Wednesday, February 6

More of the East.

Yesterday was a special day!

The day began late the night before, when Campy and I surprised Praisey with a tiny birthday party. I got to do some shopping during the afternoon and get some birthday candles and fun balloons. She Loved the fun balloons. We gave some gifts and celebrated our dear friend. We really appreciate her.

The next day was more celebrations of Praisey's abundance of life, but the evening was dedicated to Heena's bridal beauty! Amos and Heena's wedding is next Monday, the 11th.
First on the agenda was a time with the women in Amos' family. Traditionally before a wedding in India, there is a time of Mehndi and Haldi. Mehndi is the old Indian word for "henna" which is the skin-staining mixture of spices used on brides, usually in beautiful floral designs covering their hands and forearms. Haldi is also basically a spice mixture which consists mainly of Turmeric. It's made into a paste and smeared on the skin - it's supposed to promote that bridal glow. (google tells me its application can reduce pigmentation, so it's basically ancient fairness cream!)
Since our evening began a little late (and we weren't surprised), we didn't have any time for mehndi; but the haldi party was on. The ladies joyously gifted Heena with her bridal presents and sang as they mixed the haldi and began spreading it on her face, arms, and legs - basically any skin that was exposed. They were laughing and dancing. I moved to sit on the couch so i could get a better angle for photography. I had the camera up to my face so i didn't even see the lady coming up from beside me - she creamed me with the stuff!

as if i had any pigmentation to lose...
After washing ourselves of yellow spread, we migrated over to Heather's house for a good old American style bridal shower. Auntie and Elizabeth spent some time sharing with us about marriage, particularly about being a wife, which was really special and insightful. We gifted Heena with her bridal jewelry, gown, and makeup, and then had some good food and a fun game :)

I think you should know that my team won the toilet paper bridal gown game - we had some seriously fashionable five-minute disposable designer styling.

We're happy for Heena, and we're praying her wedding goes smoothly. There's a lot to be done and not much time, but when all is said and done, she'll be married and we'll be glad. I have a feeling she's going to be really, really beautiful.

Guess what else!
Today, I got an email from a friend named Leah in Kathmandu, Nepal. Now, I don't have to leave India for two months at a time, but I do have to leave. She said I was welcome to stay with her during my break from India and be a part of what they're doing there. She even said we could take a trip to the jungle and ride elephants together, and that I can book a plane to see Mt. Everest while I'm there.
All of that is unquestionably happening if I have anything to say about it. I am SO excited. I booked my ticket today right after I saw her email! I leave on February 28 and I'll be gone for two weeks. I can't wait to see a little more of the East.

I am so pleased with these truths: my shallow but strong roots here allow me to be involved in the lives of the beautiful women who I celebrated with yesterday - I'm so glad to be able to be rejoicing with those who rejoice. I'm also pleased with the contacts I've been able to make which allow me to travel and find new mercies, beauties and friends in new places. Praisey's birthday, Heena's bridal shower, and Leah's Nepal are making me happy today.

Here's to more good years, beautiful brides and MORE OF THE EAST!

Love from Delhi,
Julie, ever more Easterly.


  1. This is so fun!! I stayed with Leah last year just after Christmas and had a wonderful time! Nepal is beautiful! You know you can always head east to Bangladesh too! :)

  2. Jen, how sweet! :) so happy to hear from you. How much longer are you there? I'll have another trip on my hands in August - I may fly your way!