Sunday, April 18, 2010


Wow, I am in India! I was thinking this morning about what I wanted to write in my blog and honestly it's so hard to even know where to begin or how to put into words our experience here, but I will try!!
Starting from the beginning...

We left Bangkok on April 7 and flew to Mumbai where we got our first taste of India. Busy and loud roads, people everywhere, smells of dust, human waste, garlic and spice, dirt, colors of all sorts...sensory overload to say the least. The streets are filled with motorbikes, rikshaws, and these teeny tiny cars (all the vehicles here are mini...don't worry-our group already popped the tires of a van after piling in one day! :) ) Anyways, traveling around on the streets of India is not for the faint of heart. There seems to be no traffic rules, but rather people just weave in and out, pass on both sides, and honk like crazy. Oddly enough though, this sort of organized chaos seems to work very well and I have yet to see an accident!

We were only in Mumbai one night. We stayed at a hostel and managed to venture out to a restaurant and order some food which was a challenge in and of itself. Indian people do not eat with silverware, they eat with their right hand. So you can imagine the stares we got when us white foreigners piled into this restaurant, struggled to order, and then actually used silverware to eat.

The next day we met Pete and Richie and the airport (they were not with us in Thailand-the had to go through Mexico City instead to get their visas). Afterwards we took a van about 5 hours southwest to a city called Pune. We were in Pune the last week and a half and were working at an orphanage called Hope of Glory. Right now it is about maxed out with 30 children. All the kids have been rescued from the streets and the majority of their mothers are involved in prostitution.

It was such a blessing to spend time with these kids and the staff at the orphanage. The kids are so loving and really were just craving all the attention we could give them. They taught us some Indian dances and loved to laugh at our feeble attempts at learning the moves. We had a lot of time to just play and hang out with the kids. When we weren't with the kids, we were helping the staff with the cooking and cleaning (never before have I cleaned so hard in my life!) We also did lice treatments for the kids and helped with their daily routines like showering, making beds, etc. One day we went out on the streets and were able to meet and talk with some of the mothers of the kids who are still living out on the streets.

The entire time we were in Pune we were stared at like celebrities everywhere we went. Very few tourists go to Pune so when white people come by it is quite an event! Here in Delhi there are many more backpackers so white people are not so foreign. Although, the other day some Indian girls stopped me on the street and asked if they could take pictures with me! :)

After spending almost two weeks in Pune at the orphanage, we said goodbye and travelled up to Delhi via a 27-hour train ride. Traveling the country of India by train is seriously one of those experiences you only have once in a life time. We had a sleeper car and had lots of fun sitting there and drinking our chai tea :). The guys in the group had no problems making friends and before long they were seriously the most peopular people on the train. It was hilarious watching them interact with all the locals!

Now that we are in Delhi we are staying in a backpackers hostel and meeting all kinds of people from all over the world. Tomorrow we are meeting with a pastor who may have some ministry opportunities for us.

So far we are all doing really well and except for a bit of dehydration, none of us have gotten sick. Praise God for that. It is extremely hot (around 130 degrees) and we stay in rooms with no air conditioning so you can imagine how important it is to drink lots and lots of water!

This entire experience has been very eye-opening in a multitude of ways. I have been thinking about my life back at home and realizing how much of my worries were self-created. I have never known what it's like to struggle and worry about things that seem so basic: food, water, shelter...yet for so many people here that is life. Now that is something to worry about. I know this sort of poverty exists everywhere, but never before has it hit me so hard. It's one thing to read news stories and watch reports on TV about places like this; but to actually be immersed in this life is entirely something else. I look into the eyes of people and see the hoplessness and my heart is just wrecked. I come from a place where opportunities are endless. Where so many of my problems and concerns come from having too many choices and opportunities and here I am with people who have virtually no opportunities and it really puts things into perspective. I am trying to remain positive but in so many cases I am overcome by the hopelessness of these people. And that's where I just have to trust God that he will take care of them because he is the ultimate source of hope and life...

Anyways, I have to run but here is a link if you'd like to check out some pictures of our trip so far! The first bit are from our time in Thailand and then in Pune at the orphanage.
I hope you all are doing well and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thanks for reading and I'll try and write again soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment