It was a long day in the air from Germany to Kolkata. We landed in Kolkata amidst smog, humidity and hundreds of horns blasting simultaneously. We went directly to the home of Stewart and Monique (a 25 minute drive or so) where we were sent into action. Sylvia walked into assisting Monique with teaching the english alphabet and phonetics to friends from one of the redlight areas, while Steve and Stew carried luggage into what we will call home for the next 15 days. Stewart gave me a tour of their own home (an old tanning factory) including a roof top view of the city of Kolkata. Then off to the children’s home where all of the children plus several of their caregivers were sick with Chicken Pox (I sure hope that I have already had it). I was given a tour of the home and we looked at some adjoining properties that they are pursuing to build a “life center” in the red light district and a property that may some day be the location of a school for 2000 children. First impressions:
- Stew and Monique are visionaries with an immense love for all people
- Driving in Kolkata is an exciting experience
- It’s very humid here
- I have not met an unfriendly person yet. (But then, we haven’t been in a crowded market yet)
- either Monique needs a mallet or we need to know “where’s the real beef?”
- there is an immediate need to find a wonderful qualified national to provide vocational training in order to free Monique to focus on the jewellry business design/start-up and to enable her to maintain her ministry in the red light district. She needs this person yesterday!
We are off now to a much-needed sleep in a real bed!