Monday, February 15, 2010

Mumbai 2/9/10

I really don’t know how to start writing about this trip. I guess I’ll start with the basics:

First off, I am in Mumbai with my cousin, Andrew Peters (Yeah. Same name), and 30-some other people from a church in Cincinnati, OH called Crossroads. They are partnering with International Justice Mission (IJM) to assist in the after-care of girls who have been saved from sexual slavery. Andrew asked me to come as the videographer to document the trip because Crossroads’ video guys are all busy, and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

So, here I am. We are staying at the Grand Hyatt, and it’s definitely the nicest hotel in which I have had the privilege to stay. We got in late last night, and I did not sleep well. I woke up at 3:30am, and then I was in and out until I finally decided to get out of bed around 6am. The Hyatt’s restaurant where we eat breakfast is amazing.

We hit the ground running with a touring around with the Mumbai Magic tour group. We saw a good bit of the city on our way to our first stop, Elephanta Island. We took boat across the Arabian Sea to the island, and visited the caves in which a place of worship to Shiva was carved out sometime between the 5th and 8th centuries (if I remember correctly). It’s no longer a place of worship, so we were able to take photos, but I was still not able to film inside the caves. However, the outside was a different story. I captured some very entertaining shots of monkeys, goats, dogs, and even paid an old woman for a shot of her balancing a stack of bowls on her head (most people want payment in return for allowing you to film them). We took the boat back to the city, and went to lunch at a wonderful Muslim cuisine restaurant called Khyber. From there, we headed off to the Chor Bazaar where you could find just about anything you needed. It was more of a market for locals than a market for tourists. I did not do much filming, as it was very dangerous to be walking around with a nice camera. I was able to take some shots from the hip as we walked around.

We at dinner at the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana with the IJM staff from the Mumbai field office. We had a great time eating, fellowshipping, and praying for an operation that’s taking place tonight in one of the brothels.

Overall, it was a pretty crazy day. Mumbai traffic is worse than anywhere I have ever been. It’s amazing how the people don’t wreck every five seconds. I’m worn out. I can’t wait to interact with the girls in the homes this week.

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