It's TRANSITION TIME for my family as we move from Vellore, (where we have enjoyed some of the best years of our lives so far), to rural Bihar (where we hope to discover, as one of my uncles used to say, that the 'best is yet to come'!)
In Bihar, we will be based as a family in the EHA hospital at Madhepura where I will be working for the latter half of every month. In addition, during the first half of every month, I will travel to Patna, to work with an NGO that has been tasked with the responsibility to help the state of Bihar upgrade, transform and develop the government healthcare delivery system. As you can imagine, exciting and challenging times are ahead.
Our adventure begins early next week. After sending our packed home away by truck on Monday, we plan to begin the long drive from Vellore to Bihar as a family.
This is the route we are planning to take. (timings according to Google Maps)
Day 1: 21st: Vellore to Vuyyuru via Tirupati, Nellore, Guntur and Vijayawada. (544 km. approx 9 hrs 30 min) We will probable stay at the Christian hospital in Vuyyuru with my classmate David Suvarna Raju
Day 2: 22nd: Vuyyuru to Vizag via Elluru, Rajahmundry, and Annavaram. (346 km. approx 6 hrs 20 min) We have not yet decided on where to stay in Vizag, but we know a couple there who want to talk to us about homeschooling.
Day 3: 23rd. Vizag to Chilika Lake via Behramapur (368 km. 7 hrs) (we look forward to visiting Mary Cusack and Cat Morris at Love the One, in Behrampur and then move to Satapada in Chilika)
Day 4: 24th: Spend the day at Chilika Lake, bird watching and seeing the Irrawady dolphins.
Day 5: 25th. Satapada to Kharagpur, via Puri, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack and Balasore. (442 km, 7hrs 45min)
Day 6: 26th. Kharagpur to Farakka, via Howrah, Burdwan, and Khargram. (425 km. 8hrs 45min) We will most probably stay in Farakka
Day 7: 27th. Farakka to Madhepura via Maldah, Raiganj and Dalkhola. (267 km, 6hrs)
We have no experience in doing this sort of cross country road trip before. So here's my request: Do any of you have suggestions for places to visit, or things to do, or routes to take (or avoid) or ways to keep three energetic kids entertained on a loong road trip? Please do feel free to chip in and help us make this trip an absolutely memorable one for them. And above all, please keep our family in prayer for this trip and the changes ahead.