So, we arrived in Cuddapah this morning. We took an overnight sleeper train from Vellore (very Darjeeling Limited) and got here about an hour ago.
Yesterday, we visited a bunch of families and spent a lot of great time in the Vellore project office. The team there have mostly been brought in from some of our other projects in Tamil Nadu, and since they are kind of transient they live most of the time in the office. They cooked us an AMAZING lunch...the first time that we have had anything in India that hasn't been spicy. (My boss is very funny...she cannot stand spicy food at ALL, so lives off protein shakes, granola bars, water, and sometimes a tiny piece of chicken.) I have been pretty good at trying stuff, but because I have somewhat of a sensitive stomach anyway, I have been a little more careful (it's not good to be a sensitive-stomach-traveler). But, all that to say, the lunch that the Vellore staff prepared for us yesterday was EXCELLENT. And they are all really excellent people. I have been blessed to have been able to spend time with them. And I'm very encouraged.
The home visits have also been great...people are so hospitable. In every home we've visited, they've offered us all sorts of drinks (mostly coconuts...with the top cut off and a straw stuck in). I am always very hesitant to take stuff (sensitive-stomach traveler), but feel okay drinking bottled soda, so when they offer soda I feel like I HAVE to drink it, so was definitely on somewhat of a sugar high for awhile (and had a sugar CRASH yesterday evening).
We visited a leper colony last night at dusk. We were greeted by a group of elderly ladies who were just FANTASTIC. When we asked them what the greatest challenge in their community is they told us that they really need toilets: they used to use a nearby field, but it has recently been fenced off. sigh.
When asked what is the BEST thing about their community, they said, all of them, without hesitation, "God. We are so, so blessed." They then proceeded to claim us all as their granddaughters. I cried a little bit.
So...we're having a good time. We have about an hour to get ready before we start another busy day, so I should get my train-slept self together. peace and blessings to everyone.