Tuesday, May 5, 2009

been too long

Sorry guys, I've been lazy lately. I hate putting up honest feelings on the internet, and so it has made me want to neglect the blog.

So a lot has happened since I last wrote. The contract has been signed and some day soon me and the servant team will get to go and clean up the place near the gach. It is pretty much a privilege to get to be a part of that. It is almost a month until I go home. I'm excited. The end is finally in sight. I'm for sure also praying that I will do all that God calls me to here. I want to make the most of every opportunity, and I want to fall in love with Jesus. I need Him. I've spent a good amount of time in the Word the past few days and it has been super good. I've been here almost 3 months and I'll say I'm used to living here at this point. I'm used to seeing a bunch of naked guys at Kalighat. I'm used to living in an extremely dirty, ugly city. I'm used to being around a ton of horns. I'm used to it. I guess there are still good and bad days...days where I want to scream "shutup" to the auto rickshaw driver for honking a ridiculous amount for no reason, and days where I want to just jump around and praise God. That may sound stupid, but it is pretty much true. I'm still continually broken for the unbelief I see here. Calcutta needs revival. Pray for it. India needs revival. America needs revival. I can look at all the little mini-temples that are set up everywhere and as I pass by the people each night ringing bells and saying prayers to their "gods" who are in actuality either nothing or demons. They are wasting their lives...and Americans are wasting their lives worshipping the God of Money and Sex. Good game. Unbelief is everywhere, just look. My heart definitely breaks for America at this point. These same general thoughts came in my head last summer when I was in China looking at all of the buddhism. Satan doesn't really care what you worship, as long as it isn't the God who created the universe. The God who sent his son Jesus to earth. That is the God I praise, not some flipping thing created by man.

Ok how's that for a sermon hahaha. I think I'm just passionate when it comes to this. Maybe also I'm listening to Crowder on youtube, "You Never Let Go," so that is causing me to get all pumped up. Probably both.

So basically, India needs Jesus, just like America does, just like the world does...

Friday, April 24, 2009

born into brothels

I can't remember if I have mentioned this on here before, but there is a good documentary called Born into Brothels about some kids that are....born into brothels in Calcutta. Yesterday was my first day to visit the gach. We went in and met up with a 20 year old fellow who Beth knew because he was the son of one of the ladies there. We went with him and 3 of his friends to the botanical gardens of Calcutta in hopes of playing some cricket. The cricket failed because the guards wouldn't let us in with the bat. So we just walked around and then found some coconut trees to throw rocks at. Eventually we got a coconut down and drank/ate it. It was great to just be a part of something like this. To just take these guys out to have a fun day outside of the red light district that they live was really cool. It was really really frustrating though because I don't know hardly any bengali. So, most of the day I was feeling a little bit useless. Frustrating. Then after the coconut adventure, we went to dinner in town and took them home. It was obvious that they all had a great time, and it's cool to just be able to participate in something like that. Also, I hate language barriers.

The heat is turning up a notch for sure. I try not to know how hot it is...I guess I just don't care to know. All I know is, it feels like June and July in Hattiesburg right now. So, when I get home, it will pretty much feel the exact same. Looking forward to spending 10 days in Nepal during May.

I talked to some guys the other day about what its like to live here and I felt misunderstood. I think it was a small taste of what I will feel when I get home. I'm going to try to explain what it was like here, and then I'm going to look at the people's faces and be like, you don't get it. All I know is, when I get home I will want to spend as much time as possible doing nothing. So, apart from studying school, I think I'm going to sit around in an air conditioned house and eat a lot of American food. haha. It's almost been 3 months here and I can't wait to see Carrie Prior.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kyle's church

This is a picture of Kyle's church which has about 50 kids that will regularly attend with only a handful of older people. It is very very interesting. Anyways, a girl leads worship with Kyle every week and the pastor is a really cool guy. I've been to this church only a handful of times, I usually go to another church that is closer to my house (how American of me...convenience). But it was really cool to go here on good friday and just think a lot about Jesus and how he died on the cross for my sins.

In the meantime, I have been feeling a lot better physically since my little stomach issue. I am also over a lot of the culture shock. It is just lonely to not have a close friend with me who is a guy and who can understand. I live with the 4 guys from Nagaland but they aren't doing momma t's and they can't really understand what I'm going through and feeling here at all. So, it gets a bit lonely oftentimes.

I'm definitely enjoying Kalighat still though, that place is pretty amazing. I was talking with a friend here the other day and she mentioned how much nerve Mother Teresa must have had to build her home of the dying right by the Kali temple. The Kali temple has many visitors every day that are rich Hindu's going to pay their respects to the gods and so there are a lot of beggars sitting on the road leading to the temple. It seems like Mother Teresa was saying, "ok, you won't do anything about this, so I will." Pretty amazing for sure. I will never get over the Catholic habit of esteeming people (granted I do the same with leaders in the baptist faith or evangelicals in general, look at Billy Graham for example), but they are still so dang obsessed with Mother and Mary and the pope. lol. I personally feel like Mother Teresa did a great work, and was a great person or whatever, but she was still just a person. It is nice to know in all of this that they still look to Jesus as the King. Some of the sisters are definitely amazing people, really all of them are but the ones I've met have definitely struck me as very nice people.

I saw a guy who was moaning every time he breathed today. A few sisters were praying the rosary over him. He was very sick for sure, dunno if he will be there when I go back on Friday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

what a friend we have in Jesus!

Ok, so first, a guy came up to me today as we were walking with the visiting servant team from Nepal and was a beggar and said something like, "Hey, today is good friday, Jesus is good can you buy me something?" I refused. He followed us for at least 5 minutes and I was talking to Karissa, another servant team member, whenever I heard him just start belting out, "What a friend we have in Jesus!" And then I heard him sing the next line, mumbling all the words because he wasn't sure what they were. Lol, it was so funny.

But the past week has been hard. I've had culture shock for sure. I'm just having a lot of feelings of, "get me the crap out of here." and "I am tired of living here" Living in another culture is hard and living in a city that is the least western city of the large ones in India is also hard. I miss my girlfriend and I miss living in comfort. It isn't comfortable when it feels like early summer does in Hattiesburg and there is no A/C to retreat to at home. Last night the fan was on, I had no shirt on, and I was still sweating some in my bed. It is only April 10th. Holy cow (saw some of those today lol, see those every day) this place is really just getting started in the heat. I feel God calling me to stay here and fulfill the commitment I made to go until June. It is just hard for sure. There is no doubt that the last 2 months were very hard months for me and the next 2 will be very hard also. I'm already looking forward to coming home.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I apparently haven't posted much about how hard life is here. These have been 2 very hard months for me. Living here is anything but easy. This place is the ugliest city I've ever been to. That is as far as I'll go there lol. Washing clothes by hand and having food that I'm not really really fond of doesn't make anything easier. And then there is the heat. It is hot here, it feels like mid may does in hattiesburg and the main difference here is that I don't have a car with A/C driving me everywhere and when I get home I don't walk into a room with A/C. We have a fan, and that does the trick at night for sure. But about a month from now its really going to be hot. May is supposedly a terrible month when it comes to temperature. I expect to be laying in bed and sweating all night. It is just how it is, so drink lots of water! haha. So yea, life here isn't easy, just thought I'd say. I'm sure I could say a lot more but I'll spare you.

I was talking to another servant team member the other day and she was saying how she kept trying to describe what things look like on her blog. I haven't done this at all. So here is my best explanation of Kalighat. When you walk in, there is a huge room with about 50 beds and 50 men lying in the beds. There is one curtain, but they never use it. Not quite the same as a hospital room in America. The women are set up the same way, only their room is seperated a little (obviously) so that not too much nakedness is seen by either side. There is also another fairly large room where we do laundry and the dishes. This room always makes my feet itch. I'm not sure why but you needed to know that detail lol. Then there is upstairs, the roof, where we have tea time and hang all of the clothes. It is fun walking around on all the roofs laying the clothes out each morning, but gets hot after a while with the sun beating down on you. Um, in a nutshell this is a terrible explanation of how it looks, but I tried. The men today were wearing red shirts and green pants, Christmas!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I would first off like the reader to know that this city is still just as gross and dirty as ever. However, I think my body has adjusted relatively well and gotten used to all of the pollution and dirt. I am really one of the dirtiest people ever while living here. This reminds me, there are a bunch of little ponds by my house and the Indian people that live near will bathe in the ponds and also wash their dishes in the ponds. My roommate, Nokchi, was telling me that after peeing into that pond the day before, he thought this was quite gross. I think I'm going to go ahead and agree. It reminds me of Katrina when everyone said they were bathing in lakes and stuff. Indians have some mad skills when it comes to this topic of hygiene. The people who live in slums will somehow come out of them looking like perfectly normal people. I don't think I could pull this off. I would not be good at taking showers in a public little area as many of them do. They have wells all around the city, obviously a ton of them, this city is big. And a lot of times you will be walking around the city and see a group of guys bathing right there on the sidewalk. This is just how they live. There are a couple of girls here who work for an organization called servants and they have a company called connexions which employs people in poverty to give them a source of income. They live in a slum and take baths with all the women in a public place like the sidewalk. Pretty interesting, and different from American living. I must say, a little less comfortable. I, though, have a shower...and although our bathroom is infested with mosquitoes and spiders, it is indeed not public. So, I am livin large in India. But, this morning as I was using the bathroom, a spider definitely hopped on to my foot, which caused me to give a little yell and kick it off into the squatty potty. Fun stuff....he was huge too. I forgot to mention their size. I can't think of a good size to compare it with, maybe the circumference of a tennis ball. Most of them are a little bit smaller than this. But they look quite scary. Living in India means you will probably come in contact with a lot more instects. This reminds me, at beth's apartment they always have problems with cockroaches, which are exactly like the ones in hattiesburg. So this doesn't phase me, because I lived in the same house for over 15 years and each year we experience a massive attack from cockroaches. But, my dad would spray and then we would have hundreds of dead ones lying around. So, I'm rather used to insects. I'll just say here too, I think its much easier to be a boy and live here. Girls just have to deal with so much more. There is the risk of them being grabbed by some random Indian pervert, and then they have to deal with a bunch of gross things. Typically, I think guys are better at dealing with gross things. So yea, more power to you girls who live in Calcutta. For reals.

Ok the title of this post is sickly because I got sick for the first time yesterday. I talked to a long term volunteer at Kalighat the other day and he told me that he doesn't like a particular resturaunt that I do like because it made him sick multiple times- Blue Sky Cafe. On wednesday, I went to blue sky and had a nice little pizza. And of course, this pizza equaled food poisoning. I ended up passing out and waking up in my bed. The naga guys took very good care of me. After passing out I quit throwing up and began to feel better. Being sick in a foreign country makes you homesick for sure, not to mention I'm almost 2 months in. But I'm feeling a lot better now, Praise God.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

love, love, love...

Kristian Stanfill opened with that beatle's song at the Student Life tour...the song that starts, "there's nothing you can do that can't be done..." It just popped into my head and has nothing to do with what I will say other than I am thinking about it 2 months later lol. One of my last memories of home. So I've been going to Kalighat now for a couple of weeks and I'm starting to get the full experience. I'm sure many more intense things are coming, though. Today was cleaning day, which made everything hectic. They moved all the men into a very small area and all the beds out. Then they cleaned all the beds and floors and put all of them back. So, it was a good day for sure. I'm for sure liking Kalighat more than Prem Dan at this point. I think I enjoy the more intimate environment. I guess I like having some semi-familiar faces and I love getting to help some of the guys with ...well rehab basically, just helping them walk and guiding them. It is for sure intense though. These tourists came in today who weren't volunteering but just walked in to see it and there was a new guy sitting there with a huge wound going from his knee half way down his leg. I laughed to myself because I was thinking about how I would react if that were the first thing I saw at Kalighat. I would have flipped out in my mind. But it is for sure a beautiful place.

It is getting hot here, for the record. It is only March, but it is hot. I don't bother checking how hot, partially because they will tell me in celcius, and partially because I don't even want to know. Last night it rained randomly and brought in cool air, which felt incredible. I am crossing my fingers for the same to happen in about a month, when it is really summer time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The title is crows, because there a bajillion crows in this city. Just so you know, crows are ugly birds. They look like little demons flying around and pooping all over the place.

Ok, so I have officially done two mornings at Kalighat and I pretty much love it. It is so much more intimate than Prem Dan and I feel like I come here to work at Kalighat so I am doing what I came here for. The days will typically go like this: First, we get there are do laundry, hand washing all the patients clothes/rags, etc... and then after hanging up the laundry on the roof to dry, we will go hang out with the patients. This means bringing them water, massaging them, shaving them, clipping their nails, whatever really. Also, for the patients who are recovering, we can help them walk some. Today I got to help a blind guy walk and it was really cool because he was just laying in his bed and he seemed really happy when I got him up to go walking. I guess it was encouraging for me to see that I was making this guy happier by helping him out.

This afternoon I am going to Beth (my leader)'s house and talking about Guilty Without Trial, a book about the sex-trade in Calcutta. Reading that book totally opened my eyes because before this, I always just tucked prostitution into the category of "bad people" and moved on. But now I've been forced to look it in the eye and love it. The truth is (in India anyways) that these prostitutes are not there for the glamour hardly EVER. They are there because of poverty or because of sex traffiking. To know that calcutta is a hub for sex trafficking all over India is pretty disturbing. So, when we visit the gach it is going to be really cool to meet some of these ladies and offer them hope through SariBari because the contract has been given to us! Sorry, I totally forgot to update and say the we got the contract, and this is partially because I haven't gotten to help out any with the building process, and I am doubting that I will because they will just hire some Indians to do it all. Nevertheless, it is extremely exciting to know that a new branch is going to be starting up that targets one of the biggest red light districts in India. I love going to SariBari because I feel like I get to be a very small part of something that is so beautiful.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kalighat = intense

So yesterday I went to kalighat for the second time in the afternoon, and I will probably head there this afternoon too. Just the walk up to the building is really intense. There are tons of people living on the streets in that area. Also, I think yesterday was much more intense than my first experience, partially because a lot of the patients seemed like they were in a much worse condition. It is really pretty intense for me right now. I also find it funny that I spent a month at Prem Dan and now that I am experiencing the home of the dying I'm going through much different thoughts. Anyways, it is for sure a great experience, and I am glad to be getting to go this afternoon again. Most of the volunteers at kalighat are long term from what I have seen in the afternoon shift, which means that they are much cooler to work with.

Friday, March 20, 2009

40 hour train

Well, if you want to see any photos then you should check my facebook. It is about 1000 times easier for me to put them up there.
But for the 40 hour train ride. These trains do not have cabins, they are quite open aired. In fact, completely open aired. (For the record, I should stop and say that we road in a sleeper class, there is in fact an A/C class with tinted windows. If you come to India, you should take the sleeper class and get dirty like I did.) So, the beds are not really beds at all. We got on the train at a little after midnight and stayed on all the next day, and until about 6 of the following day. So, on day 3, you are guarenteed to look and feel gross. It makes coming back home to a bed quite a nice thing. Anyways, we road all the way through the country of India twice and so after looking out the window, I saw that there are in fact a few random hills in the southern part of India. But much of the scenery looked like Africa would in my mind.

Yesterday it was Alem, my roommate's birthday; He turned 30. We were talking and he told me some about his experience in northern India by the border of Nepal. He used to go to the train station and hand out tracts and try to share the gospel with the Hindi that he knew. Sounds really dang intense, especially when you think about the fact that the group he was targetting was Hindu's who were going to large, famous Hindu temples in Nepal. So, from this he was eventually told by the police that he had to pay them 50 rupees a day to preach there. So, he would pay 50 rupees and preach all day. This was after being chased away by the police multiple times. He played soccer at this time and he went to a tournament and they won and he got man of the match. So, he got his picture with the chief of police on the front page of the local newspaper, and from that point on, the police said he could preach wherever he wanted to. I find this quite funny.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

bangalore! and a crazy auto ride

Ok, so I thought I would go ahead and write about my odd auto rickshaw ride that I had home the other day. I get into an auto and I am jamming out to some Robbie Seay (sp) Band and the ride takes about 30-45 minutes. About half way through the ride, the driver turns around and says, "Hey where are you from?" So I say, America, Mississippi. And then he says, "why are you here in calcutta?" I said I was here to serve at Mother theresa's. He replied by saying, Oh so your a missionary? And I said, well uh yea. And he said, I don't understand why Christians have to keep coming here and giving good things to poor people and then forcing the gospel on them (this is obviously a paraphrase). I was like, uh, I don't think it is right to shove the gospel down someones throat, but I do think you should believe in Jesus because there are 2 possible places to go when you die, heaven and hell. He immediatly was like, "NO there is no afterlife!" lol. I am sorry but this was quite comical to me. Really it isn't funny at all, but it was funny at the time, you just had to be there. So yea, the conversation kept going but it never got past that point. He would continually return to the point that he wanted to make of "you can give good things to the poor, just don't give them the gospel." and I would say, well, I want to give them the gospel because that gives them much more than just good gifts. He really didn't want to hear what I had to say so I kindly responded with "ok" and left. But hey, he gave me the rickshaw ride free, I think to prove that Hindu's can be generous too. Lol, I tried really hard to pay but it was no use. Btw we were talking after everyone got out and another rickshaw driver asked to listen to my music and he did and was like, "oh its very good"...sooo, the best thing you can learn from this is, Indian people like robbie seay...not really. This was a kinda cool and funny experience for me for sure.

Anyways, bangalore. I saw the blue sky there and was about to cry because it was so blue and not smoggy like calcutta. I don't think I could live in England or Seattle after having this experience of joy in a blue sky. It was an incredible trip though. We went to Kirubai Children's Home which is run by a lady named Tammy. There are 45 kids there and they are all either going to go to school or are in school. Their ages range to an infant girl with HIV to an 18 year old who is attending college and wants to be a pastor one day. I also talked to a guy named Kiren who is in 12th grade and wants to be a missionary in India wherever God calls him to. These kids were all brought off of the streets or by a social worker. They have terrible pasts and this home is bursting with life. These kids are nothing short of amazing and they offer hope to India. In short, I feel like that place is ridiculous...in a good way. I'm really glad I got to see it and experience it. Tammy said that they pray as a staff, both the Indian host parents and the American staff, before accepting any children. If they don't feel like God is in it, then they will say no. She says they have turned down probably 100 kids and they are currently full at 45. In a nutshell, the place is amazing. We had fasting and prayer on sunday night, which is where the kids don't eat dinner and we spend about an hour praising God to some worship music and praying for different things. We prayed for the 10/40 window and shouted out the names of countries in that window asking God to bring life there. I'm telling you, this place shocked me. The kids in that home are so flipping talented too. We played "Indian Idol" where the kids got up and sang and were "judged" but just seeing them sing was so cool. Some of their voices were so good. And I continually kept thinking, these kids would be on the streets begging me for a few rupees if this place didn't exist. Naturally, my mind then progresses to, "more of these places need to pop up!!!" Tammy never has "raised support" or done fund raising for this children's home. She never asked people for money, she just asks God for money, and he brings it in amazing ways. They needed $75,000 to build the new home that they are currently in, and God brought it. They never told anyone in a mass email about needing this money, it just came, in one big chunk someone gave it. There are a lot more stories that I heard that are similar to this one if not more amazing of where God provided in Tammy's life. She really seemed to me to have a ton of wisdom to offer. She talked about how our first priority in life needs to be to love Jesus and wherever we go its just context. So in India, my first priority is to love Jesus. She was just talking about how so many ministers and people in general get their identity wrapped up in their job or ministry. God looks at you and sees your heart, not your job. I feel like she had a lot of wisdom to offer, and I feel privileged to be able to just see this children's home. The kids were amazing. They had great attitudes and they minded better than most American children that I have seen. I got to play some soccer with the teenage guys on Saturday and they were really good. It has been a while since I've played a good soccer game...so much fun.
So, Bangalore rocked. I am refueled for sure. Btw my birthday was good. Just missed girlfriend and family more than usual. But yea, they got me a cake, which was very kind. Yea though, God is pretty amazing. I think my next blog entry will be on the 40 hour train ride home. I could talk forever about that.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


So, Khalighat was a great experience for sure. I got to help take some guys to do some rehab on the junky little stationary bikes they have. It was really funny because the guy didn't want to get out of bed and he kept threatening to punch the other volunteer. After a while, we fed the patients by just handing out the food and then we did the dishes and had tea time. One of the sisters that works there right now spent a few years working in Memphis in one of mother teresa's homes.
That reminds me, it is astounding how much they will praise mother teresa. I mean, she was an incredible person no doubt. But to sit around praying to her and about her is kind of ridiculous. I would rather pray to Jesus and tell him that I love him. I may be speaking out of complete ignorance in this because I just saw the group of nuns praying around mother teresa's tomb, which is inside. I also can never get over how much Catholics like to pray to Mary. I really don't understand why they always pray to mary when the Bible clearly teaches that we should pray to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow at 1 pm I will begin the 30 hour train ride and a trip to bangalore that I hope will refuel me a lot. One of the guys I met at Khalighat was saying he went on a trip to Nepal after a month of working here and it really helped more than he expected. He works at Howrah station walking the platforms every day. He said there are a lot of long term volunteers who he goes with and they just find people who are left for dead at the station. It is pretty crazy. He said they find a person about every other day. Then they either care for them there, or if they are bad enough, then they send them to Khalighat. I am really excited about switching to Khalighat after the trip to Bangalore. But I'm also nervous because I don't know how I will react when I come face to face with a dead person (and I am sure that I will there).

Today I am going to SariBari for the 2nd time. I am pumped about going and hoping to get to know the ladies a little better (maybe try to start knowing some names this time lol it is so hard when there are 28 of them). Yea, so I am excited for what God has in all of this and looking forward to another 3 months of Calcutta.

Friday, March 6, 2009

getting adjusted

I think I am finally getting more adjusted to living in this dirty city. For sure it takes a few weeks. However, I am pumped that next week I get to retreat out of the city to go to Bangalore, which is southern India, for about a week. This is going to include a 30 hour train ride where I will get to see some country side!!! I think I am not quite used to so much city. So, I can't wait to sit around and read and play cards with my new friends on the servant team. When we get to Bangalore, we aren't going to really be inside of the city because we are staying at a house that a lady started to get street kids off of the street. Beth has said that the lady there has tons and tons of incredible stories. I am super excited to hear them and to meet the kids that have been brought up in a Christian environment rather than on the streets. What a beautiful thing! I'm loving getting to be a part of something that is so literally the gospel. There is so much need in this place, and it is fun to go and see the places that are offering redemption and the gospel in a real way.

Tonight I am planning on going to Khalighat for the first time to volunteer. This is super exciting, because when I came I was expecting to spend all 4 months at khalighat. The reason that this house is called khalighat is because the Hindu temple khali is right around the corner from the house. Khali is the god of death and destruction I am pretty sure. How crazy for that paradox to exist...You have the temple of death, lead by demons, and then you have a house offering life to people who have no hope physically right around the corner! Can't wait to experience this, and I really am excited about switching to this house in April too. I think it will be good to finish up March at Prem Dan and continue to reach out more and more to the patients there. It is really fun to sit and talk with the ones who know a little bit of english. Their faces are definitely imprinted on my mind. Many of these guys are mentally messed up or have some sort of disability. For example, there is a guy with 2 big bulges hanging from his neck, I think it is elephantitus, but I really have no clue. Somehow he finds kite string that flies in from kites that are broken in the area and he weaves them into bracelets. I think he offered me one, but I looked at it and wasn't sure what to do so I gave it back lol. If he offers it again, I think I will take it. I thought he was just showing it to me. Oh well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So yesterday was my first day at SariBari. I got to do a little cutting and tying of knots to help put on the inside pocket to the bags that they make. It was fun being a part of the amazing redemptive process that SariBari is. The cool thing about it is they do a great job of making very professional products so it is very much a business. The wmf staff here are praying for a contract to come into their hands soon (meaning now) so that they can start another branch in another part of the city near a bigger, more prominent red light district. This would be a huge thing if God allows this. They of course were supposed to get the contract some time around last October, but the owners have continually put it off to stall the process. I personally want it to happen also just because I will get to be involved some in doing some renovations to the building that they get, which is really cool. I would love to be able to say, hey I helped make that happen.

Yea though, I am getting used to living in the nagahouse which is cool. There are some super good things about it (such as the mosquito net, and real shower, and fan in the room). I am very thankful that God has let me move in with these amazing guys from nagaland. I have gotten to know them a little but I am usually gone all day and at night I almost always want to just sit by myself and do nothing so I haven't gotten to know them super well yet. I definitely find myself much more of an introvert at the end of the day in this city. I really do love the time that I can spend just sitting there writing or reading and having no crazy horns around me.

Prem Dan was great today and I am continuing to love it more and more. There were more volunteers there today than I have seen yet. I think there were around 18, which means that there is less to do, which is disappointing. I am pretty surprised because it is starting to get hotter here and it makes sense that less people will come then. I think the month of April will be a non-volunteer month, but we will see.

Friday, February 27, 2009

culture shock

Ok so today I am having my bout of culture shock. This would include, me just wanting to go sleep and wanting to go hide in a room and re-fuel. I am suddenly overwhelmed by this freaking intense city. I'm still under the opinion now that everyone needs to experience this for at least a couple of weeks. This afternoon I am going to go to Prem Dan again for the 2nd time this week. I am excited about it because I haven't gotten to do momma t's like the past 2 weeks. Ummm, yea and tonight I will get to help the girls babysit the 2 girls.

The first picture is the hallway and kitchen of the house. I think that is quite obvious. The two guys in it are Imli and Alem. So both of those pictures are taken from the doorway to my room, but the first is just turning left. The door that you see in this picture leads to the bathroom which is a seperate little building. One small room for the squatty potty and one room for the shower. About the shower, I looked down the other night when showering and there was a good 'ole spider sitting on my foot. I proceeded to yell and fling my flip flop off in a violent manner. Yes, good times in India.

The second picture is of my room ... pretty self explanatory.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

new home

Ok so I have moved away from beth, the servant team leader for word made flesh, and into a new home with 4 Indian guys from nagaland, a state of india that is east of bangladesh. They look Chinese or Korean, meaning squinty eyes and lighter skin. I am adjusting right now to living with them and trying to get settled in. It is in a much quieter place than beth's house. It is a little bit outside of the city so I have to take 30 minutes worth of auto rickshaw rides and then hop on the most southern metro station to go anywhere. I think this will be fine, and I hope that I get to live with these guys for the whole time I stay here. Their ages are 29, 25, 22, 21. They are basically missionaries here in kolkata and are doing bible studies and I think ministering to people in the slums. I will find out a lot more about this later. I am both excited and nervous about living with them. Anyways, they are basically some of the nicest guys ever and have made me feel at home already. They are very generous for sure.

Tomorrow is Sari Bari's 3rd birthday so they are taking all of the ladies (I think 28 of them) to a nice lunch and then we are going to the botanical gardens...which should be interesting. India is definitely a place exploding with culture.

I got to go back to Prem Dan today after missing out yesterday because of the move. I am really liking it more every time I go. There are so many ways to reach out to people. Many times non-Christian volunteers show up and they almost always ask me, "so what brought you to calcutta?" This really flings the door wide open to share about my love for Jesus with them. Really all of life should be lived with a heart that is continually ready to share about who Jesus is to you.

Yea so, at 3 a.m. tomorrow moring I will have been in kolkata for 2 weeks. I have already learned a ton and I know that God will teach me a lot more. I am thinking more and more that everyone needs to come and experience this place. The mix between the poverty that you see and serving at momma t's really will rock your world. My world has only begun the rocking lol. I'm sure God has a lot to come in the next 3 months.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Ok so, I have worked at Prem Dan for 5 days now and we have decided to stay there for a while (probably until April when it gets hot and less volunteers are in town). It has been great getting over the shock of first getting there and starting to get to know the faces of the place. There is such a massive need in this city, both physically and spiritually. There is poverty all over the place. You can't hide from it here. I don't have my camera with me today in the internet cafe (which is 30 minutes away from my current home) so I won't put up any pictures.

Um, yea though, I'm not a very good blogger and I think that has caused me to be a little less anxious to update this thing. My mind skips around like crazy. Prem dan the other day had a lady die. It is more of a nursing home than the home of the dying but there have still been two days where people were left outside the front door. There is a slum right next to the place, but there are also slums everywhere here that isn't that uncommon.

When I am going from place to place in the city, I use the metro and auto rickshaws mostly. This is the easiest and cheapest way of getting around. The cabs usually rip you off because you are a foreigner. I just got out of my 3rd language lesson and I'm learning that I will not be a very good bengali speaker by the end of the 4 months. Nevertheless, I'll put in a good amount of time studying because that will affect how well I can interact with the ladies at Sari Bari and in the gach. Gah, I'm just so overwhelmed by the need here. 10,000 ladies are in an area about the size of a super walmart in the middle of calcutta. 64,000 men are serviced by these prostitutes each day. This makes it really cool to meet Indian Christians and Indian pastors here. Going to church has been encouraging just because it shows that there are pockets of light in the middle of this dark Hindu/Muslim place. I really can't recall getting into an auto without it having a hindu God at the front.

Ok, I will leave it at that for now, hopefully I can put some pics up pretty soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Momma T's

So I served my first day at mother teresa's home of Prem Dan. It is not the home of the dying (Khalighat). The reason I served at Prem Dan is because Khalighat is currently full on volunteers. I'm going to switch in a week or so I am fairly confident.

I volunteered from 8-12 and that is what I will be doing all of the time. First we washed clothes for a while. Then we went outside and massaged and shaved and gave hair cuts to the people living there. This is not nearly as hardcore as Khalighat will be if I go there. I just gave men massages and shaved a couple (I wasn't so good at these tasks but I don't think it mattered). Then the volunteers stop for about 30 min. for tea time, we have some chai tea which is ridiculously good here and some cookie sort of things. Then we help take the food out to the people living there and then do the dishes after that. This is the general rotation of every day at Prem Dan.

Sorry not much time to update well right now. I hope to put up some pic's of the city later.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hello my friends. 3 days out. Thought I would go ahead and create a blog because it seemed very economical for keeping up.