talk w at booths; not nearly as many crafts/cloth items as available in 1960’s, brought from regions by missionaries. Rather than stay for auction, L & I waked into bazaar, as far as Kwality’s for cold coffee w ice cream. Ate at dining hall w Michaels before L & I watched TV w dear friend Diana Biswas (finals of French Women’s Tennis & some World Cup soccer).
June 10, Sun – To St. Paul’s w Diana, after which L & I walked to Kellogg Church, but snows barely visible through haze. Lunch of rice/dal in dining hall & relaxed couple hours before trek to Oakville. Amazed at steep incline and length of climb to amazing 150-year-old house. Pleasant conversation w Bob/Ellen Alter before down to duplex above Hostel where Jim/Betsy Lehman had invited Menno people. Disturbed that Betsy had been professionally robbed of her purse on leaving Delhi train station night before. Big meal then shown basement room renovated as B’s resource place for nurses of northern India. Talked quite a while w Dale & Lois. (other notes)
Extensive, more private, Notes from conversations w staff & about Board mtg, my purpose for KWF representative to two schools, appear in notebook used throughout: Diana Biswas (music/hiking), L and DJ (Mennonite), Hugh Bradby (principal), Cathy Holmes, Kathy Hoffman, Mary Ina Hooley, Gary Rutt (dorm), Jim Lehman, Carol Evans, Ron/Saroj Kapadia, S Chandra (h.s. social studies), Brij Lal, Bill Bower (board) Sanjaya (elementary ed) ++ Conversation w Glen about Woodstock School revealed similar experience, observations, concerns. I also typed final report for members of KWF.
Going Down – A Sikh driver, perhaps 25-30 years old taking Mark Nord, Glen Conrad, Lynda & me from Mussoorie to Delhi. Stopped in Dehra Dun for driver to meet a Sikh community. Later in Hindi conversation w Glen, discovered that the guy had already driven up from Delhi w-out rest &, further, that he planned to return again after meeting someone at a 2:30 Delhi train! Fortunate for Glen to talk Hindi w him to keep him awake. Not really humorous in light of lives being at stake. Glen sensed increased slurred speech, less sense, as he tired more. To add to variety just outside of Gaziabad, had a flat tire. I stood w umbrella opened while waiting; L perhaps offended the guy by assisting w rolling spare out after luggage unloaded. As closer to Delhi, driver perpetually “dotting” his hot, perspired face w already-damp cloth. Fortunately, L retains ‘feel’ for a city layout, being alert to signs en route. She directed driver to convent in Greater Kailash II, to retrieve our luggage on return to Delhi. No notes of return flight only to say that I’m truly grateful for Lynda’s capable assistance throughout trip.