Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tricksie...

I've decided to play a game in hopes that my annoyance level will decrease greatly. You see, just about anytime I go anywhere in india, i am searched and told that certain random items are unreasonable. To go on the train, into any mall, many western stores, the movie theaters, etc, you have to check your bags at the door, go through a metal detector, a feel down that almost qualifies as a cavity search, and an inspection of whatever you are bringing into the store with you. since penjabis don't have pockets, some purses are allowed. it really depends on if the security guard is having a good day or not.

i find it so strange that there are so many "rules" here--like you have to sit in assigned seating at a theater, when the country has no idea what traffic laws are. and that security is crappy, even though i have to relinquish my crackers, a book, etc at every turn. Ironically, it seems that the movie theater is stricter than the public transportation system.

The other day, Paru had gum taken out of her mouth because "it wasn't allowed." In a theater.

For this reason, I am playing a new game. It's called "Take Random Items to the Theater and See if They are Confiscated." To this end, I need your help to come up with ideas. The items need to be relatively small and light. but other than that, there is no limit. I shall make a list alongside a posting of "victorious" or "sacked" and various anecdotes as the situations allow.

Basically, I'm doing this bc if I don't, I might scream the next time a female guard gets too friendly. I've reached that stage of culture shock known as frustration.

So far...
-4 grilled cheese crackers: sacked
-Paru and Sajedeh's gum that they were chewing at the time: sacked
-ipod: victorious
-cell phone (without camera, of course): victorious
-chapstick: victorious
-small wallet: suspicious item, but finally allowed through after the guard had practically counted the rupees inside
-train pass: victorious
-wilson's reading book: Bourne Supremacy: almost sacked as Paru held it for him and got a particularly vicious guard. Wilson's guard was scared of him so let it pass.
-camera: don't even think about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some more pictures...

I'm trying to learn how to take pictures manually, which is really difficult on my cheap camera. But I really like these two. The first one of is of Travis and Jyoti. The second is of Suman. Please check out the journal entry below this one to read news about her.

Pray for these Kids

Hey, Friends.

One big thing you need to know about the orphanage is that not all the kids are true orphans here. Actually, only two (Jyoti and baby Tabitha) are orphans. The others are here because their families can't take care of them or they have been abandoned, abused, and/or neglected.
Yesterday, the parents of 4 children came to Asha for their kids. Suman and Shivam are brother and sister. Their father was sick and blind, but his recent surgery restored his sight. Maybe he felt that he could take care of them now. Anyway, they are gone now. Please pray for them--for their adjustment and well being. Pray that they won't be abused or neglected; that they will be safe and okay.

Flora and Sweety are gone as well. I love all the children equally, but have spent a lot of time with Sweety this past week. I'm not looking forward to returning to the orphanage tomorrow and not seeing her (or the other three children).

Flora:
Sweety and Suman:






Sweety is the child on the Sixty1 Website header, the one looking in the window.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pictures from Asha

Hey!!!


So, Wilson has this incredible camera and he let me "play" with it today at the orphanage. Here are some of the better pictures:

These are the youngest girls all lined up, waiting for their snack.


Here is Shanu. He is a lot of fun!!!


Jyoti: this girl is a miracle. When she was a baby, she ate dirt that was infected with worms. Last summer, she was hospitalized because she got so sick. But now she is well, running around, laughing, and lighting up the world with her beautiful eyes.

I just like this picture. Wilson's camera is pretty much incredible.


This is the best--they are praying for their food. i LOVE it!!!!





Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Virtual Tour of my Life Here in India...

Welcome to my home in India!!! We don't really have an address, but it's easy to find us. All you have to do is find our village and ask for the foreigners (white people). Just about anyone will know where we live.


This is our street. Our house is on the other side of the tall building that is being constructed on the left.







This is our front door. Welcome!!! Come on in!!! Yes, other than the iron gate, it's "open air." We also have a vent in our ceiling to let in air. All houses have gates and all windows are barred, just as it is in most of the rest of the world.



Our bathrooms are to the right. This is the shower. It's just a room with a drain on the floor. We have to squeegee the floor dry after every shower because of mosquitos. But that's okay, because we also have a very handy electric bug zapper that is quite fun!!!! I tried to take a picture of the bathroom with a toilet (it has a shower in it too, right beside the toilet), but it wouldn't fit in the frame. Most of the time when you go to the bathroom, you leave with wet feet.













This is our living room. Wilson and Travis constructed these "couches". The wood had to be specially purchased. The mattresses are typical Indian mattresses, which means they are as hard as a rock. We have electricity, a generator for when the power goes out 20 million times a day, fans to cool off the room, and most recently, wireless internet. This is a BIG blessing because that means I can stay in much with y'all even more than usual!!!





This is my room. The other girls on the other team are together in a different room, but they put me by myself since I'm gonna be here for 2 months. I'm thankful for it... it gives me a nice, quiet place to have devos, write, and since I'm still jet lagged, sleep. :0) But mostly I'm in the living room with everyone else, enjoying the beauty of community.




This is Putin, Travis' puppy. She's only 3 months old. I cuddled with her in January when she was smaller than my own dog. This german shepherd is going to be BIG!!!! Oh yeah, and that is "Putin," as in, Vladmir Putin, the Russian dictator. But this Putin is a girl. :0)

Here is our kitchen. It's barely big enough for 2 people to stand in a one time. But it's a blessing. Our fridge is in the living room.

Here's the view from our roof. We hang clothes up here to dry. It's also a good place to come up, pray, have bonfires in the winter, and view the rest of the world. I love how this part of the world utilizes the roof... makes me think of those Bible stories depicting them. Or Ray Blackston's A Delirious Summer, but that's another story altogether. :0)

That's it!!!! Here's a picture of Paru and I, which was taken after church today at the orphanage. Paru is a wonderful, funny friend and I'm so thankful for her! She is Wilson's wife and a beautiful person; just a wonderful woman of God. Thanks for reading!!!! Hope you enjoyed this tour of my life!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

INDIA






Hey, Friends!!!


Just wanted to thank you so much for your prayers and your encouragement. Thank you to everyone who emailed me with the Word of Life, for those who have been praying. I am so thankful for you!!!

So, it's day 2 in India and it's pretty great. I got 10 hours of sleep last night so i'm feeling pretty awake. And thankful. The cell phone thing will be worked out, I know. After some sleep, time with the orphans, and some incredible chicken curry, I'm most definitely not overwhelmed any more--which is a nice feeling!!!
Yesterday we went to Asha and just played with the children. It was so great to see them again! Many of them remembered me, so when i knelt down to say hi, they said, "Kristen Auntie!!" That felt soooo good!!! My little girl, Ragina, was laughing and playing; completely different from how she had been just a few months ago.
The group I'm here with is working on videotaping and photography for Sixty1. One person, Kate, is the friend I brought with me from Ga. She's a professional photographer and is incredible. She's gonna take awesome pictures of the kids that will be used for profiles for support. So be watching the website and such in the next coming months!!!
And speaking of the website, the man who has designed the current website is here with his wife and daughter-in-law. He's also working on video, so that supporters can see the kids in action. Yesterday we pulled out balloons so the kids could play and we could document it all. It was fun!!! I mostly watched bc i could barely keep my eyes open. But it was still fun!!! And I took a few pictures, which are on my picture site: www.photobucket.com/ktsummer. Scroll down to where the albums are, and you can click on "India 2009." I'll update it regularly, hopefully.
That's all for now. Thanks so much for praying!!!! I'll write in a couple days and let you know what all is going down here.
Love you!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Off to India!!!!


Hey, Friends!!!!!

How are you?

So, today is epic because it's 80 degrees in March in Ga. The trees are starting to bud, tiny blossoms that surely will have a lovely dead fish smell sometime soon. The first flowers are already here and that means that pollen season is well on its way. Soon our world will be green again! Hooray!!!

Despite the fact that I hate winter, it's been good to be back. Especially with all the places I went to last year... I didn't really have a winter 2007/2008. My mind was really confused. But I'm so glad it's over because I have missed the sun!!!!

And now that it's here, I'm leaving!!! This afternoon I'm getting on a plane and am off to India for two months!!! WOOHOOOO!!!! I'm ready. I don't know if I've ever felt this "ready" for a trip before. Two months is the longest I've gone anywhere in almost a year, so this is exciting and big for me. Packing hasn't been too fun, but I think everything has found a place :0)

When I arrive, there will be a small team of 5 that I will be working with. Some of them have been there before with Sixty1 and AIM, some are new. But they will be gone by on March 24, and then it'll be ministry as I've never done--or lived--it before! I'm very excited about whatever God has in store... and have no clue what that will be! This will definitely be a faith building experience! I'm just gonna take it day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Please be praying for me--for health, safety, rest, solid ministry, wisdom, etc. Also, for support. It's almost there, but not completely yet. I don't know exactly how much I need yet, but should get the amount via email in the next few days. As soon as I know something, I'll let you know. Thank you so much for your generosity and your support. It means so much!!!!

I guess I better go; there's a lot of stuff to do before I leave this afternoon. I'll see y'all in May! Have a great day! Love ya!


-Kristen Torres-Toro