Monday, May 31
Sunday, May 30
after all the games and festivities (ping-pong didn't go too badly for me... i lost to a Canadian, but we were neck and neck the whole time! haha) we put on a three and half hour slapstick comedy movie... in Hindi. now, let me just get out in the open that i don't usually like this type of comedy in America to begin with. Anchorman, Dodgeball, Nacho Libre, Zoolander, etc.... all fun to quote, but i just don't find it funny or enjoyable to sit through. Add a language barrier to a movie like that and make it twice as long, and that's how you get this movie called "The Three Idiots". woooo-hoo! i was just about to try and nod off to save myself the long explanations of what was going on from a well-meant Indian when i noticed a commotion - people were streaming up the basement steps of the PMI resource center and peeping out the door, chattering amongst themselves. i waited a moment, then got up myself, as much to get away from the movie as to see what was the matter.
Friday, May 28
Thursday, May 27
Wednesday, May 26
Tuesday, May 25
Well, today I guess I went to the Taj Mahal. wow – it’s still hard to believe afterwards! We spend 10 hours total in the car today. Most exciting animal seen on the road HAS to go to the elephant, but honorable mention goes to either camel or monkey. I’m in an exotic land, folks.
Man, the Taj was beautiful and amazing, and it was fun to share it with my newfound friends on the Liberty team.
I loved wearing some of the clothes I’ve bought here, chatting with our tourguide and teasing Sandeep, my friend and our accompaniment from PMI.
I couldn’t get over the beauty all around us: the white marble shining brilliantly in the white-hot sunlight, culture and history so real and so thick you could cut it with a knife, the hustle and bustle of tourism constantly moving around us. We white folk were treated like literal celebrities! The Indian nationals all sent their kids over all incognito and would kinda take pictures of us on their phones all sneaky-like (well, some were more bold than others). :) I guess white skin is more rare here than I thought. The photos (though you’ve seen plenty like them, I’m sure) surpass any words I could probably supply, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.
haha, yeah, handing my camera over means that the pictures of me don’t always turn out as great as I hoped, but that’s why I stay on the other side of the lens, eh? Oh well, everybody blinks :)
How blessed am I? This summer I have so many awesome opportunities. Who gets to be who I’m being? Who gets to live the life I’m experiencing? Who has the great privilege of seeing what I’m seeing? Well, not very many people. I’m a lucky, lucky girl, and I’ll never stop being thankful for therichness of my life at this moment.
Live well, my friends, and do what you love. It is seriously worth more than I ever knew.
Saturday, May 22
I’m not even joking with you – being in India makes me smile.
I had my first Indian man sing to me yesterday, and it happened again today. What a happy culture! They sing to their women in the streets! Naturally, he just wants to get me to smile at him so we can make eye contact and he can woo me and get his Hollywood impression of an American girl and to marry me and get a green card out of me, but just the sound someone bursting into song with no regard for tune or pitch correction at their first sight of me makes me feel like I’m the heroine of a musical! I can hardly contain my ridiculous grinning until I’m out of his sight, and after that point there’s just no stopping me from beaming and giggling for probably a good five minutes.
Oh, and speaking of streets, I just can’t seem to kick the habit of walking on the right side of the road! I keep moving myself consciously over to the left (with the purpose, of course, of not being run into like a highway bug on your windshield,) but I seem to always end up again on the right, carefully alternating between watching the road in front of me and behind me for cars, motorcycles, mopeds, rickshaws, autos, ice cream vendors, paper collectors, trash trucks (…………………..) and watching each step so I don’t fall into a pothole and make a stupid blonde pale American of myself. Then, to make matters worse, I keep getting distracted because I have new freckles on my nose! I don’t know if you’ve ever had a new freckle on your nose, but if you happen to find yourself looking down the bridge of your shnozz all day (again, so as not to trip and fry like curry and eggs on the pavement – er – gravel – er – dust) like me, you may notice more things about your nose. Anyway, my new freckle of the day is really quite large, or maybe it’s just a strategically placed average-sized freckle that fused like four others together. In any case, it’s quite distracting, and while I’m noticing it and thinking up clever ways to blog about it, I somehow drift to the right side of the road again and again and again. I also have a new freckle on my right hand. Strange…
BUT speaking of noses – gross alert – I forgot about the classic ‘overseas trip’ black boogers! yaaaaayokay, that’s all about that.
If I can take a moment be quite honest, though, (not that I’ve been deceiving you before; I guess I’ll take a moment to be more sober) this Ephesians thing is getting really hard. I come home to pinkhouse happy to be exhausted after a day full of children and Jesus and laughter and labor in legit 113 degree weather, and at 10pm I journal/blog, I upload pictures, I write papers, I work on my two summer classes, I sum up my hours for my internship, I reflect on the day, I read my books, and THEN, I memorize four verses per day …not forgetting any previous day’s verses. Since there are timelines on almost everything except memorization it’s easy to get distracted. I don’t want to fail because memorizing Ephesians 1-5 was one of my specific goals for this trip, and I really want to challenge myself to do it, but shoot! I have to get up at like 6 or 7 these days… and this could get real ugly real fast! The memorization may turn into an all-summer deal, and I just might be okay with that. Even so, I’m going to keep on trying. I am still reading through the book of Psalms this month, though, and I’m loving finding a couple of concepts to kind of marinade my brain in all through the day. mmm. This morning i got to Psalm 23. it sums up my time in India well, i think. my cup overflows... oh yes it does. last night waiting for the food, i felt for the first time i think what it is to overflow with thankfulness. though i am grateful FOR it, america does not make me thankful. material things do not make me thankful. but this place, these people, these attitudes, this work, it makes my heart too full to describe. it literally feels like it's overflowing.
Beautiful stuff. Beautiful life.
Friday, May 21
Thursday, May 20
Wednesday, May 19
Tuesday, May 18
Had my first taste of in-country Indian food today, and it seemed to agree with me just fine :) I now have come to a full realization of and appreciation for rice! I never used to like it, but I find it’s a great supplement and neutralizer to the nine hundred million spices they use here. I decided to start in on my potatoes before everything else, thinking they would be the mildest… wrong! Whew, one bite had my eyes starting to water! But paired with rice and chapata (the tortilla-like bread served with my meal) the spices are contained and kept from raging within you like an army of fire ants whose clever pile-home has just been smooshed by a four year old. I think I may need to watch my eating speed here, though. Normally I’m a really fast eater – I think it’s a Terrall trait – but after nomnoming through some Indian food I’d started to feel a bit lightheaded, and then nauseated. Haha, I calmed it down and gave my esophagus a rest, and it liked me much better after a few minutes. Anyway, I liked it. Hooray!
I know… I’m heavy on the details and that can get boring. I’m sorry, I’ll try to stop it. Highlights, woman! Hit the highlights for these people! Okay. Highlights are:
Joy and Prakash… little treasures. Prakash, I’m told, doesn’t take to new people very kindly at all. We hit it off quite well, though, as we went walking around the Delhi mall with his parents today. The two of them were quite surprised, and we were all three delighted.
I’m so excited to spend more time with these precious people, and to meet the whole team tomorrow morning. Wish me luck at the ATM -- the first two I’ve tried have been out of order :)
Oh oh oh! One more highlight…
yes, they keep their drivers on the right here. First time I’ve experienced it – totally threw me off for a bit!
I. love. it. here.
Monday, May 17
Yay, I’ve made it! I’m writing from my hotel, electricity flickering, fan blazing, but can’t post this tonight since I have no internet. I tried to call, mom, I promise!
Right before the landing the flight into Delhi, my heart began to race. I’m really here.
A couple of other fun things went on immediately prior to landing. The first was that I looked down on fireworks as we came upon Dehli. How fortunate I thought I was to catch it, until I saw four more instances of fireworks elsewhere. My kind seatmate (another Indian friend who didn’t share his name) told me that, since April and May is wedding season in India, there are always fireworks going on at midnight here around this time of year, and he pointed out all the brightly lit and highly populated courtyards – a LOT of weddings tonight, folks J.
The other fun thing that happened before we landed our crazy long and turbulent plane ride was that I checked out the temperature. 100 degrees at 11:30 ain’t too shabby, folks! On the drive back with Raj and Peter, though, it didn’t bother me too much. I’ve handled heat before.
I haven’t seen much of India yet, but the one thing I can say for it is that it’s hard on cars! As in many foreign countries, lane markers are completely obsolete, and red lights are more like suggestions. Let me assure you, I am NOT exaggerating. Haha. I also saw plenty of horses, (another perk of wedding season – the groom rides in on a horse… presumably specifically white, since that was the only color I saw) stray dogs, donkeys, and Peter even was kind enough to point out, “hey, there’s your first cow!” He cracked up at himself when he told me that the phrase “holy cow” takes on a totally different meaning here. Good joke, Peter. I’m also looking forward to camels, elephants, and monkeys in the streets of India. “domestic, of course,” Peter assures me. Awesome. J
I just tried to wash my face and had a mini-panic attack, but have unpacked a little better and found most of what I was looking for J so far, the only thing I think I’ve left at home is my razor… an item miniscule in importance compared to plenty of other things I could have forgotten! I wish I could unpack all the way, but Peter told me they’re trying to transfer me out of the hotel at some point soon, so I figure I’d better not get it all out. There is a young man named Josh coming short term like me who will be here on the 20th, and two girls are coming from the states on June second. The three of them will be great company for me during my time here!
Peter told me that here in India, we operate on IST- Indian Standard Time (more affectionately known as Indian STRETCHED Time). Much like in Latin cultures, often a gathering scheduled for 5 will start around 5:30 or 5:45. Also, “in Delhi we start late and go late,” he said. That means nothing opens in Delhi until like 11 AM.
Yeah… I can dig that!
I feel uniquely privileged to be included in the work that’s being done here. Our Father’s love is truly extravagant, isn’t it? I’m touring South Delhi tomorrow with Heather and Peter, and am meeting their team on Tuesday.
Now, to beat the jet lag! I’m full of energy, but I guess it’s around 1:30 in the morning here, so I’m hitting the sack. I can’t wait to get started.
With love from Delhi,
Saturday, May 15
purple fluorescent lighting, a little shade to pull on the door, a space bed, a shower, a sink, a toilet, a tv, and storage.... all in the space of a cube 1/10th the size of my Maddox dorm room.this is the panoramic view sitting on the toilet...
that can only be two pictures long, due to lack of surface area inside this cube...
guess how much i paid for all this goodnes??? well, 76 euros. yes, that's right, a grand total of $115 for 12 hours spent in a room which can be seen in its entirety in this mirror:this here controls... everything in the room. and i gotta learn how to convert celsius to fahrenheit again... whoops.