Monday, June 18, 2007

update from india - june 18

Posted by Curt, but written by Courtney...

I don't even know where to begin, India is truly an amazing place. I am so in love with the culture, the people, the trees...everything! It's weird because I've dreamed of coming to India for so long, and as much as I've thought about it or researched it, I could never imagine it would be like this. India is intense...heat...poverty...people's so different than anything I've ever experienced, and I am so intrigued by it all! I haven't minded being sweaty ALL the time, the humidity is crazy, but it's actually a little cooler than the past month because we're getting into the rainy season now. The city of Kolkata is really busy and dirty. There is so much traffic all the's always an adventure crossing the street! It's been so amazing taking different forms of transportation too:) In one day we rode the Metro (the subway), a bus, a small ferry, and an auto rickshaw (a three-wheeled 4 passenger thing...hard to explain). We've also taken taxis, riden on the back of a cart pulled by a guy on a cycle (bike) and a smaller boat. Those have been a lot of fun...some people on the team are a little scared about the taxis-weaving in and out of traffic, but I absolutely love it! It's so much fun, and the drivers here are so one ever hits any other cars...well sometimes the mirrors get hit:)

The past couple days have been so full of adventures. My favorite day so far has been our day outside of the city where we visited an orphanage. It was so amazing! It was like a 2.5 hour van ride, followd by a boat ride over the ocean to the island, followed by a cart ride to the orphanage. It kind of reminded me of the pictures I've seen from Hill in Uganda in the Bush. The houses were all mud with straw roofs. It was so cool! There were palm trees everywhere, kids playing in little streams, women working in the fields in their beautiful sarees, groups of goats, sheep, and cows walking along the streets. And then the orphanage was amazing...the kids were so adorable and so happy! They sang songs for us and we sang to them too:) We had a little while to play with them, but it seemed like a really short visit. I fell in love with this island! I seriously want to move here someday:) I feel like that's been the hardest part of this trip, wanting so badly to belong here, but feeling a lot like a tourist. I'm starting to feel more comfortable here, and can totally picture myself living here:) We'll see what God has planned!

Everyday has been such an adventure and every experience has been so exciting! I love walking around some of the smaller streets where people aren't trying to always sell me something, and just smiling at the kids and women. It's so fun to make eye contact with people and just be friendly:) I really wish I knew the would be so fun to find out more about the beautiful people all around me!

Today we started working with the Sisters of Charity homes. I was placed at Prem Dan which is a home for elderly men and women (but as a woman, I just stay with the women). It was such an interesting experience. It was really hard to see the older women in pain, or handicapped in some way, or mentally challenged. But at the same time it was really fun to just sit and hold hands with a woman for a long time. It's hard trying to communicate with them when they don't speak any english, but I just smiled a lot:) We also did laundry and dishes for a couple hours which was hard work, and I got SOAKING wet...but it was fun to be able to connect with other volunteers from all over the world. Later today I'm going to a home for kids, just for today. The rest of the week I will probably only go to Prem Dan in the morning and that will be it. But I'm really looking forward to hanging out with kids and playing with them! I think it will be easier for me to communicate with the kids, because we can just play games:)

I'm kind of getting used to the time difference, although since I've been here I wake up at 5am, along with two other girls on the's like clockwork every morning:) The three of us just read or journal because we can't get back to's been a good way for me to start my day, just relaxing, praying, thinking about the adventures I've been on so far, and what I will experience that day.

And I absolutely LOVE my team! It's so cool because we are all really different, but have so much fun together, and are really learning a lot from each other. I've been able to have some really good conversations with people on my team which has been so good! I like when the group is all together sometimes, but have really enjoyed being with only a couple people...and it's easier to travel without the WHOLE group:) I'm just having a lot of fun right now. A lot of thinking and processing. I'm not really that saddened by the poverty I see. It's all around, wherever I look, and I wonder if I should feel more. I think at this point I'm just taking it all in, absorbing everything I see. I'm just so fascinated by the people and this country, and I just want to get to know them rather than feel sorry for them.

Anyway, those are my thoughts so far. Kind of random...but that's how I am right now. My mind is all over the place, just so excited to be here and learn more about this place and the people:) Thanks for your prayers, if you could pray for our team, a couple people are sick...thankfully I'm not. But we still have 2 more weeks...definitely time for us to get sick:) Thanks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Court! So great to hear how God is using you in India. Your long-awaited journey is finally a reality. I'm so proud of you and praying for you daily! Stay safe and healthy. All my love, Stac-

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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.