Saturday, September 27, 2008

rajastan

i just had one of the most amazing weeks of my life with the type of experiences i will get to tell my grand kids...and i got to spend it with my amazing adventurous friend, Kara who i have been friends with for 6 years.
we went on a camel trek, rode scooters around the desert, and ate dinners on the rooftops of restaurants in an old ancient fort. we had such cool adventures....on the camel trek you sleep out under the stars. and folks...i could see the milky way and i saw 5 shooting stars. it was one the most precious times on the trip.
then we rented scooters and drove out to the sand dunes in the town. it was so fun. you should of seen us when we first started to learn...we made the man from the rental store so nervous!! but by the end we were like our own biker gang...or scooter gang. at this one point around sunset i was riding on the open road in the desert when a fighter plane flew over head (there is an air force base there as well) and for about 1 minute i felt like i was on top gun!!!
so now i am in thailand with a good friend. beth and sarah come next week.
i love rainy afternoons. i love thailand. i love new adventures. i love that kara was so patient with me when i lost my temper so much in india!! i love that i beat kara at the skip-bo tournament. i came back from a 0-6 deficit to win....11-9!!!! i love that kara is competitive and we feed each other's competitive side. i love kara's kindness and sensitive heart towards God.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i am in delhi.

so yesterday was my last day in kolkata...except for the 18 hour i have to spend on my way back through....and it was soooooo sad. i didn't expect it to be but i was so sad. i cried on and off all day long. i got to talk with the sb ladies on the phone, have coffee with sarah, spend some time with beth, and say bye to some freeset folks. and it was sad.
and now i am in delhi after a 19 hour train ride which was quite pleasant. actually the last 24 hours in kolkata and here have been amazing. so redemptive. the gas company had amazing customer service, a man on the bus gave his seat for me, and on the way here i was seated with me and 7 other indian men and it was so pleasant so GO India!!!!
and i am traveling now. i meet kara tomorrow and we leave for rajastan and a camel trek, then i am off to thailand to see a friend and then beth and sarah are coming for our last week together. then new zeland, south india with tammy, dylan and molly, then london and maybe paris...then my brother in dallas...then home. in december!!!

i love that i am really hungry right now so will fnd a new good restraunt to eat at. i love exploring somewhere new. i love that i made my dad smile. i love i get to see oivlia in a cuople months.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For my dad's 60th birthday!!!!

Top 60 reasons I love my dad.
1. I remember how when I made it to state finals he came to watch the meet in Orlando Florida.
2. He came to all my softball games and always cheered the loudest.
3. He sponsored my soccer team one year and we were the “Perfusionist Association of Pinellas County”
4. My dad is amazing at crosswords
5. My dad is amazing at scrabble.
6. My dad can fry a turkey like no body’s business
7. My dad can grill a steak like nobody’s business
8. My dad can make me laugh.
9. My dad cries more then me and has such a sensitive heart.
10. For my first two years living in India we couldn’t say goodbye without crying.
11. I am his only daughter and his princess.
12. We go out to breakfast together.
13. He loves mayonnaise, pickles, and tuna for breakfast.
14. He will eat over 6 girl scout cookies for dessert.
15. He can dance.
16. When I was little he used to sit and listen to classical music and direct the symphony.
17. Through watching my dad do this I love beautiful music.
18. My dad is fascinated with how the human body works especially the heart.
19. My dad took me and my brother and ann to the human body exhibit when it came through town.
20. He let me use his time share twice, once when I was in Orlando with all my friends and once in sanibell island with all my friends.
21. He nicknames my boyfriends (or guys I like)
22. He is always proud of me.
23. He is really really good at his job.
24. He has a quick temper and still gets made at every red light he has to stop at.
25. He loves his dogs. He always takes them outside to do their business and even though he complains he loves them.
26. He always picks weeds in whatever yard he is in.
27. He has skinny legs and a “cute grandpa like belly”.
28. He is now a grandpa…not to my kids yet but a grandpa to a sweet amazing little girl named olivia!!!
29. He loves spoiling ann.
30. I have a respect for the game of golf from my dad.
31. I love when my dad went with me to go hit baseballs.
32. I love going to the movies with my dad and getting popcorn with extra, extra extra butter and splitting a large cherry coke.
33. I love that I inherited my dad’s skinny legs that happen to look amazing on my body!!!
34. My dad and I love, love, love fried foods. We could both go into a restaurant and order all the fried appetizers and be happy.
35. I love my brother and dad’s relationship
36. I love that J.C. respects my dad and sees him as a father figure.
37. I love that my dad will most likely cry at my wedding…not just once but multiple times.
38. I love that my dad makes a ‘swig” noise after a sip of coke.
39. I love that even though he knows its bad for his health he can’t stop drinking the coke!!!!
40. I love that my dad has had glasses most of his life.
41. I love that my dad has been so dedicated to his job that his hands are aching from working so hard.
42. I love that my dad has to have things his way when he loads the dishwasher so I am not really allowed to help.
43. I love that my dad framed my picture when it go into a magazine.
44. I love that I will always be a daddy’s girls.
45. I love that when I hear the world “malt” I automatically remember my childhood and smile and think of my dad making big thick amazing malts out of our orange tall plastic glasses.
46. My dad bought me a red Honda prelude when I was a teenage. It was an amazing first car.
47. I love that my dad got the Florida pre-paid college plan so I didn’t have to worry about how to pay for college or go into debt.
48. My dad doesn’t like the beach so I have memories of him sitting under newspaper and being rather grumpy one day at the beach.
49. I love that my dad wants to retire in TN and will have a room for the grandchildren.
50. My dad keeps his car impeccably clean.
51. My dad was really brave when he had his and ann’s two dogs put to sleep…Kaiser and shatzi.
52. I love the way my dad tells a story and has me either laughing or crying with all the emotion he puts into the story.
53. I love that my dad has always wanted to be the conductor of a train…even if its only at Disney world.
54. I love the way my dad loves lighthouses.
55. I love that really what my dad has wanted all along is for me to be happy.
56. I love my dad loves to read .
57. I love that my dad is an amazing, amazing speller and is really really smart.
58. I love that I have a dad that no matter what I do know that he will be there for me.
59. I love that when I first went to India my dad was really scared but now he is so supportive and encouraging.
60. I love that I don’t even have to stop at sixty reasons why my dad is awesome!!!!! I could go on and on. I love that I have a dad who loves me and his whole life has done his best to make sure that I know I am loved. I love that I have a glimpse of God’s love through my father here on earth. I love that in a couple months I get to be home again and see my dad…its been too long. I love that I am loved by my dad and I love him so very very much.

Monday, September 8, 2008

sorry....been busy




so yeah...this is another picture of olivia!!! isn't she soooo amazing!!! Drew...we will have to work on leading her to the truth of the beauty of orange and blue!!! there's time to work with her though....i will be the cool aunt!!!
life has been sad and beautiful and full and so surreal.
Beth and sarah organized a party for me this past saturday and it was one of the most amazing days of my life. around 100 people came....all the sari bari ladies came, all my forgein friends, my freeset friends, and even around 15 ladies from the gatch!!!! when the girls from the gatch walked in i almost started weeping with joy. it was soooo amazing and beautiful. it was a glimpse of heaven. they made a video for my time here and we played a game and danced. it was so amazing. i will try to post some pictures later.
so tomorrow is my last day at Sari Bari. pretty much tomorrow am going to have my heart ripped out!!! then wednesday we have my last day at the gatch and that night we are going to hand out flowers again.
so time is moving really fast in some ways and sometimes it feels like its all in slow motion. looking forward to the future but am having a hard time letting now go. still have so many dreams here.
i love beth waterman. i love candlelight. i love when someone surprises me. i love that a new chapter is starting. i love reading a book that inspires and changes me. i love that india had made me a size six!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

richness


so....life is so so so rich right now. so sad but so beautiful and filled. am starting to feel the restlessness of waiting for a change to come along with the deep deep sadness about leaving this place.

i have been savoring the little moment. yesterday a lady who isn't usually that affectionate sat down next to me at tea time and put her arm around me and just sat. It was so sweet. and the ladies always tease me about this guy at the hospital who they want me to marry. They keep telling me its my "last chance" to marry him. They keep wanting to take me to the hospital so they can have a chat with him...then if i marry him I will stay.

I know that a day is coming soon when i will have my last day at sari bari. i will close sari bari and walk away and won't be coming back for a long time and i am not looking forward to that day.

so until then i am here, trying to finish strong, pack, decide what to leave what to take, prepare to go home, prepare for new things, trying to spend as much time with beth and sarah as possible and laugh alot.

and i am sorry but i had to post another picture of Olivia....she has a SB baby blanket!!!!! she is just so beautiful.

i love being surprised, i love letting go of control and enjoying how that feels. i love that I can make gita laugh. i love having my teeth freshly brushed...all the time. i love my carribean workout pilates video.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

more of olivia



Oh my gosh!!! isn't she soooo cool!!! she's sooo cute. i can't wait to see her.
I love that Olivia is part of our family now. i love that i will be home and get to know her. I love that Ann is in heaven because she has a granddaughter (she had all sons). I love that beth gave me a purse so i don't have too buy a new one a month before i leave. i love that i got to talk to my friend david who always makes me laugh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

i am an aunt!!!!!

This is Drew olivia's dad and ,my step-brother) and his mom Ann.....He looks soooo proud and Ann looks in love.
This is my sweet, soft-hearted dad. I can already tell who will have the power in this relationship!!

Yippppeeeee!!!!! my sister-in-law just had her baby!!! its a little girl named Olivia. i wish i was

there to greet her into this world, but it looks like she is getting enough love. My step-mom said that Olivia already has my dad wrapped around her little finger. My dad is a grandpa!!! He is going to make an amazing grandpa. Ann and my dad will actually make such beautiful, loving, and giving grandparents. I can't wait to see them in action And i get to be an aunt. I get to play and know and love Olivia. wahooo!!! i am so excited for drew and becca. Gotta run. am feeling a little teary eyed.

i love babies. i love being an aunt....I can take the kids, have fun but when i don't know what to do with them anymore i can give them back!!! i love that i will get to babysit soon for Olivia. i love how kids makes a lot of things more fun....ex. bush gardens and disney world....went there with my mom and brother about three years ago...and we were like "i think we remember this as being more fun when we were under the age of 10." i love that beth shared her coffee with me this morning.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a taxi adventure

so sarah and i were coming back from our usual monday meeting. it was around 8:30 and we were in a taxi. We turned the corner on a street near out house. In front of us we saw a car screech off and the police man that was trying to stop him fall on the ground.
the police man pops up and gets on his walkie talkie!!! and then runs to our taxi, jumps in our taxi and gives the taxi man a signal and the taxi man goes off after the car that escaped. Sarah and i are in the back seat kinda looking at each other "is this really happening??" We were going top speed chasing after this guy but eventually we lost him. (mind you top speed was about 5 mph because it was bumper to bumper traffic and we actually only tried to chase him for about a block) Then the police man got down, defeated. So that is my involvement in a high speed chase in kolkata. it was intense.....kinda.

i love the monsoon mix court sent me years ago. i love that denise sent us a huge package that had gum in it. i love my ipod. i love being surprised. i love that the sb ladies laugh at me. i love that sometimes my pride flares up at stupid things and i am starting to be able to laugh at myself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

america through another person's eyes

so i have not been writing on my blog at all!!! i have been a tad distracted here in good ways.
yesterday i had lunch with my pastor and his family. i have been going to their church for the past 4 years and i admire them so much. they are an exceptional family.
I was talking with the mom shrilata because two years ago she was able to go to america. the circumstances she had to go over there were horrible. her daughter was visiting america and got deathly ill, but she is able to talk about it now. and laugh. she has some hilarious stories and it was so interesting to hear about america through her eyes.
first, no one helped her. most of the time she had to beg people to help her. she couldn't get someone to help her down the escalator at the airport (she had never flown or gone on the escalator before). eventually she just grabbed this huge muscular man, pretended she didn't know english....he held her by the shirt cuff and sulked the whole way down the escalator.
shirlata didn't know how to work a copy machine at the grocery.
she didn't know how to go grocery shopping at publix because indian doesn't have grocery stores.
she would pretend that she didn't know english so people would help her. it was kinda sad to hear how our country treated her. not so well.
and then she said something....she asked me why we had separate black and white churches? she assumed that is was the why everyone with different skin color went to separate churches because that was a rule in the church. isn't that so sad and convicting??? i mean the separation based on skin color is still so prominent in our culture especially in our church. it makes me sad and wonder what i need to change in myself to see change happen in the church. our segregated sunday services are sending a message that i don't want to send to the world.....i feel like she saw our brokenness.
I love that denise sent us a package that had american gum in it!!! i love that i found the printing paper i had been looking for the past week. i love that i getting fun text messages. i love french. i love that tonight sarah and i get to go out!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

i've been memed

i got memed and have been avoiding it because i don't know who to give links to my friends blogs so you might not get a link to the people that i tag but will try.
Here are the rules:1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. i have a little retarded toe. i know that's politically incorrect but i am sorry for that. that is what i have always called my little toe on my right foot. i had an infection when i was a kid and its like this shriveled stub. cute but still a stub.

2. since living in india picking my nose in public...not so much a problem for me anymore.

3. i really want to be great at something. i have always dreamed of becoming a great artist, or great Broadway actress who could move people's souls with the beauty of my voice or an athlete that would break all the records and be a role model for kids. i have tried and done so many different things in my life i am just not great at any of them (especially singing).

4. while traveling in spain with my friend kirsten on our train to madras we met all these other young people from all over the world. they were going to run with the bulls. we were going to madras. we had to get down at a train station to switch trains. they begged us to come, but we didn't have reservations and we heard that you might have to sleep on the street or in a hotel floor.....so i think from fear of the unknown, we got on our train to madras. i still wonder what would of happened if we would of gotten on that train.

5. in 7th grade i was the 2nd fastest typer in my typing class and won a big candy bar.

6. i really love blowing bubbles. when i was younger we used to use coat hangers, those furry wire things (what are they called) and tried to make the biggest bubble possible. i love that they are so pretty and reflect color and there is such a science behind it all .

7. i really love the 4th of July. i love watching fireworks and eating hot dogs and being outside on hot sticky days. two of my favorites have been last summer when my mom and i went to watch fireworks together, drank a beer and ate a hotdog. and for two summers 5 and 6 years ago i was working with a youth group that was down town orlando. we would park cars at our church to earn money and then walk and go watch fireworks. and we always had so much fun!!!!!!

so most of the people i know who read my blog have been tagged but a few of you have left comments so i am memeing you: MIke Rhea, sarah lance, Amanda Knihal, Laura (from beth's servant team) Laura Messina
i love reading peoples memes. i love sitting in my room listening to my favorite music. i love that ange and jesse always know the coolest and hippest music around. i love that i still have cheese from nepal left and love it!!! i love that tomorrow i get to eat pizza. i love that i stay a size 8 in india with out really trying. i love that right now there is this amazing breeze coming through my window.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the start of sadness

its starting...and i hate it. my eyes suddenly getting all teary, my heart hurting, when i think of leaving. today at SB i was out helping a lady so didn't get back until after lunch. so i had to take my nap with all the lights on and all the ladies busily chatting (we take naps here...its awesome!!!) and as i was laying down i got to listen to the ladies chatter away and laugh. its these sounds that i want to ingrain in my soul so i can pull it out whenever i miss my friends. and i got to lay and stare at our wall of beauty...it a picture of all our staff and ladies. all the pictures the ladies are smiling and look so so beautiful. and of course this makes me get all teary.
and then i think about leaving Gita....my little sister.
and then sarah and beth...and well i can't even go there yet.
am trying to celebrate along the way. friday sarah moves out to her own place. and friday night beth gets back form bangladesh. so friday we are going to have one last slumber/dance party to end our time living together with a bang!!!!! again, the joy mixed with all the sadness that will bring.
but despite all this sadness it also bring with it such a deep appreciation of my life here. the food, the people, the weather,...just life in India. so its good, sad and beautiful all at the same time.
i love seeing this lady at SB R who when she first came wouldn't speak but today was telling a story and had all the ladies in stitches. i love my pilate workout video that i bought with my mom from walmart for $3 from one of those bargain bins. i love that showers here are just amazing because i am so dirty and sweaty. i love that i get to go eat sarah's cooking.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

my right to an eggroll

sometimes poverty smacks me in the face and i realize the depths i go to protect myself and harden my heart. today i was out in the city doing various errands, getting my hair cut, sending some stuff in the mail etc. enjoying having some freedom to get what i need done today. and i get hungry. and i don't want to spend a lot of money because i want to try to save some and i had a great dinner the night before. so i wanted an eggroll.
i know of a great place on park street with the best eggrolls around. as i turned on park st. two people beg from me. i don't give anything. . i am hungry. i want an eggroll. i go to the eggroll stand. immediatly one young girl starts pulling on my arm asking for an eggroll. i am annoyed. but i decide that i am going to buy her an eggroll. then two more girls come. i still hold my ground and just buy one eggroll and tell them to share it.
so i am waiting for my eggroll to get done. and this little little so cute kid covered in dirt comes over the stand. he is sooo cute and has this life giving smile.
he laughs at me. i get my egg roll and feed him about 1/6th of it then walk away while i eat the rest and the little girls split the eggroll.
and i then get convicted. i realize how somehow i think its my right to have an eggroll without being disturbed. and realize how annoyed i was that my bubble was broken and my safe little world was invaded by need.....by poverty, by hunger and desperation. i kept repeating "i have no rights" in my head the rest of the day. "love your neighbor as yourself".
i felt poverty front me today. make me ask questions again and rip my face off to reveal my greed and power. its the interruptions here in kolkata that i try to avoid and i think that i will wish for when i move back to america. poverty asked me today.....what will you do for me while you sit and eat your egg roll and go to beauty parlors and a/c book stores? poverty asked me, what is important to you?
pverty in the form of the child with the hair that is red from malnutrition but yet his smile melts people asked me today " will you enter in? will you stop pretending that i don't exist? will you stop walking so fast to get to your "important places" and be with me? will you choose to be generous with all the power and provision that you have been given?"
so now i am just sitting in these questions. sometimes i do pull away here. afraid that if i did let my heart break for each person i saw i wouldn't never be able to stop crying. or maybe if i let my heart feel and stop trying to be so protected i would discover more love and compassion and joy and hope then i think possible.
hope.
i love how sarah comes alive when she gets to design a system to make things better. i love that Gay and Bill have been praying for me everyday since i told them about me leaving for america. isn't that amazing??? i love that i ran into a the sweetest irish girl in the store today who was here for three weeks and had her life changed. i love that i love every blanket and bag at SB right now and want to take them all home with me. i love how what God did at SB inspires people. i love even in the midst of all the questions i find grace.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

the first round of good-byes

so my first round of good-byes came. i went to nepal this weekend. it was amazing. i feel like in addition to saying good-bye to all the amazing peeps there. i was saying good-bye to a time and a place in my life. i have been going to Kathmandu regularly for the past 6 years!!! i have so many memories wrapped in that place. egg night, sitting on rooftops, watching kara have her heart broken for bipen, yummy chocolate cake, safety, a trek with my mom, aunt and beth, and beauty. i took most all my servant teams there and went there on my own servant team. i read in a book once that when you leave a place you miss the person you are in that place. so i guess i will miss who i am in nepal and who i get to be with there.
but i did have some great meals and talks and i seriously know the most amazing people on earth. some of them are just starting their journey in nepal and i get giddy when i think about how God will form them and use them in nepal. then there are the ones who have been there for a couple years and have this amazing wisdom and insight and have story after story about God's faithfulness. then there are my friends who have been there for 10 years and are now moving on to something new and different and having to say good-bye after loving so well in Nepal. so my time was full to the brim with good things.
i forgot my camera so don't have any pictures so i will try to get some from my friends.
i love that calvin's language blunder made me laugh and still makes me laugh. I love that Bucks and Bangs will get to travel together soon. i love sitting a round a kitchen, cooking good food, with a glass of red wine, and talking and laughing with easy friendships. i love that silas and kim's daughter is so hilariously and sweetly clumsy. i love the CD i got from silas. i love that everyone has hilarious stories from their awkward teenage years. i love that brook and kara's apartment felt so cosy and safe and welcoming. i love that kara is one of my most favorite people in the world. i love that i got to come home to sarah who knows me so well. i love that i am tired and get to sleep in my own bed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

so maybe to slow

i realize how long it has been since i blogged. but i think that is a good thing because my life has just been full of good, deep rich things. am still learning so much about taking it slow. some harder then others but its good.
here are some random stuff:
1. this weekend i watched four movies!!! yep four. Hancock in theaters, Wanted, Gone Baby Gone and Spider man 2. My least favorite was probably Wanted but like all the other three for different reasons.

2. Read the book "the shack" and had my face ripped off. was reading through tears that were both moved from the story as well as God moving in my heart.

3. got to go visit A and B at the boys home this past weekend. They are still soooo cute and are doing really well. They mom still hasn't come to visit them so they are really sad about that.

4. facebook has been freakin me out a little bit this past week. so many people from out of no where, from all parts of my past are showing up!!! its like seeing ghost sometimes.

5. am going to nepal this sunday to say good-bye to the staff there. it will be my first good-bye.

6. have my last days scheduled out. last day at SB, last day at the gatch. really weird and sad but feeling peaceful about it.
7. am having God move in deep places in my heart and its not as painful this time. just loving. moving me to a deeper place of trust.
8. we have a new swiss-french friend who said i could come and live on his family's friends farm and make cheese for a summer. but its in the swiss-italian part of Switzerland and would have to learn italian. definitely going to put that on the radar but think that i will be awhile before i ready for that. and that he taught us how to make crepes!!!
9. have a new friend named Jo who keeps me in stitches.
10. am trying to eat fried eggplant, fried potato things and this special mix off the streets whenever possible even though is so bad and fatty for me. i know that my time here is dwindling and alu chap and beguni baja are not available in america.

okay....i love my word treasure book. i love listening to the rain. i love watching someone doing something they are passionate about. i love that i have to think about going home.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

taking it slow

back pain. it sucks. but i am hopeful that mine can get better. saw some good doctors in Thailand. got some shots and meds. and one of our good friends here is a PT. so i do have a plan. and it won't be that physically demanding....more emotionally and spiritually demanding. because folks, for the next three months i have to slow down.
i can't carry anything heavy. i need to sit in chairs and not on the floor. i can't do my exercise programs and had to quit dance. i have to go up and down the stairs slow. i have to stop squatting and doing work for awhile (this is all my work at SB and also cleaning our house). i have to do stretches and pilates for the next three months....slowly.
if you know me. i don't do things slow. i like fast changing challenging things...and i have to take it slow. i have to slow down and ask for help. beth and sarah already said that they will take over my sweeping and swabbing duties (for some reason this moved me to tears) and i have to stay no to things. i have to re-build my back muscles so that they can be strong again. The doctor said that i had some kind of damage in my back (most likely my car accident when i was 17) and that my muscles have fused. i got shots in my back that have helped release the muscle. so my back is loose and vulnerable right now........
so maybe through all this i am really learning about the state of my heart, about how scary it is to slow down, about how to be made strong sometimes we have to be broken. about how sometimes taking it slow protects me and make the future better. so i am trying to be positive about all this and be thankful that i even have the means to go through all this.

i love that the SB ladies were so worried about me when i was gone. i love that i finished shantaram this morning. i love that my mom and i always think and call each other about the same time. i love that today we get to take our friend's daughter to our friends' business and possible teach a nepali girl sewing. i love that we are the kolkata girls and everyone love and knows us as that here but yet love each of us for what we bring.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

home

Yeah!!! i am home and happy!!! i missed here so much. not necessarily the city but sarah and beth and the sari bari ladies and head bobbles and gita and upendra and kiran and being known and knowing people. i am home.
and going away was a glimpse i think of life with out kolkata.... life with my dear friends beth and sarah and it was in all honesty.... lonely. i know that i am supposed to be super positive because i was on the beach and it was perfect and beautiful. but really i was in some rather uncomfortable pain and was kinda shaken from my week at the hospital and just wanted to be where i am known and loved and someone could take care of me, not alone on a beach.
so, i am happy to be back. it was good for my soul to be lonely for a while and cry out to God a little bit and it made me realize how amazing the people are here and how i have to continue to dive in and celebrate as well as be sad over leaving them.
and i had some realizations while i was in thailand....not anything especially spiritual...just how bengali i have become. i couldn't control bobbing my head!!! a thai person would ask me something and i would say "yes" in bengali and then head bobble! i confused this poor man twice because he couldn't figure out if i was saying yes or no. and i even head bobbled with my american friends...i wonder how long that will take to go away.
and two days ago we had a new arrival on staff....We have a man folks!!! Kyle Scott started his three year contract on wednesday!! its crazy to invite another person into the Kolkata girls. HE is awesome and so far is handling life with three girls quite well. he will study bengali in bangladesh for three months and then return. he is an amazing muscian, has a hard to eradicate poor through business, and is laid-back (and important quality considering he is on staff with me). so, it awesome to get a new family member.
i love the hummus that sarah made with her new blender. i love when people truly open their home and heart to you. i love that i got to watch some wimbledon on TV today.. i love that when i move to america i will be able to watch and follow more than just tennis. i love being known

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the beach

i am h ere at the beach for a couple days of rest and reflection. it is sooooo beautiful. i mean sooo beautiful. i forgot how beautiful it was. its monsoon here but they say for some reason this island is somewhat immune to it so the weather today was....perfect. perfect.
and this sounds funny....but if you read this can you pray for my gums. i had a gum graft surgery. they took some gum from the roof of my mouth and put in on my front tooth with a receded gum. pray that the new gum would take. if it doesn't i did all this for nothing!!! go to the doctors on wednesday to get out the stitches and get the report.
anywhoo....am off to go watch a fire show.
i love sunsets and ocean breezes. i love the book shantaram that i am reading....it could possibly be in my top 5 book i have ever read. i love tim and amy's laidbackness. i love that ella gave me multiple hugs. i love meeting new people.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

surprises

i didn't know before i came but Chris and Phileena are here along with Amanda and Chad and Amy and Leah (who will be our interns for a month or so). so i have got to tag along with them. yesterday we watched the NBA finals in a irish bar in bangkok, thailand, at 9:00am with a breakfast beer and coffee. it was really really surreal.
i had my gum surgery last night. not so much fun and am a bit sore today. am really really really tired of going to the doctors. have reached my limit. luckily i only have to go see the back doctor one more time on saturday morning....then i free till wednesday when i get my stitches out. so i want to get the frik out of a city.
i really want to go see the ocean. at one point i was going to travel somewhere like Lous or cambodia but i have to stay close to the hospital in case the bandages come off....so its most likely off to ko sa met again.
i find that traveling by myself is great mostly. i find that the loneliest time is at night. my hotel room is kinda musty and don't really know what to do with myself after dinner...but that is good for me.
am loving no horns and thai ice tea.
i love beth and sarah. i love that i found a gourmet grocery store today with cheese from all over the world. i love that thai are so much more gentler by nature then bengalis. i love that i have only gotten annoyed once in a week. i love that there are people here in thailand working to end prostitution.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

bangkok

i got here today...bangkok and am already having so much fun (and just as i was tyyping that the desk gave away and my entire key board just crashed to the ground and i was laughed at!) i met the coolest people in the plane...courtney from boston who is working in kolkata with unicef and jeff from hawaii who is studying indian philosphy. the world is just full of amazing people. i got to eat pizze and spaghetti.
tomorrow i begin my doctors appointments. i have my complete physicall and my back doctor appointment.
i am wearing a tank top with my skirt and am feeling quite nicely pretty having some skin showing.....and its just a tank top folks!!!! but it is nice to have a little more freedom for a couple days in regards to what i wear.
so that is all. am happy to be out of the city and in a different city.....bangkok is really cool.
i love meeting cool people. i love hearing people's story. i love that my hotel room is freezing and will most likely need to ask for more blankets. i love that realize that i have lots of things locked in my heart that are yet to be unlocked.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

disapointment

i know that i should get disappointed about things that matter but i just can't help it. i get so excited about things and if they don't happen i get disappointed. like today.....i have been planning on going to see the Hulk for the past week and 1/2. i got a group together of about 15 of us, we were all going to wear green and be loud and have fun and watch a superhero movie (i love superheroes) and......it didn't come to theaters this weekend. all the signs said june 13th! but alas...it didn't come. so i am sad. the movie "the happening" by midnight shalaman (director of signs, the village etc.) is showing instead. and half of the group doesn't' want to see it. so that is sad. and i will pout a little bit, then realize how in the scheme of life.....its going to be okay. i mean.....really....its just a movie right???? see...i am feeling better already.

i am off to bangkok on sunday for some fun medical stuff...gum surgery, mole checks, and to see a back doctor. should be interesting.
i miss beth and sarah.
i love seeing action movies in india. i love that gita makes me laugh. i love that the weather right now is so much like a florida summer. i love that hope springs eternal. i love when God uses us in the right and most perfect way that only he could of planned. i love aaron strumple CD. I love the anticipation of the "next thing". i love my passion

Sunday, June 8, 2008

stories

I meet the most amazing people here. here are some of their stories:
Mitsy: she is working for an NGO here that works with women. She is Chinese-American decent . she is 3rd generation. He grandmother lived here until she was 13 but it was during the depression so she had to be sent home to live in China. but in china they arranged her a marriage with a man who lived in america. the man couldn't come to china to get married so a rooster had to stand in his place in the ceremony. then the grandmother moved back to america, got married there ( in a small town in MIssissippi!!) , and had all her kids by the time she was 20.

MIcky; this amazing irish guy who works station and with kids in the slum. He is funny kind and all the sisters at the mission of charity love, love love him. He is very very irish and every other work is the f-bomb. which is funny because he makes is so not offensive. for example, yesterday he was saying to beth "ya just gotta f^*&# pray. if ya don't f^(&%$ pray nothing will f*(&$ happen. " or "its in the f&^%$ bible". he is an irish boxer, was raised in an Irish Gypsy clan, the movie snatch is based on his life, and he is a stand up comedian. he is great.

Baby: she was trafficked when she just got her period and before she was fully developed. she was trafficked by two brothers who lived with her in the village. they sold her. after sometime she managed to escape from the brothel. when she came back to her village the brothers had told all the village people that she choose the "bad work". so her family was forced to ostracize her. they wouldn't let her back into the village. so she returned to the sex trade. she now has one grown son who is married and takes care of her and she works as SB and is becoming the ladies hero.

this is just a glimpse of the crazy amazing people i know.
i love mango season. i love that sarah gets back tomorrow. i love that these is a breeze and that means rain and that is good because my fan hasn't worked for the past two days. i love that i miss my mom. i love that my friend trever is finding hope in a really sad circumstance. i love that i miss kyle and michelle.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

a full course meal

i recently had a revelation about kolkata. My life here is soooo rich and full. i mean so full of joy and suffering and horns and people and pockets of beauty and color and life. Its like having a full course meal for every meal all the time. Its like sitting down and being served soup, steak, salad, baked potato, rolls, bloomin onion, wine, a huge slice of cheesecake and a nice coffee for every meal...alll the time...which is great and awesome except sometimes you just want to eat a salad. and living in the city sometimes its not possible just to eat a salad.

God has just been showing me so much about space lately. about how i long for space and grace from other people but i am so quick not to give it. He is teaching me how to give grace to myself and therefore others. and to give up control!!!! He is teaching me that He likes me. that we are all messed up but we have this common need for grace. I have been re-reading my journals again and have found common themes in all of them.....self-condemnation, a longing for intimacy with God, and lack of patience. i have been crying out to God for years and years about these issues. I don't know if i have changed or not but i think the biggest difference i feel happening is that I am learning not to define myself not by my sin but by my strengths, by who God made me to be. I am his daughter....a sinner yes....but a daughter who is taken care of loved. this is all so much deeper than i am going to write on this blog...but is good. i also feel hopeful. our community has been through so much together but i have learned soooo much. i have hope for other people because of the hope that has been given to me.

today was the official start to monsoon. it rained from 5:00am till 11:30...thunder and lighting and poured!!! in addition to this, there is a strike today and everything is closed. today the streets are filled with young boys playing football or cricket and its a little cool out. it was the easiest hot season i have ever had in kolkata!!!
have watched two movies today Big Fish and Good will Hunting. i must say that GWH is one of my top three movies of all time.....it is just amazing.

i love matt dameon. i love that we all have intimacy issues. i love that today india is quiet and joyful. i love that sarah comes back in 5 days. i love thunderstorms. i love that beth and i ate chocolate chip cookie dough and watched GWH today....good girly times. i love that my heart feels excited for something...i just don't know what it is.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Out of curiosity i googled my name today....and i came to this random websit that told me stuff about my name.....and what it means....its cool.

Etymology*:
Forename: Origin: Greek (Root: Kristen)Meaning: Christ-bearer
Surname: Origin: Bold, eager, daring; bright, fair; or may be the same as Kean.

Top 5 Facts:
36% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 47.7% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are averagely envoweled.
Backwards, it is Nitsirk Neek... nice ring to it, huh?
In Pig Latin, it is Istinkray Eenkay.
In ASCII binary it is...01001011 01110010 01101001 01110011 01110100 01101001 01101110 00100000 01001011 01100101 01100101 01101110
People with this first name are probably: Female. So, you are constantly overcharged for beauty products.

3 Things You Didn't Know:
Your personal power animal is the Vampire Squid
Your 'Numerology' number is 9. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are multi-talented, compassionate, and impartial. A humanitarian, you seek opportunities to help others.
According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.099% of US residents have the first name 'Kristin' and 0.0072% have the surname 'Keen'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 21 Americans who go by the name 'Kristin Keen'..

I love that laura alley researched my name one time and foudn that my last name also means "one who wails in lamentations". i love that i am about to try a new workout based on some jane fonda old school moves. i love that sarah is having fun in the states but we miss her. i love that jen and craig have their first house!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

some new pictures

yeah, this would be andrew and jesse (our nepali cousins) acting natural in their their sweet asian wear.
This would be me in all my glory!!!! this picture would have to be dedicated to laura who has kept me laughing through my time in kolkata by sending me random fun things like these beautiful items that keep me laughing at myself alot.


my friend M came over one day and we took pictures of each other...this would be how i was posed. like i said folks...my indian modeling career is about to take off!!!
just a cool moon from out my bedroom window.
this would be my friend M posing in her most beautiful way!! we had so much fun that day!!!

so that is some news.

just some food for thought. beth says to me the other day that God told her "i am forgiving you not because you are a sinner, but because you are my daughter" that struck deep with me. i define myself by my sin instead of by love. it is breaking something in me.

i love manly guys that can do things like fix cars, carry heavy things, and drive motorcycles. i love that i am keeping one SB bag for myself so when i go to the states i can wear it and tell the story as much as possible. i love that today we get to eat KFC and play pictionary with our staff. i love that after talking about how hot it hasn't been......its now freakin hot!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

some news

so i am puttin it out there....i haven't been able to write really what is going on in my thoughts for the past couple months because....well i wasn't ready to make this public knowledge yet...but here goes....read on...its my june prayer letter:

Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing this email full. No so much full on yummy Indian food but filled with so many different emotions. My contract with WMF is coming to an end in September. For the past 3-4 months I have been praying about whether or not I was going to renew for three years or return home. After months and months of prayer and lists and conversations and tears I have decided not to renew my contract with WMF. It has taken me a long time to reach this decision and sometimes it still doesn’t feel real.
I am sure now the next question in your mind would be “Why?”. I wish that I could tell you a specific reason but I can’t. I can though explain to you some of the process of coming to this decision.
Kolkata is a really amazing and exciting, but hard city. I love the relationships that I have here and seeing how God is doing the impossible through these relationships However, I feel like most of the time while I live here I hold my breath and survive. I feel like when I leave Kolkata I take breath of fresh air, come back and fight to be here. It’s really hard to let down and I am constantly on guard. As the time got closer to decide to renew my contract I was able to be more honest with myself about how much this place wears on my soul. However, I had always thought when I left this place I would be moving onto something else; marriage, an amazing job etc. I thought I would have a “reason to leave”. But to my amazement I am not moving on to any of these things. It’s God that is moving me on. Instead of hearing “Fight more. Press on”. I am hearing, “Breath. It’s okay. My grace is big enough to move you on. I am reason enough”. It has taken me a long time to believe that God could move me, when I see a huge need in front of me. I still struggle with feeling guilt and condemnation. But I feel like I am once again finding a God who Is my Father, who looks after me and loves me and protects me and the people I love as well.
I have been able to live out my gifting here in such an amazing way. I am an initiator, a visionary, a pusher (is that a word?), a connector. These are the core of who I am and that is who I have been here in Kolkata. God has used me to be a catalyst in starting SB, to cast a vision for Sonagachi and the network, and has let me push through the darkness for the girls. I have lived out my vocation while I have lived here in Kolkata. I am leaving with a better understanding of who I am at my core. I plan on continuing to live out of my vocation where ever God leads me next.
I know that India and the women here will always, always be a part of me. I am forever changed by their stories, their friendship, their laughter, and their suffering. I carry them with me back to America and will continue to fight for them.
Please pray for me and the staff here. I am finding it really hard to say good-bye and let go. I am glad that I have a couple months for this process. I have poured my life out here and I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest!!! I am learning how to trust the process and God’s grace.
Words of thanks seems so minuscule for you all, my friends and family, who have carried me though the past 5 years. You have supported me in everyway possible. You have been a part of everything that has happened here. Because of you and your prayers and your support SB was started, 17 ladies have freedom from the trade, hundreds of girls in the gatch know they have friends who will come and talk with them, and a work was started here that will continue even when I am long gone. Thank you on behalf of all my friends here.
I will continue my service with WMF until the end of September. I will be able to collect salary for the next three month after my contact ends to help ease the transition back into America, so that would be until the end of 2008. So if you are financially supporting me I am asking that you would continue to do so until the end of this year, or if you have always wanted to support me and never got the chance now would be a good as time as any! I will have some higher expenses in the next couple months. I am going to have a complete physical and gum surgery in Thailand, travel to Nepal to say good-bye and have closure with the staff and then all the expenses that come with moving somewhere new. It’s a little overwhelming, so I am just asking that you hang in there a little longer!!!
And don’t worry. This isn’t my good-bye letter. It’s just the heads-up keep you in the loop letter. You will for sure hear from me again.
Keep checking my blog (you can also find links to Beth and Sarah’s there as well)
www.jesusripsmyfaceoff.com
With my utmost respect and love,
Kristin Keen

Sunday, May 25, 2008

good friends

the team is gone. we have a great weekend at the tolly. we swam and ate some beef and watched some really good and bad TV, got to workout in a gym one morning, walk around a green golf course with beautiful flowers. it was a good time.
my friend sent me this email a couple weeks ago and sent me this quote and today it brought my heart peace.........
"When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings."
still realize how much of my worth is in what i need to get done and what i do. i was excited to get back from vacation so i could once again get back in the fight and feel useful again. its rather enlightening when you see yourself and your neediness, not that much fun but if i let it, it brings me closer to God and closer to understanding of His love.
so to other busy bodies out there.......You are lovely and accepted and wanted no matter what you are doing or not doing. fIts all about the grace. its a scandalous grace. its a grace that allows us to rest. its a grace beyond my human understanding and my job is to accept it.

i love my friend Jessa. i love that when i might get to go to paris!!! i love my brother's faithfulness to his friends and family. i love that really...it has gotten over 96 degrees in over two weeks!!!! it really makes me believe in global warming folks because it should be 113-118 degrees right now!! i really really love the show "beauty and the Geek"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

so much

so last night was the biggest storm ever!!! thank goodness i wasn't home. i was over at our friends house on the first floor and was freaked out just to be on the 1st floor.
i usually love storms but sarah left for the states yesterday and beth was out so i was to scared to go home along because our house tends to get really violent wind during storms. so i stayed on the first floor and watched our friends TV. Do you guys watch beauty and the geek. we saw the first episode and loved it!!! it was so funny and interesting. i am a sucker for "reality tv".

have been thanking God a little bit lately. we are seeing fruit from the gatch that we have waited years to see......P's kids are now in the most amazing school and she has started to ask about work. S's young sister is working at our friends vocation unit and S is making steps to leave the line. M is coming to SB on Wednesday. Little S' s mom is talking about sending him to school.
and these are years and years of pouring into relationships. its soooo amazing. so amazing.
a man told us one time "dream for things you thing you won't see". we have dreamed for the ladies for so long....and we are seeing things come true that i never thought i would see!!!!

oh...we saw Prince Caspian and i loved it!!! its so much fun to see a movie here. the crowd cheers and laughs and we had so much fun. and there is a new hulk movie coming out with edward norton and it looks so good. and indiana jones is coming as well. i love me some summer block busters.
i love paris. i lovet hat yesterday when we were playing scatagories a girl tried to get away with saying a dill pickle was a weapon. i love that Beth and i get to go stay in a hotel for a couple days with the team for their debriefing retreat. i love that sarah get to be at home for three weeks and be loved on and get to go to her good friend's wedding!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

sad things

its just kinda sad in the world right now. there was a attack in Jaipur two days ago, where 6 bombs were set off, china had an earthquake, Burma has a huge storm and the local villages here are having violence where 7 people were killed, including of one the political leader's daughter. so this i what i read all day long when i opened the news paper. they told story after sad story about jaipur (its NW india). 60 people died. its all just sad and overwhelming and makes me question the goodness of the world sometimes. i read this story about how this one man let his two daughter-in-laws and their children off to go to the market and he went to park his car. then the bombs went off and they all were killed. just that split second decision. i guess its the same questions that all mindless violence causes.
yuck.
life here is good. so busy but so amazing and rich. we talked last night about how life in Kolkata is like a desert most of the time. It can be barren and harsh but there are these really amazing oasis in the middle of it all. so it makes everything good that much more amazing. and while we live in the desert we are forced to have our roots go really deep to look for water to sustain us. i think that is why life her is just so intense and why i love and hate it here.

i love that i bought the hindi song that i am learning a dance too and now it doesn't work on my computer. i love that Michelle is back blogging again. i love how good water tastes when you are really thirsty. i love that it has been the most mild may i have ever had here so far....its only supposed to be in the 90's all week!!! that is amazing for this time of year!!!! i love that we are going to see prince caspian on Saturday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

tiredness

this week has been kickin' my butt. it hot season and i forgot how tired you are all the time when its so hot outside. but i really believe its a love- hate relationships with weeks like we just had. it was so full of joys and suffering and busy-ness and amazing and sad things. it was full of purpose and fight and i felt the battle for the girls and what we are doing here. i felt challenged and like i was truly seeing the extent of the battle. and honestly i love it. i love being part of it all. i love the front lines. i love being on this side, even though i am dead tired.

this weekend we did get to rest...its sarah's birthday so we laid by a pool and got our groove on and it was actually really really fun. we got to dance to some hindi music and laugh and it was really great.
tomorrow we are having a party for sarah at SB and everyone is so excited.
sorry this is not really so much a good entry.
i love that i am going to new zeland in october. i love being with the college team that is here. they remind me how amazing my college years were and how happy i am not to be in college! i love the smell of sun tan lotion. i love that my mom is the greatest mom ever and i miss her so much today.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lost and then found

so for about 48 hours i thought i had lost my passport. it was not a good 48 hours. you all know that feeling...that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. i swore that i had lost in some where in the city. but alas....it was in my room the whole time. and not only in my room but in my desk chair. how it got in my desk chair i have no idea??? how i didn't see it in my desk chair? i also have no idea. but i can tell you when i found it i jumped up and down with more joy then i have in a long time.
but in the process of my loosing my passport i decided to clean out my room so maybe i could find. i clean my room regularly here but i hadn't really really really cleaned it in well....1 and 1/2 years.....like pull everything down from shelves etc.
and i discovered many things:
1. i found the necklace that Kim gave me that i love sometimes more than life itself!
2. i found the earring i thought i had lost from my dear friends Charlotte and Julian.
3. i have 6 bottle of deodorant.
4. i have four things of lotion.
5. i have enough of everything i need.

so now my room is really really clean, i have my passport and two important things i thought i lost are now found. Wahooo!!!
i love that i saw Iron Man on Saturday and loved it!!! i love that it rained again last night and i had to use a sheet last nigh. i love that we have a team hear of 11 girls from indiana Wesleyan college. they are so sweet. i love that we got an email from Charlotte and Julian today!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

one of those dreams....

so i woke up this morning happy because i had the best dream ever....i got to date jim from the office.
it started like this....i suddenly found myself in "the office" working there. i even had on a skirt type thing with high heels. Micheal Scott hit on me first. he was all awkward and weird and i kinda turned him down but not really. jim saw the whole thing and we exchanged glances.
then jim and i were working together and he asked me to a movie and dinner. and of course i said yes...and did my flirty smile.
then i looked over and pam was glaring at me!!! she was pissed. so she walked to the middle of the office and said "i have an announcement. we have a new couple at the office. kristin and jim! everyone give a round of applause!" i got real embarrassed (yeah its still a dream) i looked over at micheal scott and he said "kristin, i thought we were going to go out?" and got that wounded look on his face.
then jim put his arms around me and said "yeah, we are the newest couple" and i beamed in happiness....and then woke up.
i really didn't want to wake up.
the thing is i haven't watched the office in months. hmmm......
i love the book i just read...."the road". i love that i felt a little sick this weekend adn i took the airborne vitamins that my mom left and i feel better. i love that today i get to go to SB. i love the other book i just read "the weekenders".

Saturday, April 26, 2008

men

so on friday i went with andrew, brook, jesse and upendra to buy them lungis. they are a type of indian clothing for men.
we went to the shop and sat down. the man spoke much english and was really excited to talk with us. he then began to tell us his political views (they love politics here). He was a supporter of Obama. So is andrew and jesse so there were cheers all around.
then this man started to tell us why he liked him.
first, this man was a muslim and knew that in the past obama was associated with muslims. and then he proceeded to tell us that " also, hilary is a women and obama is superior" "men are superior both in body and in mind. if man and woman have competition man will always win. of course there are some exceptions...margaret thachter, indria gandhi, but mostly men are superior to women"
and of course....we all just stared at this man in disbelief and anger...did he really just say that???? did he really just say that men are superiour both in mind and body????
i took a deep breath tried to reason with the man and then let it go. me arguing with this man woouldnt help...at one point he asked us "did what i say upset you all?"
it made me realize how far women have to come and how far we have come. it makes me so thankful for men who respect me and honor me and treat me like equals. it made me realize how i have a choice to let men be leaders in my life and speak into my life....i sumbit to men and their leadership not because they are men, but because i respect them and want to submit...its like that with whatever leadership i have to submit to....male or female. i don't think of myself as a super super strong feminist....until my choice to be or not to be is taken away, until a man asserts his power over me just because he is a man. that really makes me realize what is inside of me. it gave me an insight in to how sometimes (and most certainly not all men here) might view women. it make me realize why our ladies at SB are just so freakin amazing for being willing to fight this.
pray for that man. he was actually rather kind and charming in someways.
i love that jesse and andrew were just as shocked as we were. il ove that i feel like the older i get the more confident i feel. i love that i feel like i have treasures locked inside my heart of lessons that i have learned but have yet to teach yet. i love that God values women as equally as men. i love that there are married couples who i see have reached that fine balance with the opposite sex on respect and submission and love.

nepali cousins

so this past week was crazy!!! we got to participate in the "Healing Hands" training seminar. it was a week long (well in our case only four days due to the strike in kolkata) training event that trains people who are working with women and children who have come out of trafficking. it was really really great but also really intense. its hard to think about all that stuff, all day long, but it was really amazing.
and...it was also amazing because our neapli staff got to come down and stay with us for a week....Brook, Andrew and Jesse. so when we weren't at the conference or sari bari, we were hanging out, having amazing conversations, and laughing. they are such exceptional people.....like those people who are just so cool that i can't believe that they want to be friends with me. they are going to change the world. they love Jesus so much and care about justice so much. so.....props to the nepal staff....i already miss you guys.

i love easy cheese. i love playing boggle. i love that today i am not going to leave my house until dance class. i love that a crow is sitting outside my window staring at me. i love my "silver" earrings from america have tarnished and made yellow puss come out of my earring hold. i love that my dad and ann sent me florida gator clogs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

sometimes i really love this place

sometimes my heart swells in affection for this place. i mean...its 100 degrees here right now so most of the time my heart is not filled with so much love for Kolkata. but i have these moments. like today.
i was walking to dance and looked up. kolkata has the most amazing architecture. there is this old beautiful white apartment building that is just amazing....like more amazing then anything i see in the states. its just so old and so full of history.

then i was going to the market and met this old lady in the sweet shop. she was soooo cute. she told me that she sees me everyday and then started giggling. she asked me where i was from and i told her america....then i say the joke that never gets old and never fails to make the Bengali's laugh "what country are You from?". everyone laughed. (i can work a crowd folks)

then on the way home from the sweet shop/ slash market i saw a man acting more natural then i have seen in a long time. he was listening to music and had his left leg propped up on a cement wall. he was listening to some music and when i walked by he started hitting his butt to the beat of the music and giving the this weird "check me out" look. i laughed.
so that is why i was feeling the love today.

i love the book world without end....it makes me want to be more clever and wise. i love that i am reading a nutrition book and it reminds so much why i love science and nutrition. i love that what we eat really, truly makes a difference in ourl ives. i love that i can't wear the new stylish big sunglasses i bought because it makes my eyes sweat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

random happiness

i really love my dance class. its really full at this point...about 15 of us in this rather small room. currently we are learning a jazz routine (i really don't like it at all) and a hip-hop routine (which i love). I find dancing to be a challenge and i am having a lot of fun and find it quite humbling. i find still that what i want to look like in my mind dancing (aka shakira or janet) is not really reality yet...in fact i am happy if i can nail more then 7 dance steps in a row!!!

and my dance teacher is cool. her name in Mon Chu. she is this petite little thing who dances sooo good. she is pretty much a mini asian shakira. she is my indian dance idol. sometime i pretend i look as cool as her.

and today i got a picture of my niece...her name is olivia....isn't she cute!!!

other random happy news...our friend blessed us with some money to go and have a nice night at a hotel...so we are going for a night at the tollygunge club. A/C here we come!!!
i love that india really is such an amazing country. i love that sometimes i can really laugh at myself. i love my vanilla incense from nepal. i love putting my christmas light on, my bangladesh lamp, pouring me a class of wine and putting on my smooth mix from my itunes which consist of greats like nora jones and billy holiday. oh the goodness.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

lady bird takes flilght

so i got a bike for my birthday which was on September 30th, i took me a little bit to buy some plastic so i could store it downstairs and the day that i had planned to ride it was the day i woke up with that viral fever that made it painful to move. then i was sick with that for three months. after i was getting better i again planned on take the lady bird for her first flight, and the day i did that....the tires were flat. so then it took me about a month or two to find a way to pump up my tires. then i got that done and then i found out the two plastic pieces i had saved to cover my bike got thrown away so i had to wait another day but beth happened to have a huge plastic bag in her room that was perfect for the bike....at points in the journey with my lady bird i felt like some unknown force was not letting me ride my bike!!!
but the waiting is over....my purple lady bird bike is now in full commission. i took it our on tuesday and plan to ride it again tomorrow!!! here are some pics from my b-day. oh so true....lady bird is a true friend
its a pretty sweet ride if i do say so myself.
this would be me acting natural next to the lady bird bike.
lady bird rules!!!
i love that beth and sarah got me a bike for my birthday complete with a bell and basket. i love that a bike gives me freedom. i love that today i am so tired but will get up in the morning to ride my bike for sure. i love that even though i am 31 i still need my mom's help to get my taxes done. i love that i really hate planning the details of things. i love that court is faithful in her commenting on my blog!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

interesting people

i meet really cool people here. i met a girl who sky dives to relax and owns her own parachute (obviously she doesn't sky dive in india), a girl who is the youngest of 8 and has six half siblings and one full brother so its kinda like the brady bunch, a college kid who grew up in Taiwan and speak mandarin, a women who pulls out her own teeth, on of our friends who is marrying a bengali pastor, a young bengali pastor who fell in love with the red-light area and now wants to give his life there, a crazy women who believes that she has had a baby in her stomach for the past 20 years. and on some really fun news my sister in law is going to have a girl!!!! wahoo!!! i am going to have a niece!!!
never a dull moment here folks.
i love having freshly shaved legs. i love that i rode my bike this morning after owning it for 6 months!!! i love my freeset bag. i love having a cup of coffee with lots of milk and sugar in the morning. i love that so far april has been so pleasantly not hot. i love that my dad is a staunch republican.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

again??

the day i wrote the last blog about kiran the same day she was getting down from a rickshaw and a bicycle ran over her on the leg that she has been having all the problems on.
i feel like i am on a roller coaster here a lot of the times. yesterday was on of those days where i though that things will never change. we have been working with this one lady for years now and she keeps saying she will do things and then doesn't do them and we end up wasting our time. then we feel bad for getting angry. but i am learning that i treat people like victims still. i think that this is just as de-humanizing as treating them like objects. they need to be held accountable and need people to be tough with them just like we do. i am learning that its okay to get angry with some of the ladies we know....of course its not okay to take our anger out on them in an unhealty way but they are humans, just like me. and i can make people mad and irritated on a daily basis!!! so that is a healthy insight into the fact that we are all humans. we all need people to kick our butt sometimes. in fact, God created us to be in relationships sometimes to help give us a healthy kick in the butt sometimes!!!
so, I have to remember that God is bigger than all this crap i see around me. His love is bigger than my anger, my sin and anyone elses stuff. We one day will see S and her family free from the tentacles of the sex trade.
I love that M got up at 5 am did our dishes and has fallen back asleep. i love that God took care of me when i over scheduled. i love that beth and i tried to make bengali food for our bengali friends and well....it kinda flopped. i love that know that i am older its really hard for me to over scheduled and remain a nice sweet human. i love that last night there was this amazing thunder storm so now...on April 4th we are sitting here with no fans on because its that cool!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

spiritual attack

ever since most of our staff has been working for us they have dealth with an increase in sickness and family troubles. but yesterday something happened that was so random that maybe it wasn't random??
beth kiran and i were walking to the gatch. on omonday afternoons we go to the nepali brothel. one of the darkest brothels in the gatch. we are friends with the owner there and have made friends with some of her girls.
as we were walking down this side road.(still 5 minutes from the gatch) out of no where a rock falls and lands on kiran's head. its a side road so its not that crowded and there was only five of us but this random rock fell from somewhere and bonked kiran in the head. of course she was totally taken off guard. however, it didn't bleed or knock her out and we went to the gatch and that brothel and had an amazing conversation with a customer. the next day her head and her face was a little swollen, but she is okay.
so pray for our staff. they are so freakin awesome and endure hardships that i am unable to understand. pray for their safetly and health.
ilove how worshiping God takes away darkness' power. i love that it has rained in the past 48 hours and the weather is still relatively cool for this time of year. i love my room right now...all the windows wide open, an amazing breeze.....its one of my favorite things about living in india.

it was one of the craziest things i have seen in a while.