Sunday, June 08, 2008

Aizawl, Mizoram

As I mentioned in my last post Thursday took us from Manipur to Mizoram. The city of Aizawl to be exact. Both Autumn and Andrew were super excited to finally be returning to Aizawl. It is where they lived before they came to Guwahati in January. After spending time with them in Aizawl I now know why they like it so much. It really is a very nice place, very different from anywhere I have been in the North East.

Taken on the road between Aizawl and the airport. The drive from the airport to Aizawl was spectacular!

Aizawl is unlike any city I have ever visited before. It is a city on a hill, or if you are from Saskatchewan, a mountain.

It amazed me how all of the buildings were built on stilts on the side of the mountain. I can't even imagine the devastation that would occur if there was an earthquake.

Our time in Aizawl consisted of lots of visiting. Our first visit was to Supreme and Mary's house. They have a daughter, Shristi and an infant son, Christopher.

Here I am with Shristi and Christopher. Christopher was not at all fond of us white people. He cried when he looked at any of us. Lucky for me he didn't realized it was a white girl holding him until after we took the picture.

On Friday we went to visit the former campus of Silver Oak School where the McMillans used to live and work. A beautiful place that is now owned by the Indian Border Patrol. We also went to visit the new school which operates under the name Dr. Saptea Memorial School. Autumn and Andrew had the chance to visit with some of their old friends and classmates.

This was take at Dr. Saptea Memorial School...Nice view.

This shot was also take from the school.

Friday evening we had supper at Ginpu and Alemla's house. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of their family. Their daughter, Aran, is Autumn's age and their son, Dodong, is Andrew's age. Both Autumn and Andrew spent a couple of nights sleeping over at their house. Alemla is an amazing cook and a very pleasant lady to visit with. While we were there Aran took Raysha and Autumn and I to the highest point in Aizawl, maybe the highest point in all of Mizoram. It was a steep and precarious climb but the view of the city and the sunset was definitely worth it. I took a ridiculous number of photos and I had a very hard time choosing only a couple to post.

On Saturday we had lunch at Pu Moia's house. He entertained us with stories from his trip to the UK. He works with the Gideon's distributing Bibles in various Indian languages.

Pu Moia then took us to meet Becky's mom. I was really glad to have that opportunity.

Saturday afternoon Ray and Ellen took us to the big market in Aizawl. It was quite the experience with lots to see and of course lots of people. Ray and Ellen bought both Raysha and I a Mizo Puan, a wrap around skirt, as a thank you gift. There were literally hundreds to choose from so it was very difficult to make a decision. I absolutely love mine and I am very excited to wear it when I get home to Canada. I can't imagine wearing it in the heat of Guwahati, not even in the cooler temperatures of Aizawl. I'm not sure how the Mizo women can stand it. I would surely melt into a puddle!

Early Sunday morning I became sick again. It was really disappointing for me because it meant that I had to miss out on meeting a lot of people. I stayed at the hotel all day on Sunday and most of Monday. Monday night I did join everyone for supper at Ginpu and Alemla's house again.

Before we knew it Tuesday had arrived and it was time for us to head back to Guwahati. It was a beautiful sunny day and it stayed that way up until we arrived at the airport. The sky darkened and then unleashed a huge amount of wind and rain. We sat around the airport for a very long time before they finally announced that the flight was canceled. Canceled flights to and from Aizawl are not uncommon at this time of year with the Monsoon starting. The rain had stopped by the time we were making our way back up the mountain to Aizawl. Along the way we encountered a major landslide that had blocked the road. Eventually they were able to clear it away and the traffic slowly filtered through. There were many other small slides along the way but none that blocked the road.

The hills were even more beautiful after the rain. The clouds appeared to be almost resting in the valleys. Quite a sight to see.

The cancellation of our flight offered more opportunity for visiting. Wednesday's flight was booked solid so we had to get tickets on Thursday's flight. Every extra minute was well used. I know that Autumn was glad to have a couple of extra days. On Tuesday morning before we left the hotel she had said that she hoped our flight would be canceled. She got her wish.

My two favorite kids and I hanging out at the hotel.

We awoke to rainy weather on Thursday morning which made us wonder if our flight would be canceled again. Luckily by the time we reached the airport everything had cleared off. If the flight had been canceled our next option was to take a bus. Aizawl is 525 kms from Guwahati which would have taken 18 hours by bus. I was much happier to spend an hour on the airplane. The trip was great but it was very good to come home.

The last but not least of my news from our wonderful trip to Manipur and Mizoram was that I finally learned to solve the Rubik's Cube. Raysha started teaching me back in January when we first arrived. I said back then that I wanted to be able to solve it before leaving India. Figuring it out by myself didn't work so well but the mission was accomplished thanks to a lot of patient instruction from Raysha.



Heather said...

The pictures are fantastic - thanks for sharing them. Can't wait to see all of them when you return.

kranthi P said...
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