Monday, October 27, 2008

The end of October

The past week has gone by relatively fast! Although, because it is the second monsoon season in India, it has been raining everyday so my migraines have been worse. At least the days haven't been unbearably hot!

I started classes at the seminary yesterday. I am taking Marriage and Family Counseling, Counseling for the Mentally Challenged, Hospital Ministries, and Early Developmental Counseling. The topics are really interesting and I am excited to start getting into the material. I am still teaching at the Catholic College but I think my course there should be over within the next few weeks.

I am meeting with a family down the street this afternoon. They speak English well enough to carry on a conversation and they are really friendly people. Hopefully that will go well.

I have also been showing the kids some educational Elmo videos that my parents sent me. They really love them and even the teenagers have been laughing along with the little kids. They don't ever get to see movies, so this is a special treat for them. My Aunt and Uncle sent boxes of crayons for the kids, so tomorrow during our VBS lesson we will be handing those out. My grandma (Maneen) also helped to pay for extra boxes for the kids. They've never had their own set of crayons so I am really excited to be handing them out tomorrow! I'll take pictures and put them up sometime soon.

Other than that, all is going well. We will be going to Kochi (a city about 2 hours away) for a break this Friday. On Saturday we are having a "Halloween" party at the seminary. No one will be dressing up but we will watch a movie and bob for apples and maybe carve pumpkins if we can find them in town! Hopefully I can post some pictures of that too! Thanks for all the prayers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pictures and Updates

1. Drinking from a coconut on the backwaters
2. Autorickshaw ride to town.
3. The boys with the VBS pictures they colored
4. The littlest boys eating dinner (with their right hand of course!)
5. The girls with their VBS pictures
6. Hannah and her umbrella
7. Jonu and me
Here are a couple pictures of things that have happened in the past few weeks. Sorry for the delay, but things have been rather hectic around here! Classes just started at the seminary and our chairmen's mother just died on Sunday. The funeral is taking place tomorrow and classes are cancelled so that everyone can attend.
Two guys from Switzerland were here the past weekend. One was a pastor and one a photographer. We got to hang out with them and we had a lot of fun getting to know them. I was sad to see them leave this morning. The pastor introduced me to a family he has been in contact with down the street. The family makes rubber from the trees in their yard. They are a Hindi family and I think I will try to get to know them a little better and spend some more time there.
We also got to go on the backwaters again, but this time we stopped at a food place along the river and they gave us a fish and king prawn. Both things were looking up at me with their eyes and we had to break apart the shell and just bite into the whole fish. It was gross at first but it actually tasted wonderful. The picture of me drinking the coconut was taken at the same time. We ate right next to the river so we got to see exactly what our meal looked like while it was alive and swimming in the water.
I got a box of stuff for the kids from my mom today and the girls and I colored together from the coloring books! There is a lot of stuff we can do now that I got the box. Tomorrow I might make friendship bracelets with them!
I also thought it might be interesting to note that it was exactly a year ago today that I knew God was calling me to do mission work. Even though I first thought I was supposed to go to Africa, it's interesting to see where the last year has taken me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Well, nothing too exciting has been going on here the past few days. I have been teaching English everyday at the Catholic College. They seem to be picking up the American accent quickly. One kid even noticed when I accidentally stressed the wrong word! Next week, second semester classes at the seminary start so I will be taking a few days off at the Catholic school to be taking some classes here. I will probably take a few on pastoral care or family counseling.

The children have been great. I really look forward to the time I spend with them because they help me to forget all my troubles and they always manage to make me smile or laugh. They are a really special blessing. In many ways, I think they are blessing me more than I am blessing them.

I have pictures to upload but I can't do it right now because the internet isn't strong enough. I will upload them within the next few days!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Rainbow in India

I feel like I am finally starting to really get to know the children and their personalities. It baffles me that they are always so happy. The little ones will run up to me and hold on to my legs and they all try to hold my hand at once. The other day after teaching an English class, I let them play with a ball and one girl named Rathika just sat with her head in my lap the whole time. There is no where else I would rather have been.

A few days ago it rained a couple of minutes and then a huge rainbow came out. All the children came and grabbed my hand, taking me outside to see it. They were shouting "Jesus, Jesus" and pointing at the rainbow. It was so cute.

Today when we went to the Children's Home, the younger children were being treated for lice, as they are once every month. So I sat with the older children and they were all laughing and telling me which girl was dating which boy and then the boy would laugh and say, "No, not me!" It reminded me of being in America and it was a lot of fun to hang out and laugh with them. Sometimes the kids will tell me long stories in Malayalum (the language of Kerala) and I will just nod and try to follow their expressions. They really like it when I try to understand and speak Malayalum, which is generally unproductive.

Teaching at the Catholic College is also a lot of fun. I teach 10 students and they all speak English very well. I focus on their pronunciation and how to stress words in everyday conversation. They are so different from an American class because you can tell they are grateful for their education and are genuinely happy to be there.

We are going into town this weekend for a Missions Convention for India Missionaries. It should be interesting to hear from people all over India. There will also be 2 baptisms at church on Sunday. There is no baptismal, so I am interested to see how they are going to do it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Some Pictures of Daily Life in India!

1. Breakfast: dosa and egg with potato curry
2. Lunch: rice and curry, coconut fried chicken
3. Dinner: rice and curry, coconut fried fish, banana
4. My English class at the Children's Home
5. Divya, Queen, Rathika
6. Jonu and friend
7. Girls playing with a puzzle, Linu is the one standing
8. Elephant in the road!