Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Best India Parade We Didn't Attend.

January 26 is Republic Day in India.  They celebrate the formation of the Republic of India in 1950.  They have a parade attended by the President, VP and Prime Minister.  So we thought it would be good to get tickets and attend (we have lived in Houston for 30 years and never have attended a parade, but hey, we're in India).  We got the tickets, and then we saw the restrictions.  In bold letters on the back of the ticket it says:  Ticketholders are requested to not bring any bag, briefcase, radio, pager, mobile telephones, tape recorders, cameras, binoculars, digital diary, palm-top computer, remote controlled car-lock keys, arms and ammunition, match box, cigarette lighter, thermos flask, water bottles, knife, razor, scissors, screwdriver, blade, ipod, wires, explosives of any form, etc. with them as all such items will not be allowed to be carried to the seating enclosures.  In addition, everyone had to be in their seats 30 minutes before the parade started and not leave until the President, VP and Prime Minister had left.  On top of all this, there was a general security release from the Church to not be in these kinds of crowds because of an unconfirmed terrorist attack. 
We didn't know what to do.  Can you imagine a parade in the US with the restrictions listed above (would anyone attend?)  Being unfamiliar with the "downtown" area of Delhi, and not being able to take a cell phone with us, we opted not to go.   We watch the parade in comfort (and warmth) of our apartment, and I took pictures of the TV screen.  I figured I could do that since I paid to attend the parade.  I even "cropped" them so they look like we were there...   We actually saw more on TV than we would have been able to see, 15 rows back in the crowds.

Lots of show of various branches of the military

Outfits and Headdresses are very colorful
Lots of dancing groups with colorful outfits

Many floats
Lots of acrobats on motorcycles.  This is a pyramid of
riders balanced on 9 motorcycles
Several displays of various aircraft, planes and

The President was hosting the King and Queen of Bhutan, I even got their pictures, but decided it would be best to not post them.  It might keep me out of an Indian jail. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

The Hole Revisited

Some time back, I mentioned that when we look out our front window, we have a perfect view of a 30 foot deep hole.  It's a piece of property the Church acquired to eventually build a new multi-use church building in the future.  For now it's just a unsightly hole with partially constructed pillars - apparently construction that was started and abandoned before the Church purchased the property.  We woke this morning to a constant pounding outside.  When we looked out the window, we found two sets of two workers each that manually were taking the pillers out.  There are 12 of these pillars and each set of workers take turns with the sledge hammer pounding on the concrete until it finally breaks away from the rebar, so they can then cut the rebar with a blow torch.  I am amazed that they would have even approached the task, and even more amazed that by the end of the day, they had broken through all the columns. 



If anyone would have told me in June when we got to New Delhi (with the tempertures constantly above 100 degrees Farenheit), that I would be sitting at the kitchen table writing in the blog with a blanket around my shoulders to keep warm and using the computer heat to keep my hands warm, I would not have believed them, but it's so true.  Since December 1 the tempertures have turned cold and gotten colder ever since.  The temperature range right now is around 40 at night rising to about 60 during the day, but it's a very damp cold and so we never feel warm.  We came primarily with warm-weather clothing based on the instructions about our mission, but have needed to go out and buy sweaters and leggings (for Angela) to try and keep warm.  It's the same in the misson office.  To compound the problem, the buildings have marble floors and concrete walls that retain the cold.  There is no central heat in New Delhi. We are trying to keep warm with two small raditor-type heaters for our fairly large apartment They do a poor job of keeping anything warm except right around them.  I generally like cooler weather, but both of us are pining for the warm weather to come, but we have at least until early February.