Fog hugs the ground in the early morning light hiding the rural scenes from view.
The fog brings a coolness and freshness to the early morning which soon will be overtaken by heat and humidity as the day progresses.
An early start is essential to clear the ubiquitous traffic jams leading out of the city.
Buses, trucks, motorbikes, rickshaw vans and the like, all fighting for their space to negotiate the bridge leading to the quieter countryside and beyond.
A degree of serenity descends as traffic is cleared and the fresh green of newly planted rice paddies take over from the crowded urban area I have escaped from.
Today my travels takes me to a number of freedom businesses in this outlying area.
The purpose today is to deliver raw materials to the new freedom businesses in exchange for finished manufactured product.
An electrician travels with me, along with his associated tools and materials to wire a generator.
A welcome cup of cha is offered at the first stop, time is spent talking with the women employed there.
A sense of excitement is felt as this first shipment is dispatched and exchanged for new raw material.
Some are anxious the product will meet stringent quality control checks back at head office.
A prayer is offered for safety, the van loaded and farewells given as I depart for the next destination.
Difficult roads, potholed and needing repair are traversed with an abundance of livestock wandering unrestrained makes for a rather chaotic driving environment.
My next destination is a much larger manufacturing unit, welcome smiles and greetings are exchanged on arrival.
Supplies again are swapped for finished product accompanied with the necessary paperwork.
Discussion develops on improvements to be undertaken to existing machinery, ideas swapped, plans for implementation made.
The return journey is commenced; the hottest part of the day is approaching but siesta time is evident with roads less clogged with traffic and pedestrians.
I still need to negotiate the bridge crossing, often the scenes of intense traffic jams and frayed tempers.
Sometimes an hour or more can be spent crawling a few hundred meters; the causes often undefinable.
Today is a reasonably clear run with free flowing traffic.
The last 5 kms negotiated into the city through crowded streets, lined with small shop venders, finally arriving at my home destination late in the day.
On reflection, a worthwhile day, smiling faces of team members, raw materials delivered, finished products received and some production problems solved.
Our company is not just about manufacturing and business, it is also there to provide a hope for a better future and of transforming lives of families in these parts. I am privileged to be part of a dedicated team endeavoring to bring that about.
Murray, serving in South Asia