We were now driving on a dirt road that seemed never-ending, at some points hedged by jungle and tropical foliage with beautiful flowers mixed here and there, stopping for the occasional crossing goat herd. All along there were distinct signs of human presence; a common sight was the deliberately planted banana farms by the local inhabitants who made their living by selling their produce. The banana plants had quite tall pseudo stem and huge leaves; they are a comfort from the sun, as well as a good source of nutrition. During summer babies are actually laid on banana leaves to keep them cooler. Looking out through the rear window of the car I was amazed to see an Indian man in his white linen cloth shirt and pants walking along side two large white oxen held together by a yoke with hand baskets filled with food to sell or carry home. It was an amazing sight for me. The scenery near and yonder were changing constantly, now along this road were canals on both sides. There were women washing cloths and kids in the water at some places and people washing their buffaloes in other places. Buffalo milk is very rich and tasty and the water buffaloes are well-suited for tropical climate. I looked around at this beauty with a sense of awe as seeing something for the very first time, and yet I was not blind of the things that were not. It was on that road to Tenali that I uttered a simple prayer Lord, open my eyes to the beauty around me and give my grace through what is not. And so it wasAmen!
As we drew closer to town it began to be much more residential than I had expected and a lot more people than I had expected. The population in Andhra Pradesh alone is sixty-five million and half of them were in Tenali on that day I suppose! It reminded me of New York City in a funny sort of way. I had gone to the Consulate of India in New York City to get my visa on the same day. Applicants can go there at 9am to submit your passport and other needed documents and come back at 5pm for collection and they will hand you your visa. In the mean time we rode the sub ways, but wait that is.Nightmare in New York! In fact, I loved New York City. I would not want to live there but it is definitely a great place to go with a lot to do. Walking through Central Park on our way to the boat to visit Elis Island and the Statue of Liberty was a mime. He was dressed all in silver, even his face and hands were silver, but there was something about him. He placed his hand in mine and the very touch brought such a peace. He never spoke a word, but gently placed his hand in mine and I felt a peace come over me I may never fully understand.