The Village Exposure
Three girls from Mumbai, a sister from the same place and I were all assigned to Ladrymbai Parish(Good Shepherd Parish) headed by Parish Priest Fr. Sherman. Due to multiple delays mentioned earlier we reached the parish house after 12:00am. The parish priest and others, even though we arrived late, were there waiting for us to welcome us.
We were treated with warm cups of tea and snacks at midnight to cure us from the weariness of our long journey; their impeccable hospitality was enough to make me forget the painful journey.
The Mumbai girls left immediately to their village after the snacks, while Sr. Erica and I were asked to spend the night there and then to leave the next morning for our village. We were shown our rooms with comfortable beds and warm blankets and after refreshing myself with hot water provided I retired to bed.
Next day after a healthy breakfast, we left for our village, Jalyiah. As we entered the house of our host Christopher, we were welcomed by a bunch of school kids ready with a welcome song. We had a bit of rest, met Christopher’s wife Maria Goretti, their three children, eldest girl Deikmen I Mary,7 and sons Edisuk, 4 and Fridian Joseph 3. Then accompanied by Christopher, Sr. Erica and I left for house visits.
We visited many families, Catholics and pagans, rich and poor, ones with concrete homes and others with thatched houses. Everywhere we went we were welcomed as one of them. I witnessed poverty, sickness, illiteracy and yet among these simple rustic people was a love far beyond comparison.
Evening we were welcomed again by the church youth group outside the church followed by a community rosary. In a village of 600 families there were only 60 Christian families, but all of them had a strong faith.
The next day we visited the Leshka Hydal Power Project, a 3 hour uphill journey from our village. The natural beauty of the hills took my heart away and I really wished I had more pairs of eyes to take in the beauty. Majesty and power of Our Lord could be witness in the hills and valleys. The power plant was gigantic in proportions, and one could clearly see the reach of human intellect.
Returning from the project, we had a mass in the local church. It was our last night in the village and the villagers were ready with a farewell song. Next morning we left for Shillong.