Sat-sri akaal. (Hello in punjabi)  Of all the entries, this will most likely be the most informal, as events for our delegation will not begin until Sunday evening. 

First of all, we had quite the time trying to get into India.  It took the VITP Team approximately 2 days in travel to land in Delhi, largely due to an emergency landing we had to take because a traveller on board had a heart attack.  We landed in a small town called Iqaluit, about 1200 km north of Newfoundland.  Our pilot had to land a 747 on a very short and icey runway.  Approximate weather in Iqaluit was -42C.  After about a 1h 30m delay, we were off to Heathrow Airport in London.  We were then informed that we had missed our connecting flight to New Delhi and would be delayed an additional 3 hours for the next outgoing flight.

Probably one of the brighter points of the trip, we were able to spend some time in an England Pub and have a pint with some chips!  Note to our female readers, there is more shopping in Heathrow Airport than all of Vancouver combined – by a long shot. 

Alright, back to our trip.  We finally got aboard another flight and arrived in Delhi 9 hours later.  This is where shock set in.  Words will not be able to describe what it is like here and because we lost our luggage, we can't post pictures or videos.  Try and picture a country with 1.2B people trying to get around with NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS – yet everyone here thinks it works quite well.  

With one last flight remaining, what a better way to cap off the day with a 5 hour delay waiting for the next flight out to Chandigarh!  Once we finally arrived in Chandigarh, we were able to settle in and have a great meal at our beautiful Taj Chandigarh Hotel.  At the end of the evening we were able to sit down with the Press Secretary of the Chief Minister of Punjab and discuss how we can both assist one another in meeting our objectives of this visit.  The meeting was extremely positive and the Punjab region appears to be very excited on the possible opportunities that exist to work with British Columbia.

Well, we are off for now.  Hope all is well.


Av (on behalf of the VITP Team)