Thanks to you who have followed these blog entries on our India trip. Alas, we were not able to make as many postings from India as we had hoped....one of many learnings from our very rewarding pilgrimage to this fascinating corner of God's creation.
Joy, Hank and I returned safely last evening to the Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND, at about 10:45 p.m. local time. Yesterday was the longest Tuesday of my life, about 35.5 hours long, if my calculations are accurate....because we left Chennai around 1:30 a.m. (Chennai time) on Nov. 17th and arrived in Fargo before midnight (Fargo time)....all on November 17th.
We are feeling quite well. We had not gastrointestinal problems in India, thanks to the care of others for us and our own cautious approach to eating, drinking and hand-washing. I picked up some lower-back pain toward the end of the journey, probably the result of too much sitting, too little exercise and lack of rest. Joy and I slept about 8 hours last night (a long night for us!)....and we know that overcoming jet lag will still take some days.
In reviewing the postings I made in India, I was aware of an error and a place name that may not have made much sense to anyone trying to follow our travels on a map. The name of the rural valley we visited on Nov. 11th was the Araku Valley--that was my spelling error. Also, the name of Vizig, India is actually an abbreviation for Vishakhapatnam (this is one of a couple of spellings for this city), along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
A note about the photos on this page: ABOVE--our small travel party in front of some Hindu statues on a hill about Vizig, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. BELOW--Grace, the truly gracious wife of Bishop Suneel, enjoying some fresh coconut juice with me near the Borra Caves, in the Araku Valley. FAR BELOW--Bishop Suneel, my dear brother in Christ, with me by a commemorative plaque we unveiled at the offices of the AELC in Guntur.
Today is a rest-up, clean-up day for Joy and me....but I hope to do some more posting on the blog in the days to come, to tell a fuller version of our story. We are so deeply grateful for our time in India, with the great people of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church....and we are thankful to God for the gift of this time AND for the safe return to Minnesota.
Lawrence Robert Wohlrabe was born in Mankato, MN. He graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Luther Seminary awarded him a Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction.
Ordained in 1981, he served parishes in Willmar, MN; St. James, MN; and Moorhead, MN. He was also on the staff of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and the SW MN Synod ELCA, Redwood Falls, MN. Larry was elected bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod on June 10, 2007. He was re-elected bishop of the synod, to a second 6-year term on June 7, 2013.
Larry's wife, Joy, has worked many years as a hospital and hospice social worker. They have two young adult children, Erik and Kristen (married to Aaron) and two grandchildren, Olivia and Micah. Note: the views expressed here are Bishop Wohlrabe's views--not those of the NW MN Synod.