We spent this past week visiting every village that currently has a home for children, nine in total with ten kids each. Our hearts are moved and overwhelmed with this opportunity to work on their behalf, doing everything we can to offer them a bright future.
As we process the magnitude of this job (and share about these villages perhaps on next week’s blog entry), we wanted to divulge a little more of our Indian experience – what day-to-day life is like, the highs and the lows, the adventures, the challenges and the comical. Here are our (relatively) unplanned, stream-of-consciousness, alternating thoughts filled with unique elements of living in rural India, probably the first of a many-part series:
Sean: I have always loved Indian food and living here is no different. The food in Andhra Pradesh is known as the spiciest in all of India, so we know we're eating some of the hottest food on the planet, which makes that after dinner chocolate ice cream even better. So far at least, there’s no sign of “too much of a good thing.” Curry and naan almost once-per-day and loving every bite!
Paige: Too much rice and all the curries seem to taste the same to me…once-per-day and that’s almost too much.
Paige: We found a local grocery store that has bread, milk, butter, jelly, cereal – 5 different kinds of Cornflakes, and juice…and we even found a way to get beef delivered to our door – only on Sundays, though!! We are making the best of it!
Sean: Baseball season is coming soon, but until then my Indian sports fix is….cricket! The “World Cup” of cricket is taking place right now until April 2nd among all former British colonies and India is hosting. Still don’t know much about this game, but I know enough to say “Go India!”
Paige: After a long day’s work or a morning at home, Sean and I used to love to go for walks…Yesterday evening we decided to venture down our street until it ends…cow dung, trash, and lots of people saying, “Hi – what is your name?” is all we saw. I wanted a beautiful brook, but we’re not in the US anymore, Todo.
Sean: Mosquito killing has become an art form, a game. I love our zapper racket. If we don’t get them during the day, they will get us at night. Every day, “it’s on!”
Paige: Errand running is one of my favorite things. Here I can’t do it alone (culturally), and I have been told that men run these types of errands. I was saddened by this, but that’s the way it is…so if we want our fruits and veggies, it is going to be up to Sean…
Sean: Which I am not pleased about.
Paige: So far we are in the clear of any kind of sickness, but not for the lack of trying village food. In fact, every village we go to gives us a meal. So, when we visit two villages in one night, that means two dinners!! Some may have the impression of missionaries coming back skinny and frail…that will not be the case for us! J
Sean: Our home includes a guest room we almost never enter. When we do, it has that Indian scent, which leads to the question, “When Indians enter our home, does it have ‘that American scent’”?
Paige: Generally in a refrigerator you put things that you want to be kept cool. In our refrigerator you will find open cereal boxes, open candy or cookie packages, anything that we want to keep away from our not-so-welcomed guests, the ants.
Sean: The much-anticipated heat of India has actually been tolerable so far (highs in the upper 80s, lows in the high 60s), but check back April – June. On another weather note, the Wikipedia site for Ongole says there are four “seasons”: Winter, Summer, South-West Monsoons and North-East Monsoons. Better keep that umbrella handy…
Paige: Our internet strength is often very weak and the electricity has been going out on average about once every two days. Only for about five minutes, but that’s long enough to interrupt an upload to Facebook!
Sean: You now have three months to visit before you are officially only second best! Our first scheduled visitor is Zach Tobin, former RA of mine at the U-Dub and friend, who is coming through in late May. Can’t wait to have you, Zach!
1. A village visit this past week - the Pernamitta home full of joy-filled girls.
2. The cows are coming home in this picture taken from our back patio.
3. A typical village dinner.
4. Sunset in India...