Friday, April 30, 2010

Home again, home again.

First I wanted to say that I am sorry for dissipearing for the past couple weeks. It's been somewhat crazy, but it should all be settling down for now.

I got back to the States late Wednesday night after a pretty hectic time trying to get a flight since mine was canceled due to the ash. It's a long story, so I won't put it on here, but basically I was able to get a flight from Delhi to Mumbai, from Mumbai to Chicago via Cairo(where we sat for five hours without getting off the plane), spent the night in Chicago and got another flight to Oklahoma City in time for the Nomads conference. It ended up being a twenty four hour flight.

I was at HGM for the weekend. Nomads was really good, as always. It was so nice to see everyone again. And I think being able to be at HGM for the first couple days of being home helped with culture shock. Although, when I got into the car on Sunday to head up to Sioux City I thought there was something wrong with the car because the steering wheel was on the left side!! ha! It was really kinda funny. :)

I have really enjoyed being able to spend lots of time with my sister and her boys these past few days. Eli is a riot!! He cracks me up. He asks me about 75 times a day what I am doing and when I ask him what he's doing he says "I don't know." He's so fun. :) And Sammy is just a doll!! He has got the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen!! And he's always jabbering away, though I have no idea about what. I'm loving being with them. :)

Well, I suppose that is all for now. I'll write more later, I just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Tonight Suzy and I are finishing up our packing.
Tonight it is raining in Mussoorie.
Tonight there is a wedding down by clock tower.
Tonight is my last night in Mussoorie.
Tonight I am sad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A year in India

It's been almost a year since I left the States to come live in India.
Yesterday Rashib(one of the shop keepers on my route) asked me what was my worst experience and best experience here.
Without a doubt my worst experience was when my wallet(my debit card, money I had just taken out of the ATM and my passport) was stolen. But even that didn't turn out quite so bad...I mean I learned what to do if your passport is stolen. I can now pass that information on to anyone who may need it, though I hope you don't ever need it!

Isn't this a beautiful view? This picture is from our trip in June.

As far as my best's hard to say. I've had so many great times here. I've gotten to travel some...I was just looking at pictures from the week long trip we took last June(just a few weeks after being here) around the area we eventually want to be in.
I got to live with a family for four months, but more than that, they became my family.
I went to Rishkesh.
I got to go to Mumbai for a week.

I've seen the Taj Mahel, Jaipur and more of Delhi than I would have liked (Delhi and I are not very good friends)
I've learned how to cook Indian food. 
I've made many great friends here.
I've gotten to learn a bit about the culture, though I think it would take a lifetime to learn what Indians know, and even then I think there would still be more to learn!
I've learned some Hindi.
These ladies are bathing in Rishikesh

I've gotten to experience Dewli, Eid(this one is a Muslim holiday) and Holi.
I've gotten to see some pretty amazing parades!

      Suzy and I at the Taj

I've fallen in love with Indian clothes. 
I'm sure I could go on for a long time. These are just some of the highlights of this past year. All in all this past year in India has been amazing. I've learned so much about India, it's people, it's culture, about myself, about Dad. It's been a great year!


Leaving home for home - an emotional roller coaster

I'll be leaving home(India) for home(USA) in a week.
I have such mixed feelings about it. Every time I think, "I'll get to see this person when I get home" or "I'll get to do this when I'm there" I think "But I have to leave this person" or "I won't be able to do this anymore."

I am excited to see my niece and nephews, Kaili Sue, Noah , Toby(I get to meet him for the first time!!) Eli and Sammy. I've missed them so much! I can't wait to love on them all I can!
I'll get to see my brothers and sisters and their significant others.
I get to see my best friend and her family.
I get to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
I get to see many of you that read this blog.
I'll get to do some scrap booking with my friend Julie.
I can go to the library and check out a book to read.
I get to share with you about my experiences here and about what I will be doing, face to face.
I'll get to go to church.
There's so much I'm looking forward to!

I'll have to say goodbye to my host family.
I have to leave my friends here.
I won't live next to the mountains anymore.
I won't be able to have paneer.
I won't get to wear all the pretty clothes that I wear here...well not without getting strange looks anyway.
I won't be able to take my clothes to the tailor.
I won't hear Hinid everywhere I go.
There's so much I'm going to miss!! 

The ups and downs of these next couple weeks are going to be tough. It's a difficult place to be. But I know that it is right where Dad wants me. And I am excited about this next step.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time for goodbyes

On Thursday Suzy and I went to visit some friends in another town. We were there till Saturday morning. It was really good to see them again, but it was hard to say goodbye. I was able to visit Salim and Sitara's(my host dad and mom) families as well as the family that we stayed with when we went to the wedding back in September. It was really hot while we were there, so we slept on the roof and it was fun, other than the sun glaring down on me at 5:30 in the morning!

On Saturday we left there for D.D. We went to the hostel where we first lived back in June. It was really good to see our madam and her daughter again. They are both very funny! Chona(the daughter) wants to be very "American", while her mom is very traditional. They got into an argument(like they do every time we are there) about getting married vs. "live-in". I can see such a generation gap in them. Chona so wants to be like what she perceives all American girls are like and her mom wants her to be Indian and not anything different. Neither one of them wants to compromise in their way of thinking. I know her mom just wants the very best for Chona, but she doesn't see it that way(just like teenagers in the States).

While we were visiting with Chona she asked us if we'd go to church with her in the morning. She said that she's been wanting to go but that she was scared because she wouldn't know what to do. Of course we said yes, we'd take her. There is a church just up the street a little bit, so the next morning we got ready and walked there. We were a bit late so we missed the singing, but it was still a good service. The pastor talked with us for a bit after and asked Chona if she'd come back next week and she said she would. They had some tracts and pamphlets sitting on a table and she took a few of them home with her. We'll wait and see what happens I guess. :)

The rest of this week will be spent finishing things up here, packing, visiting a village, and saying goodbye to all my friends, many of whom have become family to me. I know it'll be a hard week in many ways, filled with bittersweet moments. But I also know that Dad will give me the grace and strength that I need each day. Please keep me in your thoughts this week! You are in mine. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There's never a dull moment in Delhi!

I'd like to share Suzy's most recent adventures in Delhi. Every time we go there, we have some kind of excitement, whether it's a bus crash on the way there, adventures at the US Embassy, bartering with shopkeepers, or trying to haggle a good price out of an auto driver. And this time was no less exciting for Suzy.
She left for Delhi to pick up here Chinese visa on Sunday evening around eight, after having rested all day because she wasn't feeling well. When she got to the Picture Palace bus stand she called me and said that she wasn't sure if there were any buses that late because it was Sunday. She asked if I knew where to get a share jeep, but I wasn't sure. She ended up finding a a share taxi and road down the mountain with a few other people. When they got to Dehra Dun they found out that there was a bus strike in this area. It was very difficult, but they finally found a bus, though it was only standard(not very comfortable at all!).
When she got to Delhi she hung out for awhile because the office didn't open till 9:30. Finally she decided to head over that way, but when she got to the office it was closed. When she asked why she was told that it was a Chinese holiday. So, she had to spend the night and go back the next day. Tuesday morning she went back to the office expecting to be in and out in just a matter of minutes. But, it was not to be. She was told that the cover letter they made her type up when she applied didn't have enough information and that she'd have to reapply. She asked again and again what exactly they wanted on the cover letter before she left the office to find an internet cafe to type and print. She was hoping that she could get it expedited so that she could pick it up on Wednesday, but alas, this also was not meant to be. She didn't get back to the office in time.
So, now she is waiting for her train that leaves in about an hour and is on her way back. She'll be going to Delhi again on Monday to *hopefully* pick it up.
Ah! You gotta LOVE "red tape'!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baking...minus the conviences of the States

A couple weeks ago Amber gave me a packet of Ranch Dressing Mix. The first thing I thought of was Garden Fresh Veggie Pizza. And Oh! It sounded good!! One problem though...we can't get croissant dough here. Bummer.
Every time I looked at that packet of dressing mix I thought about the pizza. I began to think about making my own croissant dough. It's something that I've wanted to try but never did because I've heard horror stories about it. But I finally decided that if I wanted to make this pizza then I'd have to just give it a try. So, I jumped onto google and found a pretty easy looking recipe at Bitter Sweet.
Then when the Clovers moved up here on the 29th I decided that they'd be my guinea pigs. My favorite part of making it(well, besides eating it) was whacking the butter into submission!! Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face remembering how much fun I had with it!! :D
My croissant dough turned out WONDERFUL and made and amazing veggie pizza!! Below are a couple pictures(here you go mom!!) and instructions on how to make the pizza.

Here is the nice crispy croissant crust for my Garden Fresh Veggie Pizza!!!

Just look at that flaky goodness!!

Topped with all kinds of crunchy goodness and a layer of Ranch Dressing in between!! YUM!!

Doesn't that just make your mouth water? And it's SUPER easy to make!! Well, if you live in a place where you don't have to make your own croissant dough that it. 

Here's how to make it...
Place the croissant dough on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 till golden brown. Take it out and let it cool. Mix one packet of Ranch Dressing mix with 1 cup sour cream and 8 oz cream cheese. Spread on cooled crust and place all kinds of yummy chopped veggies. 
Like I said super easy and SUPER yummy!!