Jaimie and I have been living in India for around a month now and here is what we have to say:
Highlights the Third Week (Ben)
I’m not going to sugarcoat this – it’s tough here. I’m sure everyone would like to hear a ramble of the list of complaints that Jaimie and I have been annoying each other with, but I’m going to skip a few of those and stay positive today! I’ll share some highlights. At the end of a hard day, it’s getting easier for Jaimie and I to count the good things that happened, especially when I read scriptures like this:
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. – 2 Cor 11:23b-27
I think the most difficult thing Jaimie and I had to endure so far is that our ceiling fan is broken + we don’t have air conditioning in the living room. As you can tell – we have it pretty rough too… I mean, we don’t even have an ice maker!
Focusing on what we do have
1. Colored Cows
I was so lucky last week that on one of my 100-degree walks home, I was accompanied by these colorful cows. Not only that, I heard a story yesterday that one of my co-workers here was hit by a cow while driving a scooter (the cow hit him). Beautiful cows like these almost outshine that rooster with earrings we saw three weeks ago. That’s right! A rooster with earrings.
2. Cookies in the Apartment
Jaimie did it! She made chocolate chip cookies and added some color to our living room. It took 2 weeks to find chocolate chips. Don’t think now they came in a packaged bag; these mini chocolate chips came in very small ziplock bag (we’re still wondering where they really came from).
3. Went to the Lake & Watched the Sunset
A couple of co-workers took us out to the lake, got us ice cream, took us for a drink, and then dinner one evening last week. We had a great great time.
Oh! I almost forgot. The best moment last week was when I was asked what the spots on my skin are (freckles) and if there was a solution for them. We all had a great laugh.
Marinara and Post-Modernism (Jaimie)
It’s hard to believe we have been in India for over a month now! Somewhere between weeks three and four, I started to feel more at home. And, with the purchase of our little red scooter, we have entered a new and glorious era of freedom. We can eat lunch whenever we want! Sometimes, I can even stay home for half a day and enjoy some introvert time while Ben is at the office. It’s amazing how much three hours of alone time does for my emotional state. I have been a much more pleasant person this past week! Also, the apartment is actually clean.
Trivial as it is, one of the highlights from my week includes finding fresh basil at a vegetable stand and successfully making marinara sauce. I cannot explain my level of excitement when the vendor pulled out the herb, which he had tucked away somewhere and reserved, apparently, for me. He probably thought I was crazy the way I started jumping up and down and yelling… anyway, the next morning, I went to work and made a pretty decent sauce for a beginner. It took me an amount of time that I’m not yet willing to admit, but it was a small sort of accomplishment. People here eat pasta with ketchup….yeah.