Today is day five in India. Here is a recap of thepast few days:
We spent Thursday recouping from the flight. Discovering how to use the light switches in our flat, walking around the neighborhood, and shopping for clothes. Most of the day was spent in good conversation and walks. There is a park right across the street from the house and we walk around it a couple of times every day. People here are very intogetting some sort of exercise, whether it be a group stretching, doing laugh therapy, running, or leisurely walking. Like Lauren said in our last post: there has been no stopping the great discussion. We spend most of our time in the living room area, either on the couches or at the table playing cards.
We've been following the New Testament reading guide Nolan provided and it's been right on track with the nightly devotions that Rita does with us. (More aboutthat in a minute). Thursday, after Rita came home from school we went shopping!We all bought Indian garb. Lauren and I are wearing kurtas and salwars with ashawl (follow the link to see a picture). While the boys wear "pajama" pantsand [man] kurtas. Quite the sight we are with our white skin and amazingly beautiful clothes.
As I am typing this the most amazing woman in our lives right now walked through and asked if we wanted a change in our breakfast menu. Rita is an angel. From cooking to laundry to helping us shop for Indian clothes. Looking at how easy Rita has made it for us here we are stricken withan unending gratitude for her - only five days into the trip.
Friday we had our first day at school. Walking through the gate we are immediately approached by Abushe (that's written phonetically) who asks us our names. Here we saw a different side of Rita, the compassionate yet strong disciplinarian. The kids just got back in school after their summer holiday. Over their summer they were encouraged to nurture a hobby, Friday the kids brought their hobby to school to show others. From collecting toy cars to singing to folding paper or drawing these kids are very talented and creative. My favorite was Vinayak (spelled correctly, and said just as it looks), he never stopped talking and really wanted all of us to visit his class. Friday was not a normal day at the school so we weren't put into our roles yet, we were just there to facilitate the hobby exhibition.
We took the school bus home from school with the kids, quite amusing at times. Lunch, bible study, cards, walk, dinner,devotionals with Rita, then we went straight to bed. We were exhausted. Monday we will assume our roles in the school. It looks like Lauren will be working one on one with a little boy named Shakur, Brian will be teaching teachers how to use a lesson planning software program, Dexter will be teaching and playing games with the kids, and I will be compiling a book of the stories of kids and their families. We are all eager to get in and get our hands dirty.
Saturday was our adventure day. We slept a little late, had an Indian breakfast with Rita which consisted of dosa, a peanut butter like paste, and a potato mixture? We forgot/never learned the names (Nom nom nom). After that Rita put us in an auto [rickshaw] to the mall. The boys bought cricket jerseys, we saw Angels & Demons (for the equivalent of <$5), went through a haunted house (a lawsuit waiting to happen if it were in the US), and Lauren and I tried on countless kurtas which ended with Lauren buying one pair of pants. We had lunch at the mall and came home to a dinner of homemade pizzas.
(The auto back home, we split in pairs instead of going all four together)
Today was also an adventure, but of a different nature. We attended Indiranagar Methodist Church. Church here is a bit different than at home: more prayer, shorter sermons, and a lot of greetings. But one thing never changes it seems between churches: post service coffee, love it! We came home and had lunch then went shopping on a nearby street (CMH Road). Brian and Dexter got matching outfits and when we sat down to bible study they were both wearing their new jeans, white shirts, and glasses. This is about the third time they've done something like that without even trying, I wonder if they're spending too much time together. Lots of laughter, stories, and opinions have been shared.
We all want to send a hearty Happy Father's Day to our dads. The service today spoke a lot about fathers. You can all expect emails from us soon.
I'm posting this a day after it was written, the internet was off yesterday. Prem and Rita take a full remembrance of the Sabbath on Sundays.
Also if you're wondering why Prem has been absent from the updates, from June 12th through midnight on the 21st he was in the Philippines for work.
Antje E. and Team India