Just like in the movies, it was raining as we said goodbye to Chamba yesterday morning. Leaving the kids at the school and ashram was heart-wrenching! It's incredible to feel such profound love for people you've only known for a week! We enjoyed showering them with gifts on our last day there--gloves, blankets, penny necklaces, string bracelets, glowsticks, Menchie's spoons, gumballs, racecars, headbands, school supplies, photos, etc. It felt like Christmas! But watching their sweet little faces get smaller and smaller out the back window of our car was so sad!! The YMAD teens have done a fabulous job teaching and loving these cute kids! I know the kids may not remember everything we taught them, but they will never forget the love and joy they felt while we were there. Neither will we!
Our drive from Chamba to Pathankot was gorgeous! We took the scenic route all the way up to Khajjiar Wildlife Preserve in the tops of the steep Himalayan range. The rain & clouds made it even more beautiful to look out and see the high distant peaks above the clouds! The Himalayas are so majestic!
Six hours later we arrived at the Pathankot Train Station to catch the night train to Delhi. It was much cleaner than I expected, except the bathroom--totally gross!! Had a pretty decent night's sleep on our little shelf bed from about 10:30-5:00 when we had to prepare to get off in Delhi. What a busy city, even at 6:00 in the morning!! And those skinny little porters could carry 4 of our 50 pound bags at one time--two on their heads, and one in each arm!
After a 4 hour bus ride, we were happy to arrive in Agra, especially when our first stop was Pizza Hut--it was heavenly! As much as I've liked Indian food, pepperoni pizza tasted DELICIOUS! The Hotel Marina here feels like a palace--soft beds with sheets, hot showers, and everything is so clean. We just hung out here at the hotel all afternoon, showering, napping, and visiting. Chad & Raj found us McDonald's take-out for dinner, and although they don't sell beef, it still hit the spot!
It's been so fun to have Raj & Nandini travel with us. They have become our very good friends! We're all looking forward to the Taj Mahal at dawn tomorrow, then shopping and riding the elephants to the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Having an awesome time! A big THANKS to our families, babysitters, and great YMAD leaders! We love you and we'll see you soon!