Sunday morning, 2:00 AM, July 30, 2006,
What a whirlwind day! It started when we met Anthony for breakfast. Ron and Anthony and I were having a very nice breakfast and were about ready to go back to our rooms when one of the waiters came up to our table. “Excuse me, are you Mr. Robert?” “Yes” “And today is your birthday?” I was stunned. “Yes, it is.” “Many happy returns of the day, sir,” echoed by the two other waiters who were there along with Anthony and Ron. I was pleased but confused – I had no idea how they knew and neither did Ron. We suspect Gloria (who had left by this time) might have been responsible but we really don’t know. Then he said “would you like your cake here or in your room?” I asked them to send it to the room since we had just finished breakfast. What a nice start to another great day.
The sessions that morning were again fine and well done. Ron and I ducked out on one to buy some gifts for our families in the hotel emporium but it was a fine morning. The afternoon session included a brief time for Anthony, Ron and me to make some final comments of reflection and response regarding the conference. I was happy to do it.
We were ready to go by 4:30, anxious to get to the airport in plenty of time to make alternate plans in case our plane to Paris (scheduled for 2:45 AM) was cancelled. Since we were so early we asked if we could see the Mylapore temple on the way. Our hosts were happy to show us so we got to see more of the city and the magnificent Mylapore temple. Joshua, one of the young men who works at St. Christopher’s acted as our guide and took us through the temple. We had to leave our shoes at a little stand near the entrance before we could go in. It was a fascinating experience. We got to see a priest come out of a little area where there was a statue of a god with ashes left over from some of the offerings which people smeared on their foreheads. After stopping at a fabric store where we did more shopping for family members, we headed to the airport.
We were unable to get into the main part of the airport until closer to our flight so our plan to make alternate plans was foiled right from the start. However, after a long wait by the Delta office we discovered that our plane was not cancelled, only about an hour and a half late. So we are waiting in the airport until 4:00 AM. We’re both really tired. This is the sixth night of the trip and we’ve only slept in hotels three nights. I’ve had a hard time sleeping because my internal clock is all messed up so I was up at 4 AM this morning (or is that yesterday.) My body is worn out and ready to sleep but I can’t until I get on the plane.