Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy in the Heat?

Most of you reading this know that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in our decision to come to India was the heat. I am the warmest person I know and have been vocal in the past about Southern California being just too hot for me, preferring instead the clouds of Seattle or the snow of Sweden.

India? Yes, India, and it's proved to be every bit the challenge we anticipated with the height of summer, May - June, giving us all we could handle regarding temperature:

Avg. 103 with highs reaching 110!

In response we needed to make a list of 10 reasons the heat is actually a good thing, and works to our advantage. Please indulge us, suspending disbelief if you have to:

1. Laundry dries on the clothesline instantly, faster than your machine!
2. No puddles to step in or around.
3. India makes Southern California seem balmy and mild.
4. Water truly never tasted so good!
5. Pictures at the beach just aren't as fun if it doesn't look hot.
6. Paige actually appreciates the seasons now...
7. Sympathy contributions?
8. Umm, number 8, reason #8....Aw, forget it - there just are not 10 reasons this heat is good!

Send help!! We're mellllttttttiiinnngggg!!!!

  • Picture above is us eating off a banana leaf with our hands, a.k.a., Indian style!
  • Pictures below are of two recent familiar faces. Ashwini Pai lives here in Hyderabad and Zach Tobin recently visited during a tour of Asia. Both were on Sean's last RA staff at the University of Washington in 2006. Fun to see these friends so far from home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Things We Used To Do (and another cute kid video)

Last week's video was a hit, to say the least, with our faithful readers, so this week we present an encore performance with a little more familiar musical tune:

We’ve been marveling lately at, due to our unique locale and circumstances, how long it’s been since we have eaten, done, had or otherwise experienced various things that used to be an almost-daily occurrence in our lives. Once a conversation like this becomes curious or compelling, a blog eventually ensues and, fortunately for you, this time was no different.

So, as you read this list, keep in mind that for five whole months and counting we have not:

  • Worn shoes or socks
  • Worn a sweatshirt
  • Slept in a bed with anything other than the top sheet
  • Had the electricity on all day long without interruption
  • Driven
  • Flown
  • Seen a mountain
  • Eaten bacon
  • Been apart for longer than 8 hours
  • Received mail (a few packages, yes, but no mail)
  • Watched a sporting event live or on TV or on the Internet from start to finish
  • Exercised
  • Eaten a cheeseburger (okay one at the Hard Rock, but it wasn’t great)
  • Experienced rain for longer than 20 minutes
  • Used a clothes dryer (it’s the clothesline and nature in this part of the world)
  • Worn a seatbelt
  • Received a paycheck
  • Uttered the words "Right on time."
  • Hugged a family member

And the worst thing we have not done in five months and counting is...

…been to In-n-Out Burger (yes, it’s above hugging a family member)!

All this, and somehow we’re still alive (and more often than we thought we would be, thriving!).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Lovin'

You have seen pictures of our beach excursions and our painting beautifications. Add to that Vacation Bible Schools and school bag distributions (plus one hot month) and you have quite the video! Spend a few moments checking out the smiling faces that make our India experience so rewarding!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beautifying our Children's Homes

We are just loving the children we are working with and working for!

They bring such joy to our life! When they see us, they come running to greet us and they start telling us all about their day (as much as they can with their English).

When we visited our nine current homes nearest to Ongole, we noticed that there was not much color in the homes. Only one home had paint on the walls. We took note and tucked it away until a group of 20 - 30 year olds came to Ongole to live for a month. We were asked if there was anything that needed to be done in our homes. We remembered our thoughts about painting the living rooms and the team was thrilled. They had just been praying that they would be able to paint (as two of them are artists) in India! God matched us perfectly!

So, we started to raise the money on Facebook! Each home was $35 to paint and 5 of you sponsored homes! We had paint left over and a little extra money from one of the teams and we were able to start the project and finish it in the month of May!

This initial visiting team was on an 11-month adventure. The "World Race Team" does 11 countries in 11 months. It's a pretty amazing thing!

They painted four homes and before they left, they gave us stencils and they taught me how to mix colors which allowed us to be able to paint the other five homes if another team was interested!

In fact, the very next week a team came through from Sterling College, Kansas, and was totally willing to help finish the project that was started!

Now, ALL nine original homes are beautifully painted! We still have the stencils and we hope to do the other 11 homes we just opened sometime as well!

It is amazing what life, color and art bring to a home! Two of our boys homes have the "under the sea" theme with octopus, fish, seaweed, and seahorses! Another boys home got a sports theme and the final boys home got a city/transportation theme!

All 4 of our girls homes have the springtime theme with flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies!

The children each love a different part of their living room, whether it is a certain butterfly or a sea animal or a robot! They are so happy about the art! Thank you to all who participated and loved on these children!