(apparently Blogspot.com has some problems with pictures, so check out my brother's blog to see pictures of the trip.)
The evening of the 16th, we went to dinner at the Oberoi Grand Hotel which was across the street from out hotel. It was great to have a quiet place to just sit and not have locals waiting outside the doors for us.
The morning of the 17th, we just relaxed in the hotel and played with Keira. We weren't sure how she would respond to us, so we took it easy. Later in the afternoon, we went out to do some shopping. I bought some scarves, but feel like I had 'AMERICAN' written all over my forehead. I am no good at the whole bargaining for every shopping items. I spent way too much and then felt sick to my stomach that night when I thought about how much I had spent and knew that I could have bargained a LOT less. My only consultation is that scarves really are beautiful and as Michelle reminded me, I'm helping provide for the families of the shop owners.
We then spend the evening in the hotel room. We ordered room service so we didn't have to go out again and to give Keira some quiet time. One of the things we need to be aware of is if she's getting too much stimulation. As the only time she's been out of the orphanage prior to us picking her up was to get her passport picture taken, everything in the world is brand new to her. When dinner came up, Colin took a bite of his sandwich and said "DAD, this is the BEST sandwich I've ever had!!!." (He's a pretty picky eater, so for him to rave about something is rare.) After a few more bites, he declared "we HAVE to get this recipe!!!" :) (It was just a grilled chicken salad sandwich)
On the 18th, we went to Mother Teresa's home. We saw the room where she spent most of her life and where she died. We walked through the little museum room that documented her life. And then walked past her tomb. It is truly amazing what 1 person is capable of. She truly cared about people and taking care of their needs even when she had nothing herself. It was pretty emotional to see the pictures of her doing her work and reading about what she went through over the years. What an amazing woman!!
We then headed to the outskirts of Calcutta to Hope Home. This is an orphanage/school that is partially supported by Rod & Michelle's church in CO. The home has 24 children currently and has room for more kids if necessary. The school has about 60 additional kids from the area that come in each day. We met with the kids and the people who ran the home. Dev is the guy who started it and he has been to CO and Rod had met him before. The kids ranged in age from 7 - 17. The two 7 year olds were in kindergarten and not in classes at the time we were there. So Colin played with the kids and made new friends. The girls were just enamored with him (as were all of the children). We stayed for lunch (they had Chinese delivered) and then a concert that the kids put on for us. Colin even participated. He's quite imaginative - she sang 2 made up songs. One about Jesus (he accompanied himself on a violin for that one) and a 2nd song about wildlife. He's a funny little boy. We then headed out and the kids all said goodbye and shook Colin's hand.
We then headed back to the hotel to get dinner and pack for our very early flight back to Delhi the morning of the 19th. (FYI - the best time to travel in Calcutta - about 4AM!!! - very little traffic)