Thursday, June 28, 2007

courtney's india journal - June 27

Last night we took our 9 hour train ride to Gaya to visit Pastor Samson and the Village Gospel Missionaries of India Orphanage. The train ride was a very interesting experience! The train station was really crowded, so it was crazy trying to get our group together to find a spot to sit and wait for the train. We had a while to wait, so as I was sitting down eating my chicken fried rice, I had time to just watch everything going on around me.

A woman was carrying her little baby in her arms with a huge bundle balancing on top of her head. She sat down on her two flip flops that she'd taken off and put the bundle in front of her. She covered her baby with her sari and started feeding him....An old man was sitting on a crushed basket eating a mango. Another guy who wanted his spot came by and yelled at him in Bengali to move, thrusting a small wooden stool at him. The man threw a fit but eventually moved away as the other guy put his stool down and sat to wait....Men in lungees (man-skirts) walked by with huge things on their heads, baskets with fruit, tied up leaves, bundles of random things.....A horn blew for the train on platform 13 right next to us. About 50 people probably came out of nowhere sprinting to get on the train....A girl stood in front of me in a red and green tattered dress holding out her hand as I ate my food. I finished half of it, then gave the rest to her. She smiled at me and started walking away as she put a big bite into her mouth....

The train came around 8:30, and it was a sleeper train so I was in a group of six that had bunks for each of us. We had to defend our area so people without tickets wouldn't try to steal our spots. I was able to sleep off and on, but it felt good to just lay down. My eyes were bugging me a lot too, so I had to take out my contacts so I couldn't see when we got into Gaya, which was a little stressful, but it was ok. (Yeah...I left my glasses at home, so that has been a bummer) Pastor Samson and his two sons Prince Calypso and King Johnson (yes, those are their actual names!) picked us up from the train station and took us to our hotel...which has air conditioning!! It's kind of weird staying in a nice place, but it's also a nice break to be able to have a really good sleep!

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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.