Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is Normal?

When you live in a city, truly live there, you have to adjust to your culture, your surroundings, or be uncomfortable for a while.  As I settle in for five months of Kolkata living, I have stopped seeing things as unusual, and as such, don't know what would be deemed photo worthy for my friends back home. The hand pulled rickshaws, the goats being herded down a busy street, the brightly lit up neon autos, the food stands on the side of the road, the family that sleeps on the street right in front of the guest house? Normal.

I think I've adjusted well to my new home. I'm used to sweating through my clothes as soon as I leave the house.  I am used to waking up in sweat.  I'm getting better at hailing taxis and riding autos (three wheeled contraptions...although I totally got ripped off the other day due to miscommunication. gr.) I am getting used to walking, a lot.  I'm good at ordering food from a street vendor.

Here are some photos from being out and about with my friend Fabrizio the other day.

Awesome article in the Indian Times. Gentlemen, get your Moochi on!

Now, this was actually an interesting sight for me.  I have seen chickens, cows, and goats wandering around the streets, but I had not seen a pig yet. Lucky me!

Birds on a wire. 

Some political protest on College Street. 

Fabrizio and I finally made it to the Indian Coffee House, which apparently is famous for Indian writers sitting in the seats, drinking their rather plain coffee. 

And then Ahad opened my umbrella inside the store to test it out. I guess it works! 

Last night I stayed out way too late, running errands with Ahad and Shabbir on Shabbir's motorcycle. Kolkata air is killing my lungs, especially while I'm still recovering from the flu, or whatever I had.  So, tonight I am taking it easy, reading, writing, praying, blogging, showering, washing my clothes, then heading to bed. I guess that sounds like a lot, but I've done most of that already and now all that's left is showering and washing. 

I deeply covet your prayers to keep me on the right track.  A few things I would like prayer for:

- Guidance for daily steps, the every day decisions that need to be made, where to spend my time and resources

- Guidance for the bigger picture: I have an opportunity to teach at a school for my entire stay in Kolkata, teaching English to children and adults.  I don't know how jazzed I am about the idea of teaching, but I'm not going to close the door if it's where God wants me to be. 

- To be kept from sin and temptation

- To interact with everyone I meet in a way that glorifies God

- For my prayer and bible study time to be solid and productive, bringing me closer to the heart of Jesus

- For Ahad to have an open heart and open mind to lean into Jesus

Thank you friends for your love and support, prayerfully and financially. It's all appreciated. 

Remember, if you'd like to support this mission financially, please send a check made out to Tarrin McDonald to 4401 W. Wahalla Ln. Glendale, AZ 85308

or donate securely online via Paypal:

By the grace of God alone, thank you.


  1. Tarrin, We pray that God will give you strength and direction as you spread His word in Kolkata.
    Please let us know when you get our letter.
    Love you,
    Papa and Grandma

  2. I try to figure out the same thing...what may be normal for us here is definitely not every day living for people back in the US. So what if we have to deal with cows in the street, that's just a normal occurrence, right!? Plus trying to write about the every day decisions (dealing with corruption, greed and just plan ignorance) could turn into a novel. Just remember your friends and family like seeing your "every day" life there! Love you Roo!

  3. That is defiantly a great Indian Times article. :)

    Thanks for the post!
    You have a fabulous blog.