Tuesday, September 4, 2012

India Part One

Well after a very very long blogging break I've got to catch up.  I'm horrible with details and remembering things so I gotta get going or I'll forget fun stuff and memorable moments, but mostly little specifics that mean more than a picture can tell.  Plus the whole idea of this blog is to share with our family and friends far away plus preserve these days and moments in time for our kids to treasure one far off day from now.  So....here it goes.

Just after traveling to Dallas for my mom's surprise birthday and then coming home to celebrate Georgia's 2nd birthday I was off on another plane ride to the one and only place called India at the beginning of May.

Some of our dearest Doha friends, the Beaty's moved to Delhi about a year ago because of a job change and a great opportunity for them to work at the American Embassy school there.  Libby got involved with their church and as usual God took her willingness and He's using her to do some amazing things.  Libby asked my treasured friend and mentor Gena to come speak at a Women's Conference in Delhi and I couldn't miss the opportunity to join her!  So we took off for the colorful country of India to encourage, pray for and learn from these women who call Delhi home!

Wow...we were in for a treat!  We left Doha very late at night and arrived in Delhi very very early in the morning.  Libby's husband, David picked us up from the airport. We had insisted that we could get ourselves a cab and make it just fine.  But being the gentleman that he his, he came and picked us up with a driver.  And were we EVER so grateful!! Oh my goodness!  It was dark when we landed and drove to their house which was probably a good thing but it was even better to see David's friendly face and have him escort us to his house.  
Blurry pic but at least you can see how tiny the van was for our first Delhi ride!
 We slept for a few hours and then we were up for lunch! Libby invited her friend Clarissa to join us.  Clarissa's next expat move is to Doha so we were all fast friends and SO look forward to her living in Doha with us.
Clarissa, Gena and Libby at the American Embassy school.  We were waiting on Libby and Clarissa's kids.
 Me and Libby.  Seriously this school campus was beautiful!!
International schools are so unique and have specific personalities to them. This school is located at the American Embassy and is fully staffed by all Americans. 
Hava is Libby's oldest child.  Sweet little thing.  
Near campus there is an awesome coffee house called the Upper Hand.  Incredible ministry run by Godly people doing great stuff for the Lord.
After a tour of campus we were home for an early dinner and then out for a girls night! 
Bollywood BABY! 
Just like the movie, Slum Dog.  If you haven't seen it, you should (for many reasons).  The singing and dancing is unreal.  The Bollywood show we saw was exactly the same only it was all in Hindi.  We loved it.  No cameras were allowed inside the theater. I took a few iPhone pics outside.

Gena and I with a freaky character who had nothing to do with the show.  Still not sure...
Friday we were out the door in a tiny little car headed for a slum tour.  On our white knuckle ride we saw all kinds of things...lots of tuk-tuks, make shift barbershop on the side of the road, a young man urinating with no shame and too many little kids on crazy motor scooters.  Gena and I were constantly surprised. 
Out of the car and on to the street. The slums actually.  We met up with a small group to take a walking street tour to witness some of the most unsightly scenes in Delhi but also see the good things that are happening. Change and awareness is slowly making its way. 
There are no words to describe the trash and dirt. This man is digging through it to find something worthy to him..
 Salaam Balaak Trust is an organization taking children off the street and giving them the basic needs to survive and then the tools to be a professional.  We walked the streets and inner city areas where kids are forced to live due to the horrible conditions.  The tour guides were children who once lived and worked on the street.  Our guide was 18.  His parents lost him at a huge festival when he was about 4 years old and he never saw them again.  I still can't get my head around that idea.  In order to survive he went to all extremes.  Selling drugs and/or glue is common but he had the desire to be different plus the opportunity provided by Salaam Balaak.  He's now applying to colleges in the US and hopes to study at an American university.  His english is constantly improving because of these tours, which helps and makes him very educated compared to the majority of India.  Its organizations like this that are popping up since people are now more aware of the extreme conditions.  The Slum Dog movie was the beginning of a great movement.  There's still no way to describe the sights, sounds, smells and tragedy of what we saw and what is really happening in India. 
We stopped at a center where boys right off the street could come for health care and to begin the program.  No cameras were allowed.  And good thing I was wearing sunglasses.  The tears were running down my cheeks.  Boys just like mine but filthy dirty and without any hope for life to be different. After more walking and seeing the New Delhi Railway Station (yikes) we ended our tour at the boy's education center.  Precious boys who I must believe God has in the palm of His hand. 
 A few more glimpses of New Delhi.  Then we were back in the car for another crazy ride!
After we refreshed our minds and bodies it was on to colorful shoppin at Dilli Haat in Delhi.  So fun!! Wish I had bought a lot more. Beautiful shoes, bags, quits, jewelry, clothes...all for next to nothing! 
Clarissa hosted the Friday night session for the women's conference in her home. Gena spoke on Godly parenting.  Amazing!


Lindsey said...

It's so good to see you posting again. I was really missing it! This sounds like one amazing trip and your pictures are beautiful as always.

Thanks for all the encouragment and prayers for this pregnancy! We can not wait for March to get here. ;) Just soaking up every minute. Can't wait to meet up some day!!

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