Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Post you have all been waiting for!

Disclaimer: If you are hoping to read this post in the native language of Malayalam (spelled the same backwards and forwards) I am sorry to disappoint you. After a week I know 0 words of the language. I will try to add some new vocab into my next post!
Wow! What a week it has been! It has been full of ups and downs, highs and lows, but the Lord has been faithful through it all. He is my sustainer and provider when I do not think I can go on. So now I will list for you the top 10 things you should know about my trip so far! (In no particular order)
1. Jet lag+Culture shock=Not fun. The first four days were really hard because I was battling against a lot. I had a really stressful 24 hour journey through unknown cities and airports and things were moving along as soon as I got here. Since the time is opposite here I really struggled in the middle of the day to stay awake. This led me to be dizzy, sick feeling, and narcaleptic. But I am proud to announce that I am now on my third day of not having a nap! Woohooo! They only thing is I still wake up hungry at five am (your dinner time) so when I wake up again at 8:30 my body is very angry at me for not feeding it.
2. The roads and traffic here are CA-RA-ZY! There are two lanes but they seem to be optional. People weave in and out of traffic, narrowly missing oncoming cars and buses. The horns are used a whole lot more than the brakes. They signal that you are coming/going/passing/turning/there/muchmore.It seems like the rickshawls, buses, cars, and motercycles are all elbowing each other to get to the front of the line. The car always wins (which I ride in) but the bus can be a bully. A lot of the roads are also filled with huge potholes so it is quite the wild ride! But these people seriously know how to drive. Stick an American in this traffic and we would crash in two seconds, but the Indian people are very skilled at what they do. I am sure they would not stand for Atlanta traffic.
3. The food. Oh the food. It has taken me a while to get used to that one. There is so much flavor in everything! It is either really sweet or really spicy or just really flavorful. I never realized how bland our food is at home! My tastebuds rejected everything the first few days but now I can eat a lot better. The funny thing is that everyone here eats with their hands! Even rice! It is so messy. I always know where I am to sit though because they set out a fork, a napkin, and a bottle of water. I am determined to eat with my hands by the time I leave!
4. **This story not for young children! ..just kidding** A bathroom story. Oh the bathroom. There is no such thing as a clean public bathroom here. And no public bathroom has toilet paper, which I don't really understand and I prefer to not think about. The other night we had to ride a train through the night to get to another town. I woke up at 2am and of course had to use the bathroom which I was not pleased about. I had to wake up a member of the family I am staying with since they did not want me to go alone (more on why later) so after suffficiently scaring the crap out of one family member (I think she woke up and thought I was a ghost since I am so pale), I woke up the mother and went. Now, let me explain this bathroom. It is simply a metal hole in the ground of the train with two raised parts for your feet. There is a small spout and a cup (gross!) and everything is wet. I seriously prayed to the Lord that all that wetness was not pee and bravely went in. Now let me paint another picture. The train is moving and it is not moving smoothly. It bumps and squeals and jerks, and I am really not a fan of germs (which this bathroom is crawling with.) So I cautiously put my elbow to the wall, spread my feet as far from the hole as possible for fear of falling in, and...well you know the rest. Although it was very difficult to keep balance, use the toilet, and not pee on my pants. But I survived! (Insert cheers here). I washed my hands four times when I got back to my bunk on the train and I might wash them again just thinking about it...
5. There are two things that I have not found here: Any other people with light peach colored skin and anyone else afraid of germs. I seriously wonder what people think when around the corner comes this huge white person walking with a little Indian family. They all stare at me like I am an alien. It is very strange. Also, there is no concept of germs here. None at all. And I wash my hands after I touch my shoes, the door, my other hand, some else's hand, a faucet, a lamp...ok not really but I do wash my hands a lot. It is probably good for me to be in a place with a lot of germs. It makes me think of America as really shiny, white, and clean.
6. I did stay at the home of this really good looking Indian guy for the past three days. But don't worry moms and prospective men-who-want-to-be-my boyfriend, his parents did not propose marriage so I left still single.
7. God has been so so good to me on this trip. It has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever done, but He is teaching me, picking me up, and helping me grow each step of the way. Though it is tough to be disciplined like this I am very thankful for God giving me this opportunity. It is a neat experience to have no other choice but to rely on Him for everything. It has really strengthened my prayer life. And the one thing that always brings me comfort is reading scripture. That and eating cheez-its.
8. Your prayers sustain me! Thank you so much and please please do not cease to pray for me. It gets easier to be here every day but I need your prayers. They are being heard I assure you!
9. The electricity is not 100% reliable here. Every now and then it just goes out and you simply wait until it returns. The other night I shut off the power in an entire house by turning on the water heater. Oops.
10. Lastly, I am the proud owner of an Indian wardrobe! We went on a shopping spree to replace my lost baggage and I got a couple tops, two chudidars (google it) and a sari. Everything I own is 2XL haha. People think it is funny that I dress Indian and I like it because it breaks down some barriers. That and it feels like you are wearing your pajamas all day which is super cool!

My luggage comes today and I cannot wait. The Lord was faithful in bringing it to me! Again, I miss you all and I thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. This is the adventure of a lifetime and I take it one day at a time. Everything is a blessing! Love you all!

1 comment:

  1. Yay so glad to hear that you are mostly adjusting to life there! Loving your updates, so keep them coming when you can. Love you girl and praying fervently for you!