Sunday, September 21, 2008

Going to the chapel and we're....

Getting ready for the wedding at our friend (Tulasi's) place-she is one of the teachers for the kids on campus...she brought us along to a christian indian wedding (left to right-Amanda, Julia, Me, and Tulasi)

At the wedding- they took flowers to another level...bride in white sari and groom with black western suit(very not traditional Indian)

And the reception-a HUGE was like prom so we posed for the occasion. You give your blessing to the couple and then share in a HUGE meal!

(photos taken by Suiry)

("the girls" Amanda, Me, Suiry, and Julia)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Black Coffee

I settled into the unfamiliar comfort of a couch and let the burning of the cup meander a little longer on my finger tips. I smelled the cup for as long as possible (working on my delayed gratification thing) and finally met my nose to the brim. Let my head slowly rise and body sunk lower into the couch. My lips finally met my first cup of home brewed harsh black coffee since I left the states more than two months ago now. COFFEE has always felt this good and it didn't take this cup to remind me, but I have been waiting patiently for it. Friends and family it was worth it. So I let my mind wonder what else I have been waiting for and then imagined how much greater those emotions will be. God has asked me, personally, to wait on some big things, relationships, sex, marriage, career opportunities, lifestyles, friends, family. And I have made it my life to listen and obey to the best of my ability...and then when my ability runs out (as always) God is right there to fill up, to remind me, to refresh, to breath. SLOW DEEP BREATHS. Waiting dear friends is not a recipe and is not even the same challenge for the same two people. But I know the cost, I know it all so well. And I just want to tell you IT'S WORTH IT. The cup of coffee I drank was over hours ago but I can't seem to brush my teeth cause the taste is too close to my nose, my teeth, my tongue to let go just yet. I want to let it soak in and restain my teeth, just to smile in the morning and know I waited and enjoyed every moment with that cup coffee, as if I had waited my whole life. Here is to the heavy hearted, the in this exact moment nervousness, the we already made our decisions, the unforgiven, the is to each of us...sip from this cup...

BTW-got some great letters from friends that I will never forget! Thanks guys!

BTW-went to a ObamaIANS in Hyderabad, India party...who knew-lol

BTW-no bombs for almost a week! Praise GOD

BTW-going to a wedding on Friday, can't wait to share pictures!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Matters of the HEART

Today the front page of The Times of India reminded me of how small and out of control we really are..."7 churches attacked in Karnataka" After churches being burned down last month up north, the next attack has taken place without any deaths. This pro-hindu group is spreading fear all over the country, "...leaving the entire Chrisitan community disturbed."

Today my problems and worries seem not less important, but pushed aside as I understand my thoughts and prayers need to be in the present with these people, with the country around me, at my finger tips. I don't know what I can do for the Christian community here. But I am not involved and have taken a back seat. I want in...not on the mayhem, but on the reality. I remember reading The Book of Martyr in high school. I read that entire book cause I wanted to sleep and breath the pain. Someone else's pain. I remember feeling like I was on the cusp of something real and original. I knew the events happened YEARS ago, but I felt connected and convicted. I lived in this spirit for a couple months. Then Life just pushed, as it always does. I didn't feed my heart and the reality slipped thru my fingers. I got accepted into college and haven't thought about that book or spirit until now. I remember during that same time I had this conversation with a friend. "What would you handle for Christ? Do you live like God is all you have?" Blah Blah Blah...i went on ranting. Luckily my friend listened and softly replied "To die is gain, to live is Christ." BAM! It hurt, I needed to understand living everyday in Christ is the challenge. Friends and family, not only do I understand but it is my constant HOPE. My everday here in India has BEEN IN CHRIST, no one else. Today, the sun is shinning and the smiles are high! Here is to great week, because we have to the freedom to praise. Here is to a great comeback and peace among our fellow brothers and sisters in India. Here is to chapel this week at Loma. Here is each family member newly appreciating each other CAUSE WE CAN!

(I am safe and India is on a "slight" code Red again after the bombings in Delhi, but all is well on the campus front here in Hyderabad.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

After the rains...

(just one day in the Chennai coast area...years of folk history at my finger tips!!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Both High and Low..."

Have you ever felt like everything you just ate was stuck! But keep imagining with me, at the same moment you were pretty sure everything was coming out any hole on your body! (ya-i went there). Then please continue with me, the only way home is an hour long rickshaw ride in the rain with unpaved roads and accompanied by two other sick girlfriends.
So there I was defeated, nauseous, broken, weak, barely gripping my friends hand in silence. I got home and sleep for about three hours. Woke up feeling the same, rested all day, gained some confidence from family and friends and finally sleep for another five hours. Woke up the same and frustrated. I couldn't focus and I couldn't shake this thing. I laid restless through out the night to wake up and decide it was time for backup! CIPRO! Praise God for cipro (ya-i went there too). I took an antibiotic and prayed for the best.
I woke up at 5pm and though I had slept through the day and was feeling the best I had felt in a week. I was surrounded by my girlfriends who woke me up and I quickly put my glasses on to see what was so entertaining. Ha-it was me. They all took turns telling me how I was acting out of it all day. I told my roomate to call Jordan and tell him I am ok, but I can't talk right now. Ha! I was somehow one my computer and talking to each girl checking up on me. HA!! All I can do is laugh. I thought I was asleep and I guess my body was but my mind stayed on.
I hope you are laughing at this point and not worried. Please understand I am well taken care of, but I have to tell you this story to let you understand how blessed I am right this very instant for my health.
I woke up this morning in the presence of GOD. The sun was shinning, I woke slowly and without an alarm. I SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! YA! One night down and 95 to go! I can do this. I am so thankful to eat breakfast, take a shower, laugh with my boyfriend, smile with friends.

With full energy back I knew exactly what to do...
I did what any California girl would do...bathing suit, ipod, art supplies, towel, and some giggles...i LAID OUT. I soaked up the sun. It is one the hottest days we have had yet and super green because of the heavy rains last night.

India has been high and low and always at the same time. I told myself I would be better but my body was like um NO WAY. I want to be treated as an equal but I want all the convenience of a tourist, an American tourist. I want to feel the pain of each of the kids but I wanna sleep in my bed. Gaining and losing. Maybe this is just life-amplified.

To each and any every single person reading this or not THANK YOU for your thoughts and prayers. Please understand your prayers are not in vain. I am able to leave today with my program for Chennai this weekend because of YOU. I have never been more thankful. Dear friends our God is GOOD!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yes, I'm on my way

In........out.............In........OUT........breath deep. Smell deep! Know I love you. YOU!

Breathing in the sun entered my veins. Breathing out anxiety loosens its grip. Everyday has been as filling as draining. So this last weekend was necessary. Five girlfriends and I planned a quick weekend trip to the Ellora and Ajunta Caves. We hopped on a ten-hour train hoping to leave behind heavy baggage (not physically, of course). I have never been “the only girl in a relationship” girl, but I have never been in love either. I was proud and excited to be there for each of these girls. Three of them have broken up with their boyfriends upon being in India. Already we have each changed so much within these last two months and we found a need to each other. We struck a balance and kept each other positive. Some vented, some listened, all understood. I love each one of these girls and care for them as my own girls in California. We had amazing conversations about sex, gender, race, sexuality, roles, culture, politics, art, and love. Each of us are different majors and different backgrounds but “this is India.” We come together on the common ground that we are lost among the crowds of people, we are open to life, and we are not settling. I was surprised by my role and voice I held with these girls. I came back to campus smiling and praise on my lips; tired and smelly too.(the view from Ellora caves with Tess, Amanda, Molly, Jessie, and Julia!)

I have just begun to travel daily with just one other girl to yoga of campus. This is a bigger deal than I can articulate. Then after this weekend of traveling with just a small group of girls, I am beginning to gain confidence. Every street smart I thought I had is on some corner in San Diego. I am having to re learn basic ideas: never give out your number, look both ways constantly, always argue until you pay 5rupees, never look down, only enter the front of the bus, never ask for a map, above all NO WINKING. Ok, I am laughing even writing these rules, but there are completely true.

So here is the matter of fact, I’m learning my way around (not avoiding, but diving in and flowing) Hyderabad, my mind, IBS, art, girls, and heartaches…

And here is note to each one of you struggling with breathing, with traffic, with money, with mother nature, please remember, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1john)

Dear friend, can’t wait to meet you again…on my way