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Debbie and Carter's India Trip

Welcome to Debbie and Carter's Travel Page. Here is where we will be keeping a record of our travel in India for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for us. If we have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people we will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Thursday, 02 February 2006

Location: Jaipur, India

Today is our final day in India. We drive from Jaipur to Delhi which is about a 5 hour drive. We are looking forward to being home after this amazing trip. I can't help thinking about the pharse "to who much is given, much is expected". I know that this has been a trip that has changed both of us for the better. Unfortunately, neither one of us thinks we have lost any weight!!! The mango ice cream is too good!!! But we are looking forward to eating salad, steamed vegetables and not worrying about the fruit or other foods.

Yesterday, was a little dissapointing because our guide was late and we didn't get an elephant ride. Our driver was really mad at the guide and offered to take us this morning but I think we will do some last minute shoping. We did tour the city of Jaipur (pink city), the Amber Fort, the astrological observatory and the Wind Palace. Jaipur is know for its pink color, textiles, and gems. We didn't buy any gems unfortunately but we did have some cloths made for us last night which will be delivered this morning before we leave. It was a really fun experience however seeing your measurements in black and white is never fun. I don't know how they get everything done over night but someone we were with in Bomby had several things made to take home with her.

There is still a living Maharajah here in the city who is 86. He has no sons so he adopted one of his daughters so he will take over after his death. The daughter has started a school here to make sure that children learn the traditional art of the city, block printing, painting, pottery, gem work etc. Some of the pieces are incredible. We toured a musuem with the cloths of some of the Maharajah's and they were so beautiful. The only problem is that they aren't being preserved properly so they are beginning to deterioate. The observatory was amazing!

We fly at 1AM and arrive in DC around 1PM. We loose a day on the way back. We are really looking forward to seeing all our animals.

Thanks to all of you who have logged in. We have really enjoyed hearing from you and it made the distance not seem as long. We will talk to you all when we get back and you will just have to tell us when enough is enough when we talk about our trip.

Love to all,
Debbie and Carter

Wednesday, 01 February 2006

Location: Jaipur, India

We are back on-line after not having access for a day and a half. We traveled from Delhi to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Both were built by self-acclaimed ruler of the world, Emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal was built for his wife who died shortly after giving birth to his 14 child. They were inseparateable and he told her right before her death that he wanted to commit sucide. She told him not to but to not remarry and to build something in that he could look at and remember her. So he built the most beautiful building he could. It took 22 years for 20,000 people to finish the mauseleum. Words can not adequately describe how wonderful it is, we were truely in awe.

Today we rode 6 and 1/2 hours by car to Jaipur on a very rough road. But it was worth it because we got to see the amazing countryside. The greens and yellow fields of the mustard oil plants were often dotted by women wearing brightly colored saris. We also saw camels, ox, pot belly pigs, sheep, goats, water buffalo, blue cows (very holy), cows, monkeys, hindu temples, mosques, villages, schools, etc. Our driver, Sing, is really taking great care of us and we may stop by his home and meet his family on the way back to Delhi.

Tomorrow we ride elephants, visit the Amber Fort and Pink City.

Love to all.

Sunday, 29 January 2006

Location: Mumbai, India

Well today we leave Mumbai after touring a breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment program in one of the slums. We are looking forward to it. Then is it back to Delhi. Our time here in Mumbai has given us more taste of the contrasts and beauty of India. Our hotel room looks out over the Arabian Sea and at night the coast lights up (which we can see) and the pennisula becomes the "Queen's Necklace". We watched fireworks the other night from our room as part of the Republic Day celebration. Last night we went to a very exclusive Cricket club for dinner at the invitation of one of our new friends. I am sure many of you have seen it in any movie about India. It is very old, beautiful and very British. Our new friends here have made us feel very at home, taken excellant care of us and we have learned so much from them. We are hoping to see a few of them again in July when they come for a meeting in DC. Debbie and I have purchased a few tops, jackets and scarfs. The clothing is so beautiful and I have to be careful not to stare at the beautiful color combinations and materials that the women wear.

The only problem I am having is that I am not sleeping more than 4-4 and half hours a night but Debbie is sleeping like a baby and I am very jealous. Other than that we have had no food issues and have been treated to some excellant Indian meals. The only thing I miss is salad.

We will post more pictures tonight and I will make sure that Debbie isn't stingy - it just takes a while uploading.

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Location: Mombai (Bombay), India

Yesterday we arrived in Bombay (Mumbai). It was a two hour flight south from Delhi. It's much warmer here. We were met at the hotel by Shalini who is Indian and has relatives in Bombay. We walked around the city for about 2 hours. The poverty overwhelms me. I have never seen anything like this. Women and children begging everywhere. They are so hard to turn away from. The hardest ones to see are the young mothers with their babies in their arms begging for food. Thousands of people are packed into an endless series of one room shacks throughout the city.

On a lighter note, we went to dinner at Shalini's Aunt and Uncle's house. It was a traditional South Indian meal that was very good. It was fasinating to experience Indian life. Shalini's family could not have been more welcoming to us.

This morning I woke up in my opulence at the Bombay Hilton, had breakfast in bed,for about 10 dollars, excersized, and wrote this by the pool. Today is India's Independence Day-47 yrs from British Rule.

Carter had her presentation today so we'll see tonight how it went. Hope you all are well-be thankful for everything you have, we are so lucky to live where we do. Deb

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Recent Messages

From Mom
Dear Children,
What a spectacular trip! Memories to last always. We appreciate so your faithfullness in reporting your adventures. Love to you both!

Response: Wow, we can't believe you wrote an email, most impressed!!! We miss you and look forward to telling you everything on Sunday. Did your shoes arrive? We leave here shortly for Dehli then home.

Love you bunches,
Carter and Debbie
From Ruth
Wow. I just read through the whole site. Really amazing experience! I want to hear about your "presentation" Carter - you are now an international professional!
Response: It has been amazing! I presented on the ACS experience with passing smoke-free laws. It was okay but I may wonderful new friends.

I met a women in line yesterday from Minneapolis and thought of you. I will give you a call soon and bore you with all the details.

From Sheila
Hi Debbie and Carter,
I 've really had a lot of fun looking at your pictures and reading your travel journal - what a great idea!
Enjoy the rest of your trip and I'll look forward to hearing all about your adventure when we see you.

Response: Hi She. We will leave tonight for home. Actually, it's early sat am-the flight leaves at 1:20 am. It will be a 24 hour journey but we will still arrive on Sat because of crossing the intnational date line. It has been a great visit. Many sights I never thought I'd see like the Taj mahal. Talk to you when I et back. Love, Deb
From Andrea
Howdy howdy Girls- All is well in Springfield.
What is the strangest meal you have had so far? I'm so jealous that you are going to ride an elephant!!!!!! Super cool...send more pictures please. Be careful, Miss you guys, A&M
Response: Well, the elephant didn't happen today. We had a terrible guide and he was late so we missed the chance. Our driver was so mad as were we. The worst meal was not bad in taste but too spicy for me (Carter) to eat. I had lunch while working at the conference and it brought tears to my eyes and my nose ran, very pretty. I am tired though of Indian food, today for lunch I had pizza. Knock on wood but neither one of us has had any stomach problems. We have had a great time but we are ready to come home and see the animals.

We will call you on Saturday.
From Janet and Peter
Glad we got the chance to check out your travels. We wondered when you were going/coming back. Great pics!
A big thanks, Deb, for Peter's current good health.
I hope yours is the same.
Love to you both,
Janet and Peter
Response: My health is great-I don't feel any different than with two kidneys. My incisions no longer are sensitive and I'm back to running. The only dissapointment is not losing ANY weight!
I'm protecting my one kidney over here too. I'm being religious in drinking bottled water only and eating hot foods. We fly back Fri eve. It has been an incredible experience-for better or worse! Talk with you soon, Love, Deb
From Peyton
Dear Debbie,
What has been your favorite part of the trip? Have you tried different foods yet? What are some of your favorite foods in India? Is your behind after riding the elephants? Where are you going next? Sophie and I are having a great time! Will you bring some pictures home ? Can we have some of them if you bring them home? Have you seen any other snakes?
Response: Hi Peyton, We took lots of pictures of elephants. They were really cool! We decided we don't like Indian food much. We stay in the hotel and eat. We have seen lots of snakes, monkeys, bears, water buffalo. I haven't gone near any more snakes. Can't wait to see you this Sun. Love Debbie
From Kathy and Bob
Hi Debbie and Carter,
It is great reading about your trip through India and seeing the pictures. Have you had a chance to see any schools? I was wondering how they compare to what we have here in the USA. What a great experience for you both. Thinking of you. xxoo Kathy and Bob
Response: Hi Kath and Bob, There are public and private schools here in India. It's the opposite of what you would think. The public ones are private and are for the most part look nice. On the other hand, the rest of the schools are unbelievable. In the more rural areas, all the kids sit in the dirt outside and listen to their teacher. Then they walk home to thatched houses for lunch and back. This really is a poor country-incredible poverty and basically very little infrastructure. We are so lucky for what we take for granted.
We've seen many men that I think were born with spina bifida that basically spend their lives scooting around in the dirt on there knees and butts begging. Pretty bad. More later, Love, deb
From Katie
How exciting everything sounds. PLease send pictures of the elephant rides. The children (especially Peyton) enjoys looking at and discussing them. By the way she got all "E"s (excellent) on her report card and the principal sent her a note. She is very proud of herself. Sophie and Ellie are the cute babies of the house. They have been playing quite nicely together. Ellie has had a bit of the tummy bug so she and the dog have been "hanging out". I think she will be sad to let her go. Enjoy!
Response: Sorry to hear Ellie is a little under the weather. Funny you say Ellie isn't going to want to give her up, we were talking about the fact she isn't going to want to come home. Tell Peyton we are very impressed and that I want to see the report card and the principal's note and we will definitely write about the ride today and post pictures. Tell Carter that the animals are a little smelly.

From Jen McKay
These are great photos...I particularly loved the bit about the monkeys who steal water bottles...good travels!
Response: Jen, Thanks for your note. We leave tonight(late) and gain a day so we will land in DC at 1 tomorrow afternoon. At least I can go home and sleep in my own bed. It has been a great visit. Thanks for checking in. Love, Debbie
From Sharon
Carter, I got right on "Mary Pat Fisher" and ordered LIVING RELIGIONS. Thanks for the tip-will happily share. Anxiously awaiting your new downloads--Debbie, you're doing a great job!
Response: I started downloading before bed and had to keep restarting it because I kept loosing the connection. I just checked and all is good even though I had to go with less photos. I will look forward to hearing about what you think of the book. Tell Joyce that she would be in photography heaven. Every place you look there is an amazing shot!

Talk to you later,
From joyce & sharon
Joyce and I just finished oogling all your incredible photos (in reverse order for some reason, so we ended on the snakes rather than the monkeys). Looking forward to future days (ending on the cows. . . and the elephants. . . etc. ; } ) Your documenting your trip is so cool --we are mesmerized!! xx s/j
Response: Good to hear from you guys. We are having an amazing trip! Sharon, I have heard about a woman who is in Delhi at an Ashram who's name is Mary Pat Fischer. She apparently has written books that we might enjoy. All the money goes to suport the Ashram. We can't wait to bore everyone with the details. Debbie and I have made some wonderful friends who truely are making a difference. It is very humbling.
From Lockridges
Dear Aunt Carter and Debbie,
Where are you going next? Please bring me a cobra(Just kidding). What is your favorite place so far? Where are you all staying? Please send more pictures we love them. We miss you a lot.

Peyton and Ellie Todd

I love you Aunt Carter and Debbie.

From Carter
Response: Peyton and Eillie Todd,
You mean I have to return the cobra? That may prove difficult but I will see what I can do. We are staying at a Hilton Hotel and our room overlooks the Arabian Sea. My favorite place so far ... I guess would be the H's tomb but I am guessing that I will be blown away by the Taj Mahal. I also have really enjoyed spending time with my new Indian friends and learning about their life and work. Also, walking the streets is so fasicinating, my head is constantly turning.

Give Sophie kisses for us!!!
We love you too!
Carter and Debbie

You wouldn't believe all the cars. The car lanes are just guides that no one listens to so driving in cabs is a constant game of "chicken". Horns are constantly blowing, I am glad I am not driving. We go back to Delhi tonight and start our tour again.

Love you too!
Aunt Debbie and Carter
From Katei
Just a quick message to let you know that we are going out tonight but we are leaving Sophie with a reliable babysitter. We have left all the emergency numbers in case Sophie needs us. Seriously, Darlene has a Shitzu at home and thoroughly enjoys her and knows how to take care of her. We send our love.
Response: Katie, thanks again so much! We really miss that crazy little dog. Tomorrow we leave Bombay and that's fine with me. Too many smells, beggars and it's scary walking the streets. But,great shopping. Talk with you soon, Debbie
From KT
Well Sophie has found her niche(sp?) and is settling in quite well. She has found her pooping spot outside and has been visiting it often. She is a very sweet puppy. Hope all is going well. E-mail me if you can.

Response: Thank you for being so good to Sophie, Debbie and I really appreciate it! She is quite a charmer isn't she?

Tell Mom not to worry we are safe and having a good time.

Love you,
From Sherri Simons
Okay, so where are the pictures from day 2. At my estrogen-challenged time of life, I don't think 80's and humid would be a good thing! Have a great day!
Response: Next set of pictures from Bombay. Crazy,smelly city. Two more days here-I'm definitely ready to leave Bombay. Debbie
From susan
What a wonderful trip and pictures. I didn't realize it was a working trip which makes it better cause someone is footing some of the bill.
Had so friends that were in India for three weeks in Nov. and they too talked of the poverty/ extreme wealth. They practice Buddism and that was the main reason for their trip. They stayed mainly north and had some wonderful experiences.
How long will you be gone? will keep checking your site.
Good to hear from you. We fly home on the 3rd so we will only scratch the surface. I finish working on Monday so we will resume being total tourist on Tuesday. I love the Indian people and have enjoyed learning from them especially with my interest in religious studies.

Say hi to Kai.
Love you,
From Andrea
Wow!!! This is pretty cool!!!! Don't be bringing any cobras home for us, thank you very much!! Be careful!!!! Miss you. Very WINDY here the last few days. Makes for very exciting flying!!!! How do you say hello & good bye in India?
Lov, A&M
Response: I think that you would love the cobras. They just get a little cranky sometimes. We are having an amazing time but the poverty really gets to you at moments. Give Pebbles and Olivia a hug.
Carter and Debbie
From Sherri Simons
It looks like a great trip, so far. Could you please stay away from Cobras????? We need you back here! On second thought, I know an office at RITPO where 1 little cobra could take up residence. It is a thought! Enjoy your time!
Warm regards,
Response: thanks Sherri. I'm off for more exploring in Bombay today. It is in the mid 80's here and humid. Talk with you soon, Debbie
From Us
Hi guys!
I hope you continue to have a good time. I think when you get back you might change Sophie's name to Killer. She thinks that she can go after the big dogs down the street. She never gets close (don't worry) but it sure is funny. She also gets her last burst of energy at 8 and then collapses at around 10. She is a sweet dog and we are enjoying her. Hopefully we'll have her potty trained for you by the 5th. I can tell she misses her mommys.
See you
From Dana
Just checking in on you two...
Safe travels!
Response: We are back to Delhi today and then it is more touring. This has really been an incredible experience.
From Katie
Glad you are having fun. All is well here. Carter is having a good birthday and we will probably go out to eat. Sophie is having a wonderful time playing with the children and the children's toys. She has stopped nipping at Ellie. Luv to you both.

KT and fam
Response: Hey Katie, I don't know how I deleted your most recent e-mail, but I did. Thank you so much for watching Sophie. She is so funny with other dogs. She thinks she's a rottweiler! I'm glad shes being somewhat of a good dog. She is incredibly sweet. We both miss her lots!!
I'm hanging out in the hotel today while Carter is at her conference. I really don't want to go out and walk Bombay by myself. I can't take the beggars anymore. They are really overwhelming. I would say this will turn out to be more of an experience for me than appreciating the beauty of a land. My senses are overwhelmed by the smells and sights of India. Incense everywhere we walk. Temples-and lots and lots of poverty.
Carter will probably write more to you tonight. Thanjks again and talk with you soon. Love, Deb
From Ruth
You are too high-tech for me! Watch out for tigers.
Response: Aren't you impressed! We went out on a boat two days ago and I looked for tigers. Thankfully there weren't any. You would love it here however the poverty is very upsetting. The people I have met though are really making a difference and are inspiring.
From Catherine, Michael,
What a great idea to set up this page. Have a wonderful trip. We'll be watching!
Response: Stewart,
Do you have any requests for gifts? We are having a wonderful time. India is an amazing country. We went to the most famous and exclusive cricket club last night at the invitation of one of the members. They kept telling us that playing cricket is just like baseball but I don't understand the game, yet.

Love you!