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Arriving in India

Tuesday, May 24

We arrived early this morning at 1 a.m. after traveling for 24 hours. The flight from Cleveland to Chicago was two hours long and on time. The flight from Chicago to Delhi was on a Boeing 777 and endured 14 hours, which is a long time to sit in a space measuring 17 by 30 inches. Woe betide the traveler who is eating when the person in front puts his/her seat back down. The flight to Bangalore on a spacious Boeing 737 had excellent service.

We were pleasantly greeted at the airport by representatives of Air France at the request of Sr. Priscilla. Apparently, the manager’s daughter is a student at Sophia High School.

We are boarding in the guest quarters of the school. Our rooms are clean and simple, as one would imagine. The bed however is going to take some getting used to. It is a plywood board with a one, well maybe two-inch pad.

Upon arising we were greeted with a generous breakfast of bread, rice, local spices and non-spice food, plenty of coffee and smiles. Sr. Priscilla, Sr. Sajita and Sr. Rosalia were among the first to introduce themselves.

The daily routine of the Sisters consists of prayers, mass at 6:30 a.m., breakfast at 7:30 a.m., coffee or tea at 10 a.m., lunch at 12:30 p.m., coffee or tea at 4 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. After all was done, Donovan and Tom determined to go on a diet.

During the day we explored to the compound, which consists of many buildings sufficient to teach 3,000 students, an administrative building, a large auditorium with a capacity of 1,300 people, a large athletic and recreational area, and, of course, the convent facility for the Sisters. While there are more that 30 Sisters in the order, plus novices, the school has 160 teachers. Classrooms accommodate about 60 students each.

We escaped the compound to survey the immediate environs. Adjacent to the school is a large private golf course. There is a four-star hotel, La Meridian, and a cricket field in the one direction, and a not so multi-starred hotel in the other.

We are still getting accustomed to the time change. Our eating and sleeping cycles are all mixed up. Tomorrow is another day.

- Steve Hotchkiss