Saturday, March 28, 2009

We've just finished the first week of the mini-Bible school. The kids seem to really enjoy the Bible stories, crafts, activities, games, etc. We have two more weeks of Bible school. My dad and mom left for Cochin today and will fly out early Sunday morning. They should be back in Woodbridge by around 6:00pm Sunday.

I also have very little internet access so I will not be able to post any pictures until I get back in the USA, which will be 13 April. Keep us in your prayers and for safe travels for the workers and the children. Can't wait to get back home and out of this heat!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pictures of our touring adventures...

The Taj Mahal

Raj Ghat - The site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation.

Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India (women have to be covered)
My mom's first elephant ride!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Becoming a Tourist!

Well, the train ride wasn't too bad though I got really sick of being in a cramped compartment with 5 other people for a day and a half! My parents got here early Sunday morning and slept a few hours and then we went out to start our touring. They actually did a lot better with the jat-lag than I expected them to. After we toured Delhi, we drove to Agra and we've been staying at a really nice 5-star hotel as part of our tour package. Since I haven't even had a shower head in my bathroom for the past few weeks, I feel a little out of place here! But I can't say I haven't been enjoying the luxary.

We saw the Taj Mahal and the famous Agra Fort this morning. The Taj Mahal was really pretty, though the inside was different than I expected it to be. My favorite part was hearing the story behind it. Tomorrow we head for Jaipur and we leave for the South on Friday. If I get access to the internet, I'll try updating later this week!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Slowly, but surely

I got back from Kovalam beach Friday night. It was so much fun and I took a lot of pictures. I spent most of my time on the beach, so I am now peeling from the sunburn I got…but I also managed to make time to eat at some really great Indian restaurants, climb the lighthouse at the beach, and of course shop for souvenirs. It was really nice to have a break and not have to think about all the things I have to get done before the mini-Bible school starts at the Children’s Home. Riding the train wasn’t as difficult as I expected, though it is pretty cramped onboard and it doesn’t wait at the station long so it’s easy to miss your train if you’re not paying attention. That also makes it difficult to get onboard because everyone is shoving each other into the doorway.

I moved to the Children’s Home on Saturday morning. I’m staying in a small guest room on the top floor (the girl’s floor). It’s not too bad, but there is no shower head, so I’ve had to learn to use the bucket like a normal Indian person. The kids are also really noisy so I haven’t been getting much sleep. It doesn’t help that they have a prayer meeting at 5:30am every morning, so they ring the bell to wake everyone up at 5am. But being at the Children’s Home is a lot more fun than being at the seminary all alone! Plus, I get to spend more time with the kids and they’re pretty happy about that.

I leave on Thursday to take a 2 day train ride to Delhi, where I’ll meet my parents when they fly in on Sunday morning. I should arrive around noon on Saturday. After my parents arrive (and hopefully get over their jet-lag) we’ll be touring Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. I’m really excited about getting to see another part of India. We’ll fly back here on March 20th and then the mini-Bible school will start on the 23rd. The kids have all been talking about it so I know they’ll have a great time. So that leaves me with 3 days to get everything done! I probably won’t be able to update within the next few days, but I am taking my computer to Delhi. I am hoping to find an internet connection somewhere and if I do, I’ll be able to update when I’m there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sorry about the Delay!

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, this past week has been so busy! We have been having a missions conference here and yesterday the seminary conducted the graduation ceremony. Four Americans came from Virginia to help lead the conference. I knew they were coming, but when they got here I realized that one of them was Jim Baucom, the Pastor of Columbia Baptist Church just 30 minutes away! There are several people we know in common. It’s been nice having them here for the past few days. I was sad to see them leave this morning.

Last weekend, I went out and bought some things for the children with some money that several friends and people from the church donated. I ended up getting almost every child a new outfit (all of the children that were most needy were covered first). I also got them some new sports equipment, like cricket bats and tennis balls. Several of the kids needed sandals, so I was able to get a few pairs of those also. The children were so excited when we handed everything out on Monday. Every child got at least one new thing, even if it was something small. I got some cute pictures and I attached a few at the bottom of this post.

Thursday, I performed a choreographed dance with some of the seminary girls. It was just something fun we did for the conference. It turned out pretty good and the girls and I had a lot of fun practicing it in the days leading up to it. On Friday the seminary held a special farewell ceremony for me. I’m not leaving until April 13th, but the seminary students left today, so that was the last time they saw me. I gave a pretty funny reply speech and everyone said they enjoyed it a lot. Yesterday was the graduation service and it turned out really nice, even though it was around 95 degrees outside. One of the seminary girls gave me one of her tribal outfits from Nagaland, so I wore it to the ceremony. Everyone wanted to take pictures with me since most of them are from the North (Nagaland). I’m sure I looked pretty funny to them! I also attached a few pictures from the service at the bottom of this post.

All the seminary students left today. I took them to the train station and waited with them until their train came at 4pm. It was really sad to see them all go. The seminary is really lonely now. There are about 6 of us left here and a few of them are leaving later this week. The cooks leave tomorrow, so we’re going to have to start walking to the Children’s Home 3 times a day for food. I’m not excited about it because the Children’s Home is about a mile away. But on Tuesday I am leaving for a short trip to Kovalam, a beach in Southern India. I’ll be at a hotel there for 3 days just for a little vacation. I’ll meet my parents in Delhi on March 14th. The rest of my time here should be pretty busy and hopefully a lot of fun. I’ll make sure to post as often as I can!