Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh my goodness it is madness here.

I was talking to someone the other day about how to even begin describing India, and some said, "It's like a fair!" That's totally true. More true than anything else I can think of to relate it to at least. Ever since getting off the plane I have been bombarded with heat and smells and colors and dirt and grime and noises that I don't usually, if ever hear. Ya know how at the fair you smell food you don't normally eat, animals you don't usually smell, people you don't usually smell, you hear lots of loud big noises and a murmur you don't usually hear while seeing lights and colors and people you hardly ever see, and how you get dirt on you even if you just walk around? That is India....where I am at least. I feel like my senses are being assaulted all the time. This sounds bad, but it's not. It's so India is what I'm learning. There are soooooo many people here that I don't really see how it could be any other way.

A few things you should know:
1.Traffic here is out of control. Street lines are mere suggestions, but it's totally fine if 3 or 4 cars drive where 2 would in the States or if it's clear to just drive in the lane of oncoming traffic. There are scooters, motorcycles, tiny tiny cars, autos, and rickshaws everywhere. In case you don't know, this ( is an auto. That's our main mode of transportation. My teammate and I caught and bargained for one our own today. Generally, the auto driver tries to super rip off westerners because they don't know better. We know how to get the correct price now (in Hindi!), but even if we didn't, what they consider to be a really high price wouldn't be that much if it were American dollars. 1 US dollar equals about 45 Rupees. Our normal auto ride costs 50 Rupees, and it's about a 20-30 minute ride. Also, people honk all the time. Not to be rude, just let the other drivers know they're there.
2.There are beggars and poor people everywhere. It's heartbreaking. It's really really hard for me to just walk past them, but there's really nothing I can do other than pr*y for them. The children are the hardest for me. It's even harder to know that many of their parents are raising them to do this starting at a very young age. Today, 3 children, the eldest being no older than 7, came up to me, said hello in English, held my hand and asked for money. I was ready to grab my wallet and give them everything I had. I'm a sucker for kids. Lucky for me, our sweet new Indian friend we'll be spending the summe with told them something no in Hindi, and they left. I'm sure many of you are reading this thinking that she and I are jerks. Until you see or understand the mass corruption and poverty that is going on here, please don't think that we are heartless. I no where near fully understand it, but I've already seen enough to know that giving to them is not always (usually) what's best.
3.BUT, we have our first day in the slums tomorrow, and I'm SO excited. It's a weird thing to be excited about, I know, but the organization we're working with is doing so much to empower the people in the slum! The slum we'll be working in is one of the largest in the city and contains between 45-50,000 people. That is 20 times the size of my hometown in ONE slum. There are so many slums here. More than I can imagine or describe even. They are literally on every street, sidewalk, and corner. This isn't why I'm excited though. I'm excited because we will meet the women this company is working with in their Income-Generation program. Some of the women come to the local ch**ch to make cards and jewelry. Working 2 days a week increases the women's income by 30%! This empowers the women and has aloud them to install a water pump in their slum. People in the slum thanked some women from the organization, and they told them to thank the women from the slum. Their work paid for it! The goal is to empower the women to hopefully get out of their situation at some point, and of course, tell them about our sweet Father. Additionally, this organization runs a medical clinic for the slum and A PRESCHOOL! I've been told that I can help come up with curriculum and teach some english/help out as much as I want while I'm here! The children in the preschool are from 1-5. I know it will break my heart to see them in this setting, but it is so cool to know that they are being helped and reached at the same time. Also, during the time we are here, my teammate and I have to come up with a 6 lesson series about different values to teach some of the adolescents in the slum. Each value will be accompanied by a elb*B story, activity, and craft. This means that these children will have the G*sp*l shared with them directly! I am so excited Papa has aloud me to be a part of this.

I have Hindi homework I need to do, but I'll try to update again soon! Thanks for reading and thank you so so much for lifting me up! Here are some more requests of mine, and really SEND ME YOURS!

Against sickness (also called, "Delhi Belly"). I'm only here for a short time and really don't want to be sick.
That I'll be able to sleep. I've woken up around 2 or 3 every morning and stayed awake until 5 or 5:30 every night since we've been here. It apparently takes one day per hour of time zones you change to get back to normal, but I jumped 10.5, so I'd really like it to be done sooner, and to get some rest! The heat takes a ton of energy.
That I will be a teachable servant while I'm here to my teammate, field mentor, and the women/children I work with.


1 comment:

  1. So fun reading about your adventures. we're lifting you up!
    love, sara , aj & boys. :)