Countdown: 1 and Blast-off!

You'll never guess where I'm posting from.

Well, I don't even know, actually. Somewhere in Maharastra, India. We're stopped at a station somewhere, and thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I have my internet stick plugged in and I'm on the world wide web.

I won't bore you with the details of the last day at home. There are so many little things to do on that last day, aren't there? The people to pay, the details to sort out, the leftover foodstuffs to give to neighbors. The neighbors to kiss goodbye through the stupid big ol fence. Urg, I hate that fence.

But it was a sweet day. The morning was cool as I ran errands. I loved the women at the fish market. I loved the trees. I loved the flowers.

I was sad to go.

In the evening we drove down to Vasco Da Gama, the town nearest the airport, and stayed at a guest house rife with mosquitoes. Here is my number one piece of advice for travel (other than "Make sure you always have water.")

In a big city, spring for A/C. It's always hotter on the third story of a hotel than at your house on the ground floor in a village. I have followed this advice in Delhi, in Bangkok, in Mumbai, but somehow in the rush and bustle, forgot it completely and spent a hot, mosquito-plagued, sleepless night in a big hotel. A friendly rat ran ahead of us to greet us as we arrived.

But there are worse things. (I felt badly for Mike and Julie, who are heading back to California and had hours of layover and flight ahead of them. At least we went from sleepless night to train ride and were able to nap a bit.)

So here we are. In total, we'll be on the train for around thirty hours. Restful and not, if you know what I mean. It's a break from the hustle of moving, but with four children leaping about like monkeys... well.

We've made some new friends. A pair of brothers; nine and sixteen, are sitting in our berth with us.

We pass cotton fields, millet, wheat, corn. Banana trees in rows. Goats, and sheaves of straw stacked on end.

It's a beautiful day.