22 January 2000:
We had just had an amazing and much needed holiday in Goa. Over the years we had driven for four to five days to get to the beach, but this time we went by train which took about 36 hours. It was long but we survived. Jordan was good at making us laugh in tense situations so we had our share of free entertainment.
When we arrived in Delhi we realised how different life was going to be. The road trip from Delhi to Mussoorie usually took about 9 hours. We would get off the train or plane in Delhi and sleep over in a cheap hotel or with our friends, Andries and Brenda. We would then get onto another train to Dehra Dun and then into a taxi all the way up the very windy mountain to Mussoorie. Sometimes we would arrive late at night and have to walk along the narrow path to our house with sleeping children and luggage. There was always someone to help us, but it was quite a feat to arrive home sane.
This time we stayed with the Lindeques because we didn’t have furniture in our flat. Andries, Brenda and their children Sarah and Simon were already an important part of our new community. It was a Saturday. Arun Handa and Raman had secured a school classroom for us to use for our first meeting. All I could think of was, “What will we do with the DESKS?” We were grateful but all felt there was something better. At 5pm on Saturday evening, Tony, Raman, Andries and Arun booked the Madhur Milan Banquet Hall! It was across the street from Lady Shri Ram Girls’ College where Sharon John was studying. The guys came back very excited. Brenda asked if it had red carpets and it did. A few weeks earlier she had a dream about a place with red carpets.
The next day was Sunday and we were wondering, like Asha had been, if anyone would come. We had nothing to worry about. Word got out and friends were brought. It was an amazing first meeting. There were about 40 people, including children. People stayed well after 1 pm to chat.
It was an interesting mixture of people and we knew that once again we were going to be part of another Community of Nations. Enthusiasm and expectations ran high. Mid-week house meetings were set up and there we were… At the very beginning of a beautiful new community.
No-one was more surprised than Asha.