Monday, June 25, 2007

courtney's india journal - June 25

This past weekend we went on a "retreat" to the beach to take a break from the city. We took a 5-hour bus ride and it was so bumpy I couldn't read or write during it, so I just thought a lot...and looked outside:) It's really relaxing to just sit and stare at all of India passing me by as we drive, especially when we get out of the city. It's so green and colorful, I love it!

I feel like when our whole group is together I get kind of quiet. There are so many conversations going on, I just listen because I'm either too tired to think or just don't really have anything to say. There was one point where I was just really overwhelmed because it seemed like everyone was having really deep conversations, philosophical type stuff or something...and sometimes I get sick of always having deep conversations:) It's kind of exhausting to me. So I'm content just staring out of my window, feeling the breeze on my face, looking at all the women in their sarees, loving the palm trees and mud huts:)

The weekend at the beach, was basically a day. We got there around 1 or 2 on Saturday, and then left around noon on Sunday, but it was good. After getting settled into our rooms (which took a long time because there was a mix-up and the people that worked there were really rude) we all walked out to the beach. Our hotel was the closest to the beach, so it was a short walk.

Oh man, the Indian Ocean is amazing! It's the first time I've been to another beach beside the Pacific was so warm and my toes didn't sting from being frozen! It felt so good to swim with a couple people from my team. Most everyone just hung out in the sand, but I wanted to swim:) Although it was a little challenging because the pants I was wearing didn't have a drawstring, just elastic, so they kept falling down everytime I went to dive under a wave:) After a day at the beach I was pretty exhausted, so it felt good to just hang out that night and go to bed early:)

The next day all of us woke up at 4:30 to see the sun rise. We were so excited to see the sun rise over the ocean...but that never happened:( First of all, the sun wasn't rising over the ocean, it was more over the trees off the coast a little ways. And second, we couldn't really see the sun rise because it was cloudy. But we did see some cool rays of sunshine behind the clouds, so that was neat. And it was relaxing being out there early in the morning, just a little disappointing:) Then, it started raining...haha. So it was definitely an adventure, not what we were hoping for, but I love it when it rains, so I was happy. We all went back and slept some more, then woke up and I journalled for a while as it was POURING down rain! Oh man, when it rains in India, it rains hard!! I love it!

For breakfast, Sarah had asked for french toast, and they gave us the Indian equivalent I guess, deep fried bread, haha. It was good, kind of plain (no syrup) but it was a nice change from the white bread, banana and hard boiled egg we've been eating at the YWCA.

It was an interesting experience this weekend. The people at our hotel (I think that's what it's called) were pretty rude, but that's ok.

Last night our team had our Namaste and it was really good. We had worship, Sarah read Psalm 40, Clint read from his book (I think "3 cups of tea," or something like that) and then we all went around and shared something we're learning from our time at the Sisters of Charity homes, or something we'll never forget...It was really neat hearing about what people are learning through the work at the homes. And it's interesting because God is speaking to us all in different ways, so we're not having the same experiences. At this point, I feel like each day I really enjoy being with the women at Prem Dan, but at the same time, it's not the "amazing experience" some people are sharing.

I have a feeling that it's when I'm home that I'll really realize all that I'm learning right now. I think the biggest thing I'm learning right now is to be present in the moment. I've been able to just serve the woman right in front of me, love her as much as I can, when most of the time I feel useless. I've felt like I'm just in the way, and awkward at points, but when I think about the poor on the streets, I know that what I feel is nothing compared to the hopelessness, worthlessness, that they feel. I've been really humbled here. I can't try to fix anything. I can't expect to come in and know what to do and make a difference. So many people in the world feel useless and are treated like trash. I have no clue what that feels like. There's no way I can relate to the desperation they feel.

We only have one more day of working at the homes. Tomorrow morning we'll work at Prem Dan, and then in the afternoon, a group of us will go to Sari Bari, a place started by Word Made Flesh . I'm really excited to visit there, it's a place for women who come out of the red light district to make a living sewing quilts made out of used sarees. It's such a cool thing, and I've been really impressed with the impact WMF is making. It's really inspiring, there are three women from WMF who live here in Kolkata, and they are all between 24 and 32 years old, such amazing women:) We had dinner with them last week, and it was really cool hearing each of their stories. One of them was a fine arts major, who wanted something to give her life to, and then God opened the door for Sari Bari, which she now manages. I'm excited to see it tomorrow:)

Tomorrow night we leave for our 8 hour train ride, which will be an interesting experience! I guess we have to be careful and hold our spots because they are really crowded, and there aren't enough seats for everyone, so it'll be an adventure:) Then we'll be in Gaya for three days at an orphanage. I'm so excited! I'm really looking forward to this next week, it will be a great way to end our trip:)

No comments:

Uganda Photos (click on photo to change)

welcome to our blog!

We're not exactly sure what we'll be writing about, but we're sure it will be interesting... TO US!

Our newest posts will always be located at the top of the "Table of Contents" to the right, but you can also find posts by topic in the section below it.

want to leave a comment for us?

Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the post you'd like to respond to, and follow the directions.

Your comments are always appreciated.


the latest on the sells

As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

Meanwhile, Hillary spent all of last year
touring the western U.S. with Matsiko, the choir of children we grew to love as our own in Uganda. She journalled about her experiences in Uganda if you'd like to see what that was like. At some point during this tour, she felt led to join the U.S. Army. Quite a big decision, and one she didn't take lightly. After moving through Basic Training with flying colors, she is now at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio training to become a combat medic. It's a very intense training, but we're sure she'll do well. Our whole family was able to travel to South Carolina to watch her graduate from Basic Training. What an awe inspiring experience!

Leslie is having a great year of teaching 5th graders. She's also in a Master's program, which takes a good chunk of her time. She's still finds time to read a TON of books. Literally, a ton!

Curt was overwhelmed by his experience as a first time overseas traveler and kept up his journal here (you can also read his random posts on everyday life here). The busyness of life and keeping track of his traveling kids has slowed down his writing, but he hopes to begin writing on a regular basis again soon.