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.