Monday, December 10, 2007

Embassy day

Today was embassy day! Everything went smoothly, except for the ride there. Our taxi driver had to stop three times to ask for directions! (For those of you who aren't sure what embassy day means, it was to begin the process for Anya Rashi's travel visa, which will be completed in Kolkata.)
The immigration officer, Officer Patel, is Indian but grew up in California. He is working here for two years, and isn't sure if he wants to stay -- the summers are too hot. His brother lives in Chicago, so he asked us how cold it was when we left. :o)
Afterwards, we decided to see a little more of Delhi. We went to Humayun's Tomb, which is closely related to the Taj Mahal, but not nearly as famous. It was built by Haji Begum to memorialize her husband Humayun. It was built before the Taj, and the Taj was modeled after it. The banyan trees in the gardens have been there since the Mughal era (1500s).
We also spent a little time at Purana Qila, a fortress built from 1538-1545 by Sher Shah, who briefly interrupted Humayun's rule. While we were there, we got to listen to the Symphony Orchestra of Parma, Italy! They were rehearsing for an outdoor concert that evening. It was quite a bizarre combination of sights and sounds.
One funny note for all you Wisconsinites: there was an article on the front page of today's Delhi Times about yesterday being the coldest day in three years. The low was 50 and the high was 70!! Everywhere we go, people (especially children) are bundled up in layers, sweaters, hats, and even winter coats (on some little kids).
The best part of this day has been knowing that we're so close to meeting Anya Rashi. Going to the embassy really solidified that for us! Tomorrow, we will shop for a few gifts to bring home, then go to the airport for our late-afternoon flight to Kolkata. Then, Wednesday is the big day!


Sue Broeren said...

I am so excited for you guys! And jealous too! I wish I could be there with you! How is the food? Too bad it's so cold there!lol(; I wish I could see you when you meet Anya Rashi! You did bring a video camera right? She is gonna love you, you are the best parents she could have! Keep up the great postings! Love Sue

Kathy Wilks said...

You are on our minds and in our prayers always. Ellie continues to pray for, "the Leschke's in India and their baby girl." I have been wondering how it has all been going with you and only today did I remember your Blog! What a wonderful gift to get to the site and be able to read about your journey! It was the next best thing to seeing you myself. You both are incredible people and I agree with are the best parents Anya could have. We will miss you on Thursday! Love, Kathy

Scott and Molly said...

I keep checking this blog hoping for more news. I wish I could fall asleep tonight and tomorrow would be Wednesday. Doing the dishes yesterday I thought, "These three years have been so long, yet so short. And now these two days will seem like forever." I just keep crying happy tears. We are busting with happiness for you.

Eric said...

Dear Family - Thrilled to receive details of your travels and of your growing excitement as you get closer to connecting w/ Anya Rashi! What a Christmas present! Had family Christmas here Sun. Happy to report ALL behaved. Twas a warm family day. Aunt Trina was Art Director & Ty wore an apron w/ lace to protect his clothing (his idea) Go figure. Blessings to Your Lovable Family. Mom & Dad Nelson

Anne said...

Every morning and every evening I check your site. It has become the best part of my day. Anya will be so happy that you documented this part of her life journey to you and you to her. Your love for her is so apparent.

Amy Houlihan said...

Peter and Nancy!

It is so good to hear of your safe travels. What an amazing thing...that we can share in your journeys and your joy.

Know that many are praying for you all...for safety, for details that need to be determined to go smoothly, and for a wonderful meeting with dear little Anya. We cannot wait to meet her!

How great a God that He cares so much for so many...and that He placed her upon your hearts. She will be a tremendous blessing to you, and you will be such a blessing to her as well.

The musical went very well...not even close to any train wrecks! But you were missed.

Can't wait to see the next set of pictures!
Much love

Julie said...

I am super excited for your family! This is so exciting and it is so wonderful to see you all so willing to love this girl to the fullest! You are a great example of love and I am blessed to know you. :o) God is using this in some great ways and this little girl is going to be a very loved little girl.

Angie Montoto-Farley said...

HI- We're following your blog at 16th St Health Center, also. (The clinic is actually closed today due to Ice Storms/snow warnings!)
My son, Jack, loves to follow Alicia's travels so we're looking at the map and we love the photos.
Tomorrow's the big day! Can't wait to see the photos and hear of your meeting with Anya.
Angie and family

Karen, Mark, and Will said...

That is a real, live, growing-in-the-ground ficus tree behind the taxi, isn't it? Wow - you know it's warm when...

And what a glorious banyan tree!! (Can you tell I'm already wintered-out and waiting for the return of leafy trees?!)

We will be thinking of you on Wednesday!

The Labontes said...

We're on pins and needles for your Gotcha Day. So glad that the embassy went smoothly, and that you're able to see lots of sights. Hope the domestic flight goes smoothly,

Julie & Patrick said...

Wow! Almost in Kolkata to get Anya Rashi!

Very exciting!!

Julie R

Karen said...

Hi Peter and Nancy -
I'm following your blog closely - all your photos and descriptions of India make me want to hop on a plane tomorrow!!
I just CAN'T WAIT to hear all about the day you meet Anya. So excited for you!

Karen (Jenya's mom)

Andy and Mary Eickman said...

Molly forwarded your travel blog information to us. We are so happy for you (and your blog is very interesting). Hard to believe "the star of the show" is moments away. You are in our prayers!
Mary and Andy