What's it all about?

40 nights for the orphans of India. My 'Lent in a Tent' is about raising hugely needed funds for 'Shining Faces in India' orphanage in Salem, Tamil Nadhu, by sleeping ouside the Chaplaincy at King's Bruton for 40 nights. My target is at least £10,000 - which amazingly is only enough to feed the hundreds of children there for about two months.

I hope that many might be inspired to trade 40 pounds for my 40 nights. Actually, in the back of my mind I'm convinced that we could smash through the target and go much much further ... I wonder.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Sodden air ... night 34/40

Of all the things that make cold-tent-living that little bit more uncomfortable than it might be, this was one I'd never have guessed in advance.

We're into our next cold spell with winds pouring in from the Urals taking my tent-time temperature well below freezing once again. There's the business of keeping warm, and the noise of the wind through the tent, but I hadn't bargained on the sodden air.

The thing is, my lovely warm lungs vent moisture-ladened air into my freezing tent ... so it condenses on contact ...

It's a bad image, but you can see the sodden air. What that means in practical terms is that the battle for warmth is compounded by an increasing sddenness of the sleeping bag anywhere near where I breathe. Now that's something I hadn't expected.

Sodden air, though, is more familiar. There are three seasons at the orphanage ... hot and wet ... just hot ... and just very hot. But at the end of the hot and wet phase, when the heat is building and the rains are still coming, the children get to have sodden air ...

You can almost feel the wetness ... swim in it. So much water just hanging in the air. The children are used to it ... but us westerners struggle intensely with the clinging shirts and the damp heat rashes it brings.

I've never seen this kind of sight at home in England ... at least not from the heat. I see it in the cold fog of a Somerset morning, or the day long mist in the micro-climate of Bruton, but never the titanic clash of extreme heat and torrents of rain.

It's just one of the countless surprises that make life in India for me and our teams so very fascinating and different to home.  Our fascination ... but their normality.

As I tackle the sodden air in the tent tonight I'll remember the similar but oh-so-different sodden air that spells life for the childrens' lungs ...

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