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


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. off to go watch a fire show.
i love sunsets and ocean breezes. i love the book shantaram that i am 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


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 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


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


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) didn't come to theaters this weekend. all the signs said june 13th! but 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


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 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.