In 2006, I went to India with my parents shortly after my senior year of college to visit relatives. A ‘fun’ bus ride led to our passports getting stolen and kept us in India for a week longer than expected, and I vowed to never to return again (or at least never to ride a bus there again).

Three years later I got married, 3 years after that my wife and I said welcomed our first child into the world, and the requests to visit India continued to pile up. We both have many cousins still living there, and my grandmother was 96 years old and not getting any younger. So we decided to pack up our 14 month old and venture out to the motherland to visit/introduce the new additions to both sides of the family.

A few highlights/notes from the trip:

  • Eden was a terror had a rough time on the 18-hour trip to India…it was rough on the wife as Eden only wanted to be with her during that time.
  • It was a blessing to introduce my daughter to her great-grandmother. Although neither were truly/fully aware (my grandmother was 96 years of age), it was still great to be able to have that moment for them.
  • It was also a blessing to pray for my grandmother alongside my aunts/uncles shortly before she passed away (a few days after we left to visit my wife’s side of the family, we got the news she had passed).

  • Dealing with sub-100 degree temperatures and a drought was rough. Eden’s sleep scheduled was a complete mess and she pretty much only wanted to eat 1.5 good meals a day, but that never affected her mood, and she never got sick. Can’t complain about that!
  • In our two weeks there we experienced a baptism (my cousin’s granddaughter), wedding (another cousin’s son), and funeral (my grandmother).
  • Seat belts are optional, and carseats are unheard of. Eden thought that meant she was free to walk around the cars while we drove everywhere. She wasn’t too happy initially when she found out she had sit in our laps the whole time, but soon got over it. (And lucky she transitioned back to her carseat very quickly when we returned to the US)
  • Most of my wife’s side of the family I’ve never met and only had a few facebook interactions with. It was great to finally connect with all them and they were such great hosts for us- family reunion at a country club, day trip on a house boat, visitation of a tea estates…and it was impressive that majority of the family was able to attend most of the events.
  • We were able to carve out short time between visiting family to go to a nearby orphanage. We only spent about an hour there, but the kids were so happy for that time to play with us (one of the little boys stood by the gate and locked it so we couldn’t leave). Sad to know this is the life of some many orphaned/abandoned children around the world, but thankful for the many who have been called to serve and care for them in various ways.

I can go on about all the details of the trip, but I know you come here more for the images than my life story, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ll have a future post that is less ‘family-focused’ and captured more of India from a traveler’s perspective, but I figured I’d split it up so as to not stuff too many images into one post. Enjoy!

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India 2013 – Personal

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Interested in booking? Head over to the contact page or shoot me an email to info@natemathai.com

categories: Personal, Travel

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