Tuesday, June 29


...dang caffeinated chai. :)
well, in reference to my last entry, it's funny how plans always change.
Mr. Jingles was in the downstairs kitchen tonight as i was making chai for the boys and i. Prabin has started to call me "Chai-walla", which as you'll remember from my previous bloggings, means 'the one who makes chai'. He likes mine better than the way he makes it (well, that or he's just lazy, which does happen to be a stereotypical Indian trait...) Either way, the Indians enjoy my chai. I see that as a definitive passing grade in the school of tea. Even though there will be no mouse to greet me on the kitchen counter, and though the milk will be in cartons rather than thin plastic bags, and the cups will be large-sized, and the stove will light itself, i am excited to bring my chai stateside.
the moon is beautiful, but the roof is locked. my heart is so saddened!
as far as Prakash goes.....
ha. man, i think i underestimated how much i would love the children here. i've fallen back in love with everyone under 8 years of age, and i just know my path in life is solidified. i want to love on kids, i want to make peoples lives better, and i want to renew, brighten and enhance beauty and satisfaction in the lives of those around me. though i don't yet know where or how, i trust the father with that much, and i hold on to that which i can know already.
The USA lost their soccer game. I lost my voice for church, but i sang anyway. the custom-made jeans were a bust... they don't quite fit right, and they have a saggy bottom. (boo!) nobody wanted to go to India gate with me, so we skipped it today.
haha, the plans of man are quickly foiled. i'm so glad i know the One who orders my steps.
we had a good time wandering central delhi today though, and had a VERY squished metro ordeal. it seemed like the entire overpopulated country was crammed into one subway car as we stood, not shoulder to shoulder, but plastered back to front with total smelly strangers. it was so crazy, any time anyone moved you got smashed up against anyone around you. As if there weren't an overabundance of cars on the street... there are really SO many people here! and boy, do they all need to hear the truth. i know, i'm like a broken record, but i'm struck with the reality of it every day. the Satisfaction i can find, the fulfillment, the leadership, the love, the light, the completion; an astounding majority of them don't see it as an option. they choose oppression and fear, they choose devotion without hope. OH, India. How He loves you.

sports day tomorrow! i won't be playing cricket again -- i'll be a happy and supportive spectator. nobody wanted me on their team, but that's ok, the feeling was mutual :)

it's real late, guys. i'm going to bed.
love from delhi,

Saturday, June 26

times two.

only in India!! I'm here listening to the guys' conversation as they try to fit all four of them in their tiny air conditioned room. "But we have to give way for de mouse!" says Prabin, "Yes, odderwise he will come and tickle us," said Raj. Yes, the boys have a mouse in their room which they've named Mr. Jingles. The Americans think he's cute, but Prabin claims to have been bitten by him.
Tonight is a full moon. i saw it right outside the Malakar's door at Joy's 6-month birthday party, all huge and beautiful and framed by the alley between the tall buildings of Hudson line. It was just so India!
i cant believe i have less than two weeks left here. I just know the chai won't taste the same, and the heat will mean so much less. i'll miss my kurtas and my pinkhouse, and oh! how i'll miss my Prakash!! but... what am i saying? i still have time. i'll try not to think about going just yet.
so, i'll stay up to watch the USA play soccer tonight, sing with the praise team in the morning, get custom-made jeans created to my specifications in the afternoon (how cool is that??), and have my day off and go to India gate on monday.
in other news, today i made a picture of Josh into an Avatar Navi :) that was a good time. and i got to sing backup to a girl named Jena singing Brooke Fraser's Shadowfeet.
life's crazy, guys. i never know whether i'm enthralled with this place or ready to snooze my windowseat way across the oceans home to hug my ever-lovin momma.
my heart is full, but it's planted in two places.

love from Delhi,
Julie the double-minded.

Thursday, June 24

delhi day, girl's night.

i'm sitting by my closed balcony doors, sweat dripping rhythmically off my chin. (and i only wish that were a literary exaggeration) There's a sand storm going on which is both massively disgusting and beautifully exciting at the same time. The air everywhere is charged with dust, visibility is down, and everything is brown. However, the winds bring such a cooling touch, and the hope of rain soon! mmm, rain would be good.

undoubtedly, the highlight of my day yesterday was the moment in which Sandeep leaned back in his chair, which was back-to-back with mine, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Julie," "yeah?" i replied. He grinned and said purposefully through his accent, "Let's blow this popsicle stand!" i couldn't stop laughing. oh, how Americans love to teach Indians memorable phrases. from "Yeah Buddy" to "peachy keen", they have a whole new world of vocabulary now. sooooo good.

today i went on another Delhi tour with the Master's team, much like the one i had with the Liberty team. (Liberty, we missed out on the dagger selection at the Sikh temple... SO GOOD and less than half the price of the ones you bought at Janpath.) I really only went for Karim's, which is, in the opinion of some, in the top five best restaurants in the greater Asian area. wow, butter naan. it makes me want to stay in India, if nothing else did! Sandeep is veg, too, so he introduced us to some of the delicious non-meat options there as well. just. so. awesome.
so, all of that was fun -- at the largest mosque in India:: times two, i got to climb the high tower and view the city from 300+ feet, and got to hear the 12:45 call to prayer which signals all Muslims to face the west. All of it was beautiful, saddening, fantastic, and overwhelming all at once. Sikhs are compassionate. Muslims are faithful. Hindus are self-sacrificial. but where is the truth? where is the love? where, oh India?

After coming back from Karim's, since i don't teach the English class with the team, i went out on errands for my house and for Heather. it was the first time i've ridden the metro by myself, and boy, was i intensely aware of the stares. sorry bout my white skin, guys, but i'm made up of the same stuff as you!! it's crazy how few white people they see here, and how unashamedly their eyes lock onto one walking by. But honestly........... maybe i'm guilty: Every time i see someone who looks American or European, my head jerks up! We saw a white guy walking by while we were leaving the Sikh temple, and a couple of the girls on the Master's team pointed and exclaimed! So funny, the differences in different cultures.
so i got what i needed, and we're making brownies and ordering ice cream for our GIRLS NIGHT tonight which Tiffany, Erica, and I are hosting in our lovvvvely third floor apartment.
what a good end to a fun day.
I'm going to get some laundry and cleaning done before that time, and i think i'll shower too.
mm :)
love from delhi,
julie the delhi-ite.

Wednesday, June 23


today, my heart is found longing.
longing to see His face. longing to feel, and not only know, that i am fulfilled and satisfied.
longing not to be bogged down by a second cold, by nosebleeds, by early mornings, by language barriers, by spoiled milk, by dusty floors, by inconsistency, or by lack of fully deep relationships. i'm not upset. i'm not hoping to complain. but i am tired, and i am longing.
but today i was reminded by my good friend Erin that every Indian smile i see is a gift from God. wow, how true this is. every jubilant white expression of happiness framed and brightened by deep dark chocolate and mocha colored lips is evidence of glory; is the truth of blessing. He has surrounded me with His divine nature and evidence of His power and sustaining hands. I don't want to walk around this exotic, wonderful place missing it. I don't want to lose my wonder.
in other news, the PMI staff and team just finished Lamentations, and i liked it probably more than i think i should. haha. just a few verses stood out to me and really made me think. the second to last verse in the book just gives me the chills. Restoration is only from our life-giving creator. only. He is the one, he is holy.
i'm still working on the CSP (child sponsorship project). i have close to 30 kids registered, and i start on Pathshala either tomorrow or the next day, depending on when i can get a translator up there.
in EXCITING news, i'll be going with friends to Sandeep's house to meet his parents and his herd of buffalo soon! Also, he has a motorcycle here, and he said he would give me a ride someday fulfilling another of my Indian goals :)
chai is good. the word is good. the work is good. He is good, and i know it.

love from delhi,

Saturday, June 19

live itttt

oh, my! i woke up this morning happy, and ready for my interesting day. I think i have an imposter in my bed, though, because after five weeks with no bug bites at all, i woke up COVERED in them today! they're mostly on my left side, which is weird, but whatever. maybe i'm just allergic to Erica. :)
Went to Pathshala with Andrew and Kirshan (who gave me a bracelet last week, by the way... i'm trying to be careful in my interaction with him now but he's just so stinkin' fun! i wanna be his friend! haha) and got to do a kind-of makeshift "moral story". things didn't quite go as planned, but i hope to make it more of a steady part of their teaching time, since Kirshan won't be integrating that on his own. maybe it will be easier next time.
yesterday i went out with Mehnaz and got some Chai cups!! everyone here drinks out of really small cups, and i lovve them, they're just the perfect amount. i've decided as a result of my new curtain, sheet, and chai cup colors that i'm changing my room theme to orange/yellow and blue. after i got the cups out this morning, i somehow got on a cleaning frenzy. i took my little hankies and dusted and used my "Lizol" to wipe down the counters and i did the dishes. it felt really good. i think i'm going to clean more often!
today i also decided to try something new instead of always just putting my hair up in a ponytail... sooooo i taught myself to french braid!! it's kind of ugly but i'm real proud of myself, this is my first time to actually do it. i have tried before but my efforts always get muddled halfway through and my arms get tired and i throw up my hands in frustration at my thin, fine hair which is now tied in knots, and must be pulled out in order to be straightened out.
this is actually my effort to check it, i had no idea how it looked and our only mirror was in use, so i just point and shot at the back of my head until i got a picture that actually had me in it. haha, seems like everything is makeshift here :)
now that i started singing again, i don't remember why i havent been blasting my itunes this whole trip!! i love singing in these rooms, it's so fun :)
getting ready the rest of the day for leading focal point today. i hope i can communicate what i know clearly, and that i can communicate the truth with wisdom and accuracy.

sometimes i wonder about whether people who love things in the US shouldn't be overseas. a lot of times we see it as a sign that we shouldn't leave America that we would really like to have a bed and a showerhead. but really, everyone would like to have a comfy-snuggly bed to jump on and snooze in, and we would pretty much all prefer standing under running water to dumping it over our heads from plastic containers. but at the end of the day, what makes us ALIVE: beds and showerheads, refridgerators and tex-mex, DVDs and lushbeautifulfoothugging carpet on the floors, or a fulfilling way of life? Should i stay in America because i really like my little black Honda civic? Should i not consider India because walking in the sun can be hard on me and auto-rickshaws piled with people i don't know, though hilarious and fun, can make me uncomfortable? maybe i actually don't know the answer. does a love for americanism point a finger to not being cut out for a "service"-centered life?
just on my mind.
guess what, life is beautiful. so live it.

thoughts of the night.

tonight while i thought about how i should prepare for the presentation i'm giving to anyone who happens to wander into PMI tomorrow, i stood on the roof and watched the moon set through the cloudless clear star-studded sky. i saw the big dipper, clear as day... though everything is just a little browner here. the tilted half moon sank lower and lower, and i leaned up against the staircase to the rooftop and thought about how to live a full life.
then i came down, all contemplative, ready to start my outline, and just turned on some itunes and started to sing in this empty pink and marble room. the echoes and acoustics fill you up as they reverberate throughout this house, and i thought about how to make my voice count.
i continued to procrastinate, and through a friend of a friend, picked up an awesome new photography blog to follow. as i flipped through the snapshots filled with love and gorgeous, nearly-tangible light (wedding photographers these days... fab) i thought about why beauty is so life-changing, and how i can let it make me more openhearted. i thought about how i can remove all bitterness from my heart. i thought about how i may best strip the callouses from my soul so as to truly feel.
i began my study on child development to present in about 15 hours, and continued my thoughtfulness, re-realizing in awe the desperate evil at the core of the human heart. it's a wonder we ever find love. we don't deserve it, do we?
i thought about the ultimate sacrifice, and the reason i've come here to this wonderful, culture-rich, intensely warm, trying, fulfilling, exotic place. i thought about how what i really want to say is what the sun would say to the sky for giving it a place to come alive.
i reflected on the people here, the sights, the foliage, the monkeys, the buildings - and thought about how everything has been made glorious.
now it's 2:10 AM and all i have is a bare-bones outline for a 10-minute presentation, and a responsibility to teach children in the morning.
here's to the unfinished.

thoughtful in Delhi,

Wednesday, June 16

reckless abandon.

if there was one Indian-ism i could instate in America, it would be the common practice of public access to building rooftops. I love going up in the evenings to feel the coolish breeze absent from our third floor apartment, and to see the stars that occasionally twinkle through the clouds. it's nice to get to go and just sing and just be. I love standing at the edge of the roof looking down on my world, watching birds fly above me and bats flutter randomly close below. I finally get to stop worrying what i'm wearing or who's looking, so i spread my arms as wide as they will stretch, lift my head and smile at the vast, hazy sky.
i've decided here in India that i love reckless abandon.
wisdom is built on experience. right? whether mine or somebody else's, i have to learn from some experience.
if this trip is full of anything, it's the opportunity for just such an occurrence. and what an EXPERIENCE i have truly had. i've done what is possible for me to blend in, to live like these people live, to reach out, to be in this world, though i'm not of it, to be a picture of grace, and to do it all with such open arms that it seems i'm running blind just to be as Indian as i can possibly be without getting some brown-flavored contacts & a box of black hairdye, and pulling a reverse Michael Jackson.
that being said, there's something about being here that makes me want to just do it all; try everything; follow my heart and laugh about it later. i know this is one of the furthest things from sound judgment, but i don't want to miss a THING while i'm here! "the food will get me a little sick tomorrow? so what? i want to try it! the children here are dirty and infested? so what? i want to kiss their heads so that they know i love them!" it's this bravado that has led me, after some discourse and introspection, to my decision pictured below:
yes, i thought i'd go ahead and let you all know: i got my nose pierced. everyone here thought it was such a great idea - they all really love it. the majority (as in more than half) of the girls here have it done... it's just such an India thing. i'd love for this little shiny dot on my face to become a conversation piece so that i can tell people about the hope that i've found, and since i'm hoping to come back, i'll be one step ahead of the game for next time :) it's an expression of my freedom to me, and the grace i hope to exemplify. it's not my hope to cause a ruckus or a scene - i just want to do what i do, and do it like the Indians do it, because i really love them.
with reckless, pierced, abandon.
[ha, iphoto mirror-images me.]

ok, enough about that. let's talk for a moment about how excited i am for my sister's wedding. She's marrying the cool, calm, and collected Mitchell Plant on or around November 20th, and i'm beside myself. she's allowing me to be her wedding photographer!! she's going to be positively lovely, and i can. not. wait. i got a little teary-eyed reading her details message tonight; i kind of can't believe it. bridal photos, roses, classy dresses, the canon in D, the snazziness of men in tuxes, cake and ice cream, dancing, friends and family gathered close... i love all of it enough just on its own, and when it's all because of my sister -- man, what a wonderful day it's gonna be. here's to knowing her better and thinking of her in India. love you, Rene.

peace, love, and great grace from Delhi,
-may i never judge anyone again.-

Tuesday, June 15


It’s strange to think that in three days, I was scheduled to leave. I’m settled in, I feel like I’m home. I feel like India is my place!

Look! I have ice cream in my freezer!

I have chocolate Indian cookies (known here as biscuits, along with crackers, chips, and anything else crunchy and bread-like!) oh, and don’t even think I haven’t been

dipping these double-chocolate-overkill version of oreos (they’re called pure magic,

and the advertisement doesn’t lie!) into my nutella. I told you, I’m on a chocolate kick! I can’t stop eating it! The girls on the master’s team are all doing P-90X together, and I feel like I should start, too. ALL I eat is carbs and chocolate!

Well, and fruit. Yummmmmm. That’s possibly one of the things I’ll miss most about India. I’m not a huge fruit person in the States but the fruit here is DIVINE. You’ve probably never had a litchi, but it’s delightful, let me tell you. It looks like a strawberry, but you peel back the hard skin to reveal the slimy white meat, and there’s a big brown seed inside. The taste is something comparable to a grape… but different. But yum guys. Im serious J

Today we had another kid’s camp, and I did love it once again. I took pictures and saw a lot of the kids I know already. There was one girl who just fell asleep on the floor in the middle of all the hustle and bustle - I couldn’t believe it! She just passed out! After awhile of just watching her there on the marble floor, I couldn’t take it anymore. I sat down next to her and gathered her up into my arms and let her sleep with me. It’s been really really hot here lately, and one of the volunteers said the case was probably that she was so hot in her home that she got no sleep last night. mm. what a privilege to hold her precious snoozing self underneath the air conditioner and pray for her and love on her.


after kid's camp we had a volunteer lunch that consisted entirely of chow mein. Now, after 5 days straight, a lunch that has chow mein and no supplement can seem rather bland, so i got brave today and poured some of the dipping sauce into the smaller portion of my handy-dandy sectioned off paper plate. I had seen the aftermath of the red sauce earlier in the week when some red-faced coughing Americans ran by me looking for water, so i steered clear of that and carefully selected the green stuff. i twirled up my dry pasta on my tiny plastic fork, dipped it in the green delight and shoved it all right down the gipper. WHOA THERE! right when it touched my tongue, my whole head started to burn. i thought it might inflate and popright on the spot like i was in one of those airhead commercials or something. I wasn't sure if i was just a wimp, though, so i kind of tried to keep my agony quiet while i chugged some water and piled the dry pasta, on extinguisher duty, onto the flames i was breathing out my pie-hole. a couple of people noticed, and we had a good laugh. When one guy came by later talking about the sauces and mentioned how the green is so much worse than the red, i felt a little better (maybe i'm stupid but at least i'm not a wimp!) I just got over the tingle in my lips. man. food here is so intense. :)

tomorrow, we have medical camps and then Pathshala and BSP. i'll hopefully be getting at least 10 more pictures and bios of the BSP kids, at which point i'll move on to either CHEP or Pathshala. Things are going really well.

mm:) love from delhi,

julie the purposed.

Monday, June 14

my smallness.

good news!!
i feel much better today :) i guess that nastiness was just a 24-hour bug. i even felt good enough to play some settler's. we had a great night together... i just love getting to know these people better and better. they make my soul glad. oh! and i made chai for ALL OF THEM, per my friend Prabin's request. i was nervous that it wouldn't be good enough, but they all really liked it! i was SO PLEASED with myself.

Today is our day off, and i've done my laundry as usual, some schoolwork as usual, and just lounged around, as usual. i also ventured up on to the roof our our building, though, which was rather exciting. There are what's called "soul projects" to be completed for my biology class, and i was doing one today as i sat surveying hudson line. I was reminded of all the buildingtops i sang and prayed from in Peru, where nearly every building has an accessible roof. after my time of meditation for biology (the one part of the class i actually do enjoy and find profitable), i came back up with my camera, and for some reason found myself mildly obsessed with random building paraphernalia... and ants.
i don't know why, but i find beauty in it all, in the details, in the smallness. it reminds me of how big our God is!!
i'm also reminded of the truth from Romans 1 where it says that the Lord's power and divine nature can be found in the things which have been made. He's sustaining, and his divinity is infused in all that i see.
maybe that's why i love it so much.

...okay, time to take my practice GRE-- it's due tomorrow.
wish me luck.

love from delhi,
Julie the small.

Sunday, June 13

oh no....

ohhh, yes.
i've escaped health issues thus far, but i woke up today with some definite problems. i'm feelin the stay in bed as long as possible vibe... unless i'm running to the lou, that is. i didn't even wake up today til around 1, haha. it shouldn't knock me out for too long, though, i'm planning on resting today, and luckily tomorrow is our day off so i'll chill all day tomorrow too.
it's all goooood.

yesterday i got 10 of the BSP tutoring kids interviewed and photographed =] i'm excited to use my down time to put their packets together (after doing my mounds of schoolwork, of course!)
tonight is supposed to be game night... and i'm hoping i don't have to miss settlers with all my friends! i overslept this morning though and missed church, so i don't want to look like a sleaze who just wants to play games instead of being spiritual (and singing for the offertory, which i was sUPPOSED to do today. oops. don't worry though, i let them know i might not make it.) it's good i'm down today though, instead of being out for a whole day of ministry. i got stuff i gotta do!

Prakash has gotten to the point where he'll call me by name, and say "bye Juldie!" when i leave. we're buds for real. we dance together, play bat-ball together, we chill together, and i throw him up in the air as a form of exercise. i'm so glad he's an element of this trip; of this summer. i've really, really missed kids in my everyday life which consists of Christian 20-year olds all day every day, punctuated by the occasional 40 year old professor. I guess if the point of an internship is to solidify your career path, then this one is a success. I love being around kids, i have a heart for kids, i understand kids. so many of these children will creep up next to me when i'm sitting on the floor with them, afraid to actually crawl up on me but just wanting to be able to touch me. i reach out and touch as many as i can. i rest my hands on their knees or put my arm behind their back or scoop them up and set them in my lap - they desperately need a sense of assurance, a sense of being loved. i let them tousle my thin light hair, and i point out any similarities i see between us. "look! you have bangles, i have bangles!" usually when i do that, the girls will play with my bangles for the rest of the day. i hope they know, even though i can't tell them, that i love them from the pits of the bottom of my heart. every child here has moved and changed me to being a little more of the compassionate and gracious woman who i envision myself to be someday.

how wonderful it is to have the opportunity to love.

Saturday, June 12

A heart so full.

mmmm, this place.

i finally got a sieve so i can make chai in my own home! this is my first attempt... it was good (not as good as Indian-made, but good) and i'm so excited to show you all how!

i got to help cook yesterday at the Malakar's house for all the people who came over for the World Cup opening game last night! it was fun dicing onions for probably an hour and cutting up chicken to make pasta. It was more fun to sit around with everyone on the marble floor, eating and drinking, cheering and hollering, teasing the people who sided with Mexico when South Africa scored the first goal. Sometimes in this fellowship, i just feel so contented, and i know beyond a shadow of any kind of doubt that i am literally supposed to be here. mm. my heart says YES.

So after the university work on the tenth, Ashok and I and two of the girls from the Master's team named Kelly and Jennifer decided to get brave and go eat some authentic back-roads Indian food.
I was a little worried when I saw the place, but the food was FANTASTIC. we loved it! we were preparing ourselves mentally for the sickness we thought would follow, but none of us really had problems! we were really pleased... and now I want to go back there. this is kelly eating her hot pepper... she was really brave, but the aftermath of that tiny bite was like niroshima in her mouth! i just love the progression of her faces :)

I've been going to the children's tutoring program in the mornings called Pathshala. It's amazing and wonderful, and i've only been three days but already i get to help out! i'm singing educational songs with the kids, and soon i'll start reading "moral" stories with translation from my friend Krishan. Andrew, the other short-termer who just arrived, has been going with me. The children are between 2 and 10, and man are they exactly what i came here for! they have kind of a haunted look about them sometimes in their fixed, intense stares - they're so intensely beautiful, but so innocent at the same time. i really really love them.

there are so many stories not to forget, but right now i just want to tell you the one thing that has me the most excited. I now have a genuine, all-me, productive purpose.

i'll be taking pictures of the kids who get tutored here through the programs of BSP, Pathshala, and CHEP. i'll have a translator help me ask them each a series of questions and i'll write a bio on each one. i'll get the info all put together in photoshop, and i'll have brochures printed out. i'll bring them back to the States for people (just like YOU) to sponsor monthly throughout their education. What i really like about this, is the fact that it's 1) ongoing, and 2) a domino effect. These children are exposed to PMI, and they are learning what we're all about. they are getting a good education through your sponsorship, and will go on to college to become well-respected members of society. Having grown up with PMI, though, they will have a different perspective and will have learned truth. These young men and women are the hope of India. they will return to their families and spread light wherever they go.

and i get to be a part of it.


Tuesday, June 8

monkeys and meat.

It struck me today that it’s possible there’s such a thing as too much blogging. I thought about apologizing for so many posts so frequently, but even if you happen to be sorry I write so much, I’m not! ;) haha, it’s really my main journaling effort while I’m here, and I’m doing everything I can to keep my experiences straight.

That being said, I have a couple of experiences to note! J

Number one: took some pictures on campus today! The universities are so nice and it’s always cool to see how no matter where you go, people are people; girls are still girls with a love for shopping and relationship talk, boys are still boys with a need to kill things and feel respected, and college students are still college students with a hunger for acceptance and a desire to be emulated. We all want to be loved, really. [We all want just a little respect.] anyway, after the campus work, we were walking around checking out some of the nicer campuses, and we got to a point that I’d never seen before. I asked Prabin, our leader, if we should continue on our current path or turn back. “Oh, we should probably turn around,” he said nonchalantly, “to keep going straight is only if you want to see more monkeys.”

Ok, let me get something really straight with you guys, lest you make the same mistake as Prabin. There should never be a question in your mind -
I ALWAYS want to see more monkeys!! Needless to say, straight was our direction of choice. There is like a sort of jungle on either side of this pathway which is apparently rather long. We walked a very short bit of it, and only saw about… six monkeys. (six legit monkeys in their natural habitat!!)
Prabin said there’s usually so many more… he even told us to keep our stuff on us so they wouldn’t grab it, which conjured up images of “night at the musem”.

Anyway, that was a stellar ending to our campus work for the afternoon. I also really liked this afternoon because Prabin told me some of his story as we walked through the Delhi University campuses. I love the relationships I’m building here… it’s really cool to see such good people opening up.

You know, I haven’t really been grossed out by India yet. Hadn’t, I should say, until today. Today after some really good conversation with Heather which included a possible job for me right now that’s more specific than “hang out on campuses and watch over the teams” (hope with me it will become a reality!), she commissioned Erica, Tiffany and I to go out and get the necessary food items for cooking dinner. We went to the grocery and got 2 kg of potatoes… I made the clerk bag them and I’m still not sure how much a kg is – I feel like a stupid American with no sense of conversion factors – and then we stopped by the chicken shop for meat.


I walked in, greeted by the welcoming and open arms of some skinned and beheaded small animals hanging upside down, with fuzzy tails still attached. The manager was lighting incense just as I entered, and he needed to finish his duties to the painting on his wall before he could acknowledge me. I showed the store clerk what I needed, and we waited for some other person to attend to my every wish. This tiny shop made of marble consisted of a small standing area and a front counter that looked something like a donut shop from the states with a selection of meats displayed in a glass case. Half of the rest of the tiny space was elevated, featuring cutting stumps, huge knives, hanging hooks, and pans of gizzards and blood. As we waited for the man who I later found would be cutting our meat on this elevated section of store, I noticed that the lower section where I stood was rather infested with beetles and the huge Indian ants I’ve become so accustomed to. One man came in the shop while I was waiting, and as the door was closing behind him, something scampered in. yes, a rat ran across my path today, and I couldn’t quite keep myself from jumping and gasping softly. It ran right into the store clerk next to me, and he made an exclamation of his own. I was beginning to wonder how much more of this place I could take, when my meat cutter finally walked in barefoot and sat down on the elevated portion of floor. He measured out 3 kg of boneless chicken, and began to place it on the marble next to him. I noticed that as he measured, he had moved his knife with his foot, and was holding it there in place with his toes, to keep it out of his way, I thought. My thoughts were quickly proven wrong as the man began his deft work on the chicken – slicing and dicing… yes my friends, with his toes.

Though we ate the foot-rat-meat this evening, and it was delicious, I think I may just send Josh to get the meat for us from now on.

i think probably the grossest thing depicted here, though, is the proximity of that man's chai to his panful of grizz. oh, my gracious... what a life.

still healthy in delhi,

julie the monkeylover.

Monday, June 7

i in the slums of orient are.

Guess what? My sniffles are almost totally gone! I feel so much better, and life just feels easier when I have a working head, nose, and throat.

So my camera’s getting kinda beat up here, but I knew it would – hey, that’s why I bought it!! this trip has made me want to get some new lenses realllly badly, but even with my limited equipment, people here still ask me if I’m a journalist. Haha. Nottt even close.

So hey, let’s take a poll: how many of you out there would judge me for getting a nosering?? It’s such an India thing, and I just love it! also, it’s so cheap here to get one – fifty rupees max (that’s around one dollar, if you didn’t know). At this point, since it’s cultural and since I’m here, it’s clearly not a rebellious thing that I just want to get done, but I’m not gonna make a rash decision. All the girls here think it’s a great idea, though; the moment I asked Menaz if hers hurt she was ready to take me out to go get one! Sometimes it’s kind of a trashy thing in America (obviously no offense to any of you readers who are sporting one) but here it’s just normal, and beautiful! Hey, it could be a good conversation starter.

Picture time! Today was a beautiful cold day in India, and after doing all my laundry,

I went for a little walk through Hudson Line to take some pictures. I didn’t get anything spectacular, but I had a nice walk anyway. This precious little slum girl is saying “Namaste”.

I found tons of pretty flowers,
and tons of dogs.

It started to rain a little, so I made my way back to my house.

Okay, next order of business: let me introduce you to someone!

This is Peter’s mother. She lives on the ground floor of the building that Tiffany, Erica and I are staying in, and she’s such a good woman. She doesn’t speak much English but she makes magnificent Chai and she’s so hospitable and sweet. She always tells us “we are your neiiighbor!” and wants to help us out. I think she’s beautiful. I know she’s wonderful.

Well, along with my changing sleeping behavior, my eating habits have also begun to shift. Thank goodness I started to take a shine to Asian food before I came, otherwise I’d be getting realllly skinny! Who here remembered from geography class that India shares a border with China, eh?? Along with the extensive menu of 1) spicy chicken or 2) spicy rice and potatoes offered in India, there is a plethora of oriental stuff! Plus naan… but I tell you about naan every day. oh, and people eat tons of fruit. Now that, I like. Me and my mango juice, as I told you before, are getting pretty friendly. Along with that, you know how when you even think of India, people start handing out immodium? Well, not to be crass, but I have not even looked at all the immodium I brought; in fact, I’m a seasoned sufferer of the opposite bodily effect! CONSEQUENTLY, I’ve become quite familiar with prunes. Nothing like a plump sun-withered fruit to complete my image as a regular world-travelin’ fool. Yep, Prunes and Maaza and honey corn flakes is my morning routine. And actually, I really like it! I may continue to partake in their shrively goodness when I get back to the states.

So let’s finish by talking about how good I am at being Indian now. :)

Today, I independently and successfully: washed and hung my laundry, took a walk without getting lost, took pictures, showed someone around to the market and the ATM, went grocery shopping at two different shops and bought chai, ordered a pizza using the correct phone number which came to the correct house at the correct time, and did TONS of schoolwork for these online classes.

I think I may be about to try and successfully shave my legs with no running water! That would make my day complete.

With love from Delhi,

The regular, oriental, and successful Julie Terrall.

Sunday, June 6

extra, extra!

well, it seems i can't sleep.
i'm excited about my day off tomorrow - i'm gonna go shopping and buy chai since we have a stove in our little home now :) and i'm gonna get to be the best chai maker there ever was and teach you all!! and i'm gonna do allll my laundry, and i'm gonna eat chocolate and take pictures... somehow. i can't go to the slum by myself, but i'm told i'll go on tuesday. let's keep our collective and international fingers crossed for that, shall we, readers? thanks. :)

ok, remember how i told you about the university work we've been doing? well, after some time working out in the hot hazy scorching sun that causes sweating, smelliness, dehydration and death, the campus team stops in at the cute little cafeteria of whatever campus we happen to meet up and have refreshments AKA a goblet of something cool and refreshing and fruit-flavored that has been blended in a communal food processor along with all kinds of other delightful fruits. well, one day we were just chilling, waiting for our happyjuice (Maaza is my drink of choice these days... mostly because it comes in its own bottle and i get to skip the sketchy food processor bit. ha. it's basically mango juice. everything mango here is awesome; i think it must be the national fruit or something. i'm hoping in my heart i can find maaza back in the states, cuz i'm starting to become somewhat dependent on it, i think...) and one of the many camera men on campus started trolling the cafeteria grounds. He started to move people around and he asked us to sit at a specific table. we obliged, no big deal. he must want the cafeteria to look busy, i thought, so he'll shoot only one side after filling it up. he took some pictures of us specifically - though he didn't pose us i'm sure we were all aware of his lens jutting out at us and we all had a photogenically merry time together for a few minutes until he left. it was no big thing, just a passing moment. or so it seemed... no, friends. this moment was not as passing as i initially had thought! Prabin, the leader of the campus work (who is Fabulous at it, by the way) got a call a couple of days ago, asking if we wanted to include a tagline about what we're about and why we're on campus under our PICTURE IN THE TIMES OF INDIA. ha! that's right, i come to India for three weeks, and i get in the national newspaper. it's to be expected... i'm kind of a big deal. i think i always knew it, but now it's been confirmed. good thing i was wearing my cute kurta!

well, things are still swimming along quite well here. Number one... Prakash is in love with me - i know this because he has taken it upon himself to learn my name, and because sometimes he cries when i leave. Number two... Josh is learning to cook from Kagui - they made some stellar fried rice and chicken tonight... wow, yum. Number Three... i'm still developing my relationships with the girls here - i got to lead the women's fellowship time tonight in Study, and what a nice time that was! I felt more comfortable with them than i expected to, and we had a very profitable talk. i learned a ton just preparing to lead! Number four... i got to have some great conversation with Heather tonight. I really appreciate getting to know her, and i feel like we can be great friends. she's gotten to the point where she's comfortable joking around with me, and i think that's a good place for me to be. Number five... i've learned to sleep in a multitude of ways after a lifetime of never sleeping in any position other than that of a fetus. i think my favorite here is stretched out on my back with my arms above my head. i don't know if it's cooler or better for sleeping on the ground or what, but i like it. my neck still hurts from the one time i fell asleep in the middle of the day, just konked out after flopping down on my stomach. i woke up drooling hardcore and stiff like none other! note to self: don't abuse neck muscles or hydration reserve in this manner again.

well, i'm still trying to do what i can to help the malakars out. i think it's funny - usually i never notice the little things that need to be done, but here i'm so aware of anything i can do to clean up after them or make their lives easier. I can only hope my presence is more of a benefit than a burden to them.
i am their intern, after all! :)

okay, i'm going to try and go to sleep again.

yours truly,
maaza slurper && newspaper star.

ps:: though i made it sound like a ball of fun, don't try tummy time at home, (i'm a trained professional sleeper on a closed course.)

Saturday, June 5

{i'm lovin' it.}

so here's the deal. i've been informed that my boss at home is basically a waffle and my job a no-go, i've crunched on the financially related numbers, and i've been signed up to lead an event the day after my date of departure sooooooo..... it's official.
i'm staying.
i have enough money to stay an extra fourish weeks, so i'm gonna keep it to two or three to be safe with the plane ticket and all. two months in india, babyyy! ba-da-ba-ba-paaa [i'm lovin' it]
things have been going great here again, i'm settled into a little more of a groove i feel like. i'm singing and playing piano tomorrow with the singing team which is such a fun opportunity... it's my fourth time singing for events here. sometimes i think i've changed since my childhood in that i always used to want to be a performer, but now i feel like more and more i'm becoming a behind-the-scenes person... i feel i'd rather be setting up or taking pictures than being up in front of people. i guess i don't mind the occasions to do so, though, since i'm basically 'Indian Idol' at this point ;) but enough about me... (don't make me sing... anyone, anyone?)
let's talk about the events of the day. i went onto the campuses to recruit PMI volunteers, which on different days can go different ways. it's realllly hit-or-miss. haha. sometimes, i'm that white face that draws everyone's attention and bright smiley focus, and sometimes, i'm that nuisance who happens to be bothering the girls filling out their applications. i get smiles, i get stares, i get that puzzled and slightly frightened look that turns into a bug-eyed and open-mouthed silence which you might see on the face of a person who has just been approached by either a celebrity or a talking donkey. i met a sweet girl today named Shiva who seemed very overwhelmed, but thankful for the offer of help i extended to her. she seemed interested in what PMI had to offer, and we chatted a little bit before she told me she needed to get back to her form because she had to turn it in quite soon. i really hope she comes by - she was probably the sweetest girl i've met this week on Delhi University Campus.
after the campus work with the PMI staff and two members of the Master's college team, we came back for lunch and i did finances with the Malakars, after which i got to sing some with Kagui who's leading the songs tomorrow. they were going to have me just play piano (yes, sorry that i'm dumb and american and i need chords to figure out songs on the piano. yes, i mean to tell you that i can't figure it out on the fly for the first time in front of a whole crowd on sunday morning. yes, i know you're northeast indian and have music in your blood, but my blood is noteless, so give me a break!!) but they found out i can also sing harmony, so i'm going to try and do both at the same time. whoosh, they work you hard here in India. i should have guessed, when a rickshaw driver will pull four grown men across town behind his little bicycle with his tiny toothpick legs for fifty cents.
speaking of rickshaws, what an excellent transition point into one of the best stories yet.
Peter asked me to take the team to Kamla Nagar and back for dinner so they could see the market and... so they could eat, obviously! well, i mustered up all my strength, gathered up all my hindi phrases, put on my meanest bargain face, and set out to find six rickshaws to carry us all to market. we searched and searched to find six together who would understand, and finally we found them with the help of a saintly motorcycle rider/translator. hooray, we made it to kamla nagar! i paid one rickshaw driver all the money and told him "Ap saab Kaliya," "this is for all of you!" he split it among them and we walked to McDonald's [ba-da-ba-ba-paaa], and i felt so proud of myself. i'm such a hardened indian traveler! However, while eating my little chicken wrap in the cool of McDonald's, after the classic american "COW! COW IN THE STREET!" shouting fiasco (which of course thrilled and highly amused all the Indians at that fine dining establishment), i realized. i had to do it all again to get us home. "Oh well," i thought, as we walked back down the street, "i'll find the courage to put on the hard bargain julie face again." and it worked! i got a better deal on the six rickshaws we needed and we were whisked off to the infamous bizzhotel. I'm starting to feel like a game show host at this point, because i must add... "But that's not all!" The rickshaw-wallas (anybody who DOES something here is a walla. iron people are presswallas, shop-keeps are shopwallas, etc. what a fun suffix, eh?) had misunderstood me, been too eager to get going to listen to me, or had taken some wrong turns in order to get more money out of me by spending more time getting to our port of debarkation. in any case, they all stopped at the wrong place and i told them again where we needed to be. They rolled those big brown indian eyes at me and pedaled on their way, but in the process the six of them were separated. no big deal - they know what they're doing. True, on days when the rickshaw-wallas DO know what they're doing. ours happened to continue to stink more than the stinky river next to PMI (and let me assure you, it is quite stinky.) and deliver us all to different places. the MOST unfortunate part of all of this ruckus is that in the pairing of students to ride in the rickshaws, the two had been left un-partnered were myself and Joe, the leader of the team - the only two people with phones. we jumped off our ride close to the hotel, threw twenty rupees at our rickshaw-walla, and began sprinting after the three rickshaws carrying the team away from us. what a sight we must have been - two cute little americans racing as fast as their flip-flops will carry them down the construction-riddled dirt road of Hudson Line. but alas, even in our speediness, we did not catch them. we walked across the highway to the hotel, hoping their drivers had been better than ours, but they were not there. "nightmare," i whispered under my breath as Joe did his best to keep his cool. The team has been here less than three days - i doubted their abilities to communicate with the rickshaw-wallas or to find their way back on foot from the neighboring communities, and i was scared straight. Joe went back to the road where we were dropped off and i waited at the hotel to see if the team would show up as i called heather, peter, and josh hoping for assurance or ideas. i paced back and forth, checking every rickshaw that passed for their beautiful white faces. i felt a little scared for myself, walking alone next to the metro after dark, but for the most part i was too consumed with my worry in having lost this precious team! finally, just as peter called me back to tell me that four had been dropped off on the Malakar's doorstep, i heard someone call my name from a distance. The remaining six girls had walked back from Hudson line to the hotel, and what a welcome sight they were! i think i felt something like the father of the prodigal son as i jubilantly explained to peter that they had finally found their way home! i called a relieved Joe, who either stayed much calmer than i or hid his angst exceptionally well, hugged them all, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. i'm not a genuine Indian yet, folks! From what i know, though, i couldn't really have prevented what happened unless i knew Hindi, so any American leader would have had the same problem that night. (just so you don't think i'm incompetent and directionally challenged.... though now that i write it down, that's probably more accurate than not!)
i'm still a little mortified at the potential outcomes of the evening, but here come the new mercies in the morning.
what a day! what an adventure! what an excercise in trust.
with love from delhi,
julie the rejuvenated.

Friday, June 4

two posts in one day - wow!

Just thought i'd let you know that my evening was so nice.
there are these Indian girls who just light up my life! They're all between the ages of 22 and 24, and they're just such sweet and beautiful people who joke and giggle and hug me. this may not seem like a huge deal, but going without any kind of physical touch for however long i've been here got me down more than i thought it would. now that i know the girls better, though, we can all have a good time together. As we were eating our dinner on the floor and laughing at the different circumstances that would come up, i noticed more and more how comfortable i am with their sweet demeanor and how comfortable they are becoming with me. Doubling over in laughter at Menaz or Esther, my dear friend Jesse (who is also interning with PMI) would lean over and playfully slap me on my outstretched knees. this gesture of friendship and simple touch meant more to me than i can even say! i love laughing with them, i love shopping with them, i love getting to know their lives. they are one of the biggest reasons i don't want to leave!
oh, how beautiful is the body of Christ.

now, to sleep.
~with love from one greatly loved.

Thursday, June 3

thinking fondly of the States.

okay. i know being vain is petty and immature, but sometimes i wish i had perfect skin, flowing hair, nice teeth and a naturally photographable demeanor. tonight i was browsing the internet waiting up for my dear friends in Zimbabwe so we can skype, and i saw some gorgeous pictures of friends of mine. (not to mention some really terrible ones of me! haha) i just felt really down on myself, and that's frustrating to me. i'm here, in India, doing things i love, meeting people i love, working on things that reflect my every heartbeat, and still i'm caught up in the prettiness problem. of course everyone has their own beauty and charm, but that's hard to remember when you're popping zits. oh well, i guess it's nothing a little photoshop won't fix.
well, i have new roommates today! Tiffany and Erica are sisters from Austin, TX, and they're both alike and different. they're sweet-spoken, polite and frugal girls with hearts for missions that are quite evident. Tiffany is the elder of the two. She's inquisitive, compassionate, and very much ready to serve others. Erica is younger, she's twenty years old. She's quiet and intellectual, and seems very self-sustaining. i like them very well; they're easy girls to live with.
the masters college team is also here now! they're great, they're verrrry chill. they have taken over the english classes and are doing such a great job. i've really enjoyed conversations with them about photography and life in India. I am still hoping to be as much of a help to them as possible.
so, i'm at this point in my life where i just... need chocolate. i don't even know what it is, but i picked up chocolate cookies and chocolate ice cream at the shop the other day and they are rocking my world! i've always been a vanilla gal, but right now the combination of sugar, rich taste, and that little kick of caffeine is what's getting me through! i guess i'm in a little bit of a slump... think of me if you would - i'm hoping to run on my father's strength. trying and trying here has left me quite tired, and while i can never EVER nap in the states - no matter how hard i keep trying, i find myself needing a mid-day snooze here to keep me from feeling a like a little introverted grumplestiltskin. i'm facing the facts; i'm getting tired.
i also hope to soon find more of a place to fit in so that i can really help PMI. i like what i can do to help Peter and Heather out, but i don't fit in very easily to the categories of english teaching, campus ministry, or slum work that PMI divides itself into. I actually have not been to the Nandlal slum yet, and going is becoming one of my greatest desires to fulfill before leaving. i hope to see it soon!
my chocolate is calling me. off to an evening of Bible study and fellowship!
with love,

Tuesday, June 1

new floormat, inner compass, and settlers champ.

teek hai (OK), soooo, i can't even tell you how happy i am right now.
Prabin, who lives downstairs, just brought up a mattress for me so Tiffany and Erica (my new roomies coming in tomooorroooowwww) can sleep on the two that are here already. he ALSO brought this sweet couch-out-foldable-bed thing which will DEF be staying a minicouch. my body is so happy, and my house looks like a little home!! its cuuute.
tonight i went to the market called 'big apple' by myself and got banana cornflakes. i'm in love with the honey version, so i thought i'd try another branch-out. i also got boxes of tissues. praise the good lord for tissue boxes. (and they're cute!) on the way back, there was one moment in the streets of India that i was lost. i can't tell you how my heart felt at that moment. i was harmlessly mocked by a young man passing by who said in English only "hello"... he may as well have said "give me all your money! i have a knife!" ...i wanted desperately NOT to be noticed by anyone until the panic evident on my face had calmed and i could picture the mental map i had made myself back at my pinkhouse. Thank goodness, the moment was fleeting and i handled myself with class and poise. i confidently turned the right direction - thanks to my trusty innate compass [ha, those of you who know me well are laughing very hard indeed] - and found my way back safely to my pinkhouse with a renewed sense of the importance of... well, sense. and now, i know just how to get back from big apple! :)
tomorrow i get to take Tiffany and Erica shopping at Kamla Nagar, which i looove to do, and i have to buy Josh more dental floss! i promised him i wouldn't use it all putting up the new curtains i bought, but after hanging only one of the two panels, it was GONE. whooops, i feel like a schmutz.
finally for tonight, the Malakars are Settlers fans. furthermore, i have won two of the three games we have already played, after a lifetime settlers winning count of ONE.
i'm staying in India forever. please send money.