At last, I am able to take some time to post an update. As I write this, it is January 22 at 7:15 am in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. I will write about the first two days of the trip, which include the flight to and first night in Chennai.
After about 4 hours of restless sleep on the morning of January 19, I was off to Calgary Airport at 7:00 am. My ride needed to drop me off earlier than originally expected, which meant I was 3 hours early for my flight. This gave me an opportunity to pray, rest and prepare myself for the long journey ahead. I have never travelled so far from home, and I had no idea how I would handle spending 20+ hours aboard an aircraft and a shift of 12.5 hours ahead in time.
The first flight was from Calgary to Toronto, which is where I met up with the rest of the group I would be travelling with. From Toronto, we flew 8 hours to Frankfurt, then with little time in between we boarded our final flight to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
We arrived in Chennai at midnight local time, and proceeded through customs and security, which was uneventful. Antony Samy is our local connection, and he was waiting for us among the thousands of other people standing outside. Antony had a taxi lined up for us, which took us to our hotel just a few minutes away. We arrived at our hotel at about 1:00 am, and after briefly going over morning details, we settled down for short night which would be met with a taxi ride back to the airport at 7:15 am for a 8:45 flight to Coimbatore.