Sunday, February 28, 2010

Technical Difficulties...

So, for the past couple weeks I have noticed that the charger to my computer was not looking too healthy. I’d read about people having problems with the cord to their macs and knew I was having the same trouble. The cord(the wires) begins to pull away away form the magnetic part that connects to the computer. I was a bit worried about it because even though I could get one here they cost about twice as much as they do in the States.

But, then someone came to the rescue!! A friend of our was coming from the States and asked if there was anything we needed. I said “YES!! :D Could you pick up a new cord for me?” So, it is on it’s way.

But last night the cord really took a dump. I’ve been keeping my computer plugged in and not moving it because it was really hard to get it to charge again if I moved it. However, for some reason I can not say(other than stupidity) I unplugged and moved my computer and when I went to plug it in again it was VERY clear that it was not going to charge again. And it’ll be at least a few more days till I get my cord.

Oh. What to do? What to do? I took out my leatherman that my little brother got for me for Christmas before I left, the little one my dad got me and the Tweezers my mom gave me and began taking the thing apart. (My little brother and I used to take radios out of the old cars in our junkyard and put them in other cars or just messed around with them, so I know a bit about wiring) And finally this morning I got the thing to work again! :D YEAH!!

So, a big THANK YOU goes to my brother for the Leatherman, my Dad for my little leatherman and my Mom for my Tweezers!

On another note, here is a taste of Holi! Suzy and I went out to see puja yesterday and got a bit of color on our faces in the process.

   Suzy with color on her face.    

A mother showing her little boy how to do puja.

Being Unsettled

Today I changed my desktop picture about 15 times and I still don’t know if I like the picture I have right now.  Even now, as I am writing this entry I have changed it a few times. I’ll write it, read through it and decide I don’t like how it’s flowing so I start over. I just feel so unsettled today.

As I was changing my desktop I think I figured out why. Last weekend brought some pretty big changes. They weren’t for sure changes, but were almost certain. Then in the middle of the week it all changed again. And now, even though I know the final step, I don’t know what the steps to get there will look like. There are a few different options. And all of them are good. I just don’t know what the best path to the final step in this change is. But, I do know that the next few steps will be revealed to me when the time is right. And in the meantime I’ll just have to get used to being unsettled.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two days till H0li

As I walk through the market I see bags of powder dye in all the stores. There is a sense of excitement in the air. Everyone on my language route asks me if I am coming to their house for h0li.
Everyone I have talked to about h0li has said one of two things. Either they love h0li and are very excited. Or they do not like it and said they will be staying in their homes. The ones who do not like h0li have cautioned me to stay inside. I've heard that it can get pretty crazy. But, Suzy and I have decided that we want to experience it at least once. I mean, we're here, I have a camera, it's h0li, I HAVE to get some pictures!!
Tomorrow Rashib(one of the shopkeepers on my route) is taking us to the temple to see how they do puj@ (worsh!p) for h0li. He said there are some stories that are told and he will explain them to us. Then on Monday Suzy and I will be going out around 9am(this is when h0li starts) to some of the homes on our routes. At 11:30 we are going to Rashib's house for lunch and then around 1ish there is another event at one of the chowks(intersection). They tie a rope about 30 feet in the air and from the rope a pot filled with money, milk and butter is hung. Then men climb on each others shoulders and try and break the pot with a stone. I'm not sure what the meaning behind all this is, but hopefully after Monday I will and will be able to explain it with the pictures.
Keep an eye out on Monday or Tuesday for an entry about h0li complete with pictures!! :D

On another note. I made homemade tater tots for dinner tonight. Here is a picture of them(your welcome mom!) It wasn't too hard to make them either. All you do is boil a couple whole potatoes till they are cooked through, but still firm. Let them cool a bit then shred them and mix a bit of salt, pepper and flour in, make them into tater tot shapes and fry them in oil. Try it out sometime! 

Monday, February 22, 2010


Sometimes I just need a change. Sometimes there is a reason for the change. And with this one there is both. I had been using iweb to publish my website. And I'd liked it for the most part, but in some ways I found it limiting. One of the biggest things was that I couldn't add comments to it unless I published it to a mobile me account and they cost $99 a year. How I had it set up was having my brother host it(he got it all set up. I am NOT that techie!!) And the other thing was that I wasn't real happy with the templates they had. None of them were really "me". Plus the fact that I love change and cannot stick with things like the layout of a website for very long before I get board with it and want to change. And with iweb when you change the layout you have to republish ALL of it and it can take HOURS(or a day and a half here since our internet is not very fast)!!
So, all that said. I am now back to blogspot. I hope this doesn't confuse you all too much and that you still come and read my updates. I also hope that since part of the reason for the change was to be able to have comments that you will take a minute or two and go ahead and comment here!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I didn’t quite realize it until just today, but since I got here to !nd!a I have lacked direction. I knew I was here because this is where Dad wanted me, and I knew that this was when I was supposed to be here. But I wasn’t exactly sure what I was to be doing other than learning H!nd!. I’ve felt unsettled for the past nine months. Part of it is just learning to live and make this home, but another part I believe is that I didn’t have any direction. Not because Dad wasn’t giving it to me, or because I wasn’t looking, but because it wasn’t time for me to have direction.

In December the visa rules here changed. Before, we were able to be here for up to 180 days before leaving just long enough to get an exit stamp in our passports and come back. We can still stay for 180 days, but then we have to leave for 2 months. This has thrown a loop into our plans. We knew before we came that a tourist visa would only be good for us for so long, but we didn’t expect to have to change them so soon. So, since December we’ve been thinking and writing notes to Dad about what He wants us to do.

Yesterday Suzy and I went down to D.D. to spend some time with the Clovers. While we were there we talked about some different options. We haven’t made any for sure decisions yet, but we were able to discuss our options and make some tentative decisions.

So, anyway. All this is to say that I have some direction now. I am excited about it, and even though I can’t give you details yet I wanted to let you all know. Please keep me in your notes as I process through this direction and figure out exactly what it will look like.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What makes you a H!ndu?

Before I left the states I went to really neat and helpful conference about working among H!ndus. One of the things they talked about was how H!ndu!sm really isn’t a r3ligion. Because it is MANY r3ligions and to define as one is a HUGE mistake simply because each r3ligion within “H!ndu!sm” is vastly different from the others within “H!ndu!sm”. While I enjoyed learning about this I had wondered how I would see this within !nd!a once I got here.

Well, two days ago as I was talking to Rashib(a guy on my language route) he said basically this same thing. I asked him how he viewd “H!ndu!sm.” He said that being
H!ndu simply means you are from !nd!a. He said that you can be H!ndu and believe in Ram. You can be H!ndu and believe in All@h. You can be H!ndu and believe in J3sus. H!ndu!sm is more of a citizenship than it is anything else.

It was a really good conversation and what I wrote doesn’t really do it justice. Please keep Rashib in your notes. Every time I talked to him we always have very interesting conversations. We’ve talked about the history of !nd!a, !nd!an culture, American culture, Bollywood, Hollywood, taking care of aging parents, r3ligion of all types, and many other things. He’s said that he’s read the B!ble and that there are many things in it he doesn’t understand. We’ve discussed a few of these things as friends and it’s been really good. I enjoy each visit I have with him and I ask Dad every day to continue to open his heart more to hear Him.

Well, I need to go out on my route. I hope you will keep Rashib in your notes and myself as I live here to spread the Kingdom.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love/hate relationship

If you know me very well, you know that I love to read. I will read almost anything I can get my hands on. But my favorite author is Ted Dekker. This man is, I think, the most talented author of all times. And, I’m sure that if you have read any of his books you also will, at least in some part, agree with me.
My best friend is also a big fan of Dekker. In fact, when we were living together we would put in a request for purchase at our local library(yes, you can ask your library to purchase a book) before it was even printed! Then when we got the letter or phone call from the library saying the book was in, we would drop EVERYTHING(no matter what we were doing), jump in the car and rush to the library pick it up. All the way home we would be fighting about who got to read it first. One time she won the fight(I don’t remember how) but had to help her kids with their homeschool and cook dinner when we got home. Well, I couldn’t just leave a Dekker book laying there not being loved, so I did what anyone would do. I picked it up ever so gently and went to my bedroom to begin reading. I was in maybe the third chapter before Leslie realized the book was gone. I was sitting in front of my door so that she couldn’t come in. She went and grabbed one of our BIGGEST knives and proceeded to try and stab my butt!! I ended up having to give up the book, but it only took her a couple days to read it, so it was ok.
Anyway. Back to the reason I’m writing. I’ve decided I have a love/hate relationship with Ted Dekker. I love his books! As far as fiction goes, there is not any other author I’ve read that can even BEGIN to compare with Dekker. He writes in such a way that you become part of the book. The book is your life, you no longer belong to this reality.(gotta love the Circle Trilogy!!) Once I start reading one of his works I cannot bring myself to put it down. And when I do manage to set it aside for awhile, I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what is going to happen next(near to impossible). And I love this. I love the adventure that his books are filled with. I love how you can leave this world and enter another, all just by opening a book. I love the suspense and mystery of trying to guess what is going to happen next just to be blown away by something that you could have NEVER seen coming!! I love all of this.
But I also hate it. I hate it because I know that as soon as I finish the book my life as I knew it for those few hundred pages will be over. Done. Finished. Caput. Khantum. OVER.
The closer I get to the end of the book the more I just want to know how it all ends. But I don’t want my life, er, I mean the book, to be over. I begin to become VERY anxious. Wanting to know what happens, but not wanting the book to be over. And this is where I begin to hate Dekker. He totally ruins my life! Drawing me into this story. Making me become part of the story. Opening a new world to me. And I think, “How did I live before, not knowing what I know now.” And then, so suddenly, it’s done. OVER. And my life as I knew it is over. And I have no idea how to begin picking up the pieces. Where do I start my life again? Where did I leave it before I started reading? What was I doing? And I walk through life for awhile in a sort of daze. Thinking about my life as it was in the book and how it is now.
Finally, I am able to move on. I begin life again. And I enjoy it. This is life. This is the real world. This is how it should be.
Then, another book is released. And I can’t help myself. I get the book and begin reading. I enter the other reality and I begin to doubt this reality.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The (not so) hated dupatta

So, shortly after I got here eight months ago I wrote an entry called The Hated Dupata. While it was at first VERY irritating it has somewhat grown on me. So much so that when I do go home I will have issues when leaving the house because I will feel like I am forgetting something very important.
I have also begun to notice many uses for a dupata other than the obvious, being used for modesty.

Snot rag - I’ve seen MANY mothers using their dupata to wipe a babies nose when there was nothing else handy.

Cheese Cloth - At Thanksgiving I made homemade pumpkin pie. Usually I bake the pumpkin, but this time I thought I’d steam it because it would be MUCH quicker. However, the problem I ran into was that the pumpkin was then WAY too wet. So, my host mom whipped out one of her dupatas and began scooping the pumpkin into it. We then hung it overnight and by the next day it was ready to use!

Hammock - I’ve seen dupata used as a hammock/baby cradle many times. You simply string it up between two trees or poles and rock baby to sleep.

Towel - When I was in Mumb@i last month we spent some time at the beach but didn’t bring any towels with us. So, we used out dupatas to wipe the salt water from our faces.

Shade - When it is hot and there is  no shade in site, fear not if you are waring a dupata! Simply hold one side over your head for instant relief from the hot sun!!

Fan - And along those same lines, you can also use your dupata for a makeshift fan. It’s not perfect, but will work in a pinch.

Noose - Now, now. I know what you are thinking, but this one was not thought up by me. I was talking about all the uses for a dupata with my host mom one day and she said this one.

Washcloth - While a dupata can be used as a towel, you can also use it as a washcloth. If you use one end as a wash cloth then you can use the other as a towel.

Makeshift bag - When Suzy and I were living at the hostel our madam was telling us that when they are worshiping they often bring grain in their dupata as an offering.

Hair net - When cooking it can be placed over the head to make sure no hairs get into the food.

Bonnet - While driving with the windows down, or on a bike you can tie your dupata around your head to keep the wind from messing up your hair.

Camouflage - There are lots of monkeys where we live. And while in the States we admire them in the zoo and enjoy watching them on TV, here they are greatly feared. Many times a bag of fruit has been snatched out of someone’s hand while walking down the street by one of these mangey creatures. So to avoid this fate many woman hide their bags under their dupata.

Head covering - When Suzy and I were in D3lhi one time we went to the Toilet Museum. (Yes, you heard me right) It was slightly interesting(the most fun was the rickshaw driver having to ask several people where it was and the look on their faces) and we learned that while going to the bathroom a woman should cover her head with her dupata. Also, when visiting a temple a woman should also cover her head with her dupata.

So, as you can see, the dupata was at first my worst enemy. But over these past few months it has become a constant friend. I hope you enjoyed reading about the uses of a dupata! I had fun putting the list together. :D