Friday, June 15, 2012

Taxis, Puppies, and Heat Rash

Day 8 in Kolkata. Really? Only eight? Whew.

The good thing about living in a dorm room: constantly having new people to talk to and get to know.
The bad thing about living in a dorm room: constantly having new people to talk to and get to know.

For now, I'm enjoying the dorm room experience. I'm hardly ever alone, which I consider to be a good thing right now, and since I'm staying so long, I'll eventually get the hang of things around here and can be very helpful for the newbies.  And, I've only cried once since being here, which I consider pretty significant. It was today actually, because I took a taxi back to the guest house and we agreed on 100 rupees.  We got there and I only had 95 rupees or a 1000 rupee bill, which I was pretty sure he could not break.  So, since he didn't speak English and I did not speak Hindi, we had some issues.  He got mad because he thought I was trying to cheat him (even though we both knew 100 rupees was already well above what I should have paid by meter) and all I wanted to do was go into my room and borrow 10 rupees from my roommate to pay the guy.  Thankfully the guard for the guest house came over and we got it settled.  I ran in the office and they were able to break the large bill I had gotten from the ATM. I think I was so frustrated with the whole language barrier that I came back to the empty dorm room and shed a few tears. But that's all done with now and everything's fine.

Here's our eight bedded dorm room. The room in the upper right is our bathroom.  There is another bathroom in the upper left that I couldn't get in view. We really use one for showering and the other for hanging our laundry.

The showering bathroom. Only cold showers of course. You'd have to be crazy to want a hot shower at this time of year without A/C.

Here's where we hang our clothes to dry.

This will mostly be a photo blog. 

Walking to Sudder Street, Mary Catherine needed a shirt tailored. 

Becca and I took a picture with a creepy wall painting. 

Some kids washed themselves and their clothes in the street bathing area. 

And a cow hung out on the side of the road as if saying, "What are you gonna do about it? I'm SACRED!"

On Sudder Street we ran into our usual friends and sat and had some Chai.  Everywhere they offer Chai while you are shopping, or sitting, or hanging out.  

This is Shabbir.  

I decided it would be a good idea to write down the names of my new Indian friends, since they are difficult for me to remember. I enjoy my mini dixie cup of Chai while doing so. 

This is Ahad with Mary Catherine and Becca.  Ahad and I discussed God again yesterday.  "The Buddhists give you stories and then want money.  The Hindus want money. The Christians want money.  Everyone sells their gods," he told me.  Despite the slight language barrier, I totally understand where he's coming from.  I pray that I can show him that not all Christians are the kind who want money. I just want to be his friend. Please keep Ahad in your prayers. 

This is Kailash. He has been explaining a little bit of Hinduism to me.  

And this little girl, well I probably shouldn't even tell you the story because you'll end up getting mad at me, but this is Kolkata.  You have to take life (or death) as it comes.  

The owner of a shop has been taking care of this puppy since week one.  Stray dogs in the streets of Kolkata are as pestering to the locals as pigeons are to Americans, so I was surprised to hear that this guy was actually taking care of this dog. Everyone thought she was the cutest thing, which she was. However, a few minutes after these pictures were taken, she ran into the street and was hit by a car. One of the girls in our group grabbed her up and brought her in front of the store to breathe her last breath. We covered her with a little towel and let the shop owner take care of her.  

It was a lesson in life and death on the streets of Kolkata.  

I pray to be somewhere in the middle of being calloused and being overwhelmed. 

On a lighter note, the girl holding the puppy also does fire dancing, and we got a little show last night. 

Today as we walked home from Mother Teresa's home for the elderly and disabled, I snapped a couple of shots through the slums by Prem Dan.

And now my friends, I think I will settle into bed, under this fan, covered in baby powder to counteract the heat rash, and read. 

Please let your friends know about my blog and what God is doing in Kolkata! Love you all and thank you for your prayers! 

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures Honey. Praying for the sufficient grace of God to be with you and those you touch and that you "feel" it each day. Life, no matter how difficult or disturbing, is all about Him. Love Daddio.