Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Names and Sick Monkeys

This one will be short!

Last night, we went to a study of The Word at a young, new believer's house. She and her sister (16 and 14) have started this study and have all of their family (including their unbelieving parents) coming, as well as a few other friends. After the study was over, the girls told Kyle and I that our names are very difficult for people here to pronounce. (Kyle's 'y' is uncommon and my 'th' is uncommon.) Therefore, they gave us new, Hindi names! My name is Jyoti and Kyle's name is Prakash. Both mean "light." I like it! (Though I still like Kathy better!)

Also, Corinth has been sick with a deep chest cold the last 3 days. Today, while my house helper was mopping, Corinth and I sat on the porch. I hung a little trash bag on the bar of the balcony "fence" so that I could throw the 1 million tissues Corinth was going through into it. We came back inside for a few minutes, and when we came back out, I noticed that the monkeys had ripped a hole in the bag and taken some of the dirty tissues out. I told Kyle, and he I both said that we hope all the monkeys get sick from it! Kyle's language teacher thought this was hilarious and had a very good laugh over it.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chai and the Palace


This week went really well! Language is SLOWLY progressing, and Kyle and I are both trying to use what we do know as much as we can while we are out in the community. Our house helper only speaks Hindi, and often tries her hardest to communicate with us what she needs from us or to ask what we need from her. She is so patient. I usually get around to understanding her much before Kyle does, and the other day she said (in Hindi), "Your Hindi is very good. His Hindi is not so good!" I laughed and hugged her. :-) My language teacher also told me I was meeting many goals, which is huge for her to say, because teachers here do not usually compliment at all. I say all of this not because my language is good AT ALL (I promise, it's not!), but to let you know that I have had an encouraging week with language.
Here are pictures of the monkeys on the wall outside our balcony, and the park that we go to often. It is about a 5 minute walk away. (We do NOT touch or interact with the monkeys. They are very mean and dangerous here!) 
Kyle got to go to a training for local leaders, which he loved and was very encouraged/excited by. We also went to an Indian friend's house 'fellowship' Sunday night, which we really enjoyed.

We are trying to have family days on Saturdays, where we try to do something fun as a family (and sometimes with friends also, which is fun!), and today we went to the Maharaja's Palace. He's the "king" of our city, though I don't think the present Maharaja actually lives in this palace anymore. It is a museum now of old carriages, war weapons, and pictures of an old Maharaja with leaders from countries around the world. It was fun to see, and Kyle and I both got to share the good news with people while we were there! Here are some pictures of our outing!
Looking out over the river
The Fort/ Palace that we visited
Corinth petting goats, very gently!
Other fun things that happened this week: I successfully went out without Kyle, once to the park with Corinth, and once all by myself to go have coffee with a friend. I was so excited!!! Also, I made chai on my own for the first time, and we received our first care package! I didn't take a picture of my excitement, but trust me, I was thrilled!!!!! Thank you Mommy and Daddy!
Love you all! ~Kathy

It's The Small Things...

It's the small things that sometimes make me so excited here! One day, I successfully bought paper clips, and I felt I had a productive day. :-) Well, this small thing has made me more excited that any other small thing lately (other than Corinth, who isn't so small anymore!):

We're having a baby!!! Yay!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bhoht Jantu- That Means Many Animals!

We are in our new home! We moved into our flat on October 12th, and have been working like little ants scurrying about to make it a home...  tora tora, which means little by little! Speaking of ants, good grief there are lots of bugs here. And by here, I mean inside our flat (and outside, too, of course!). I have literally found a different kind of bug every day. My mom says that it is 'toughening me up.' ...okay... There are also TONS of animals here. It seems that there are some parts of the city where different animals tend to congregate, but our area of town is home to pretty much all of them! Within a 3 minute walking distance, we see these animals on a very regular basis: dogs, cows, goats, squirrels, water buffalo, wild hogs, butterflies, parrots, donkeys, chickens, and of course monkeys. So. Many. Monkeys. Our flat is on the trail that the monkeys take every day from wherever they start their day to wherever they end their day, so we can (and do) sit at our window and watch the monkeys for very long periods of time each day. Corinth loves watching them! :-) We also have a mongoose that lives in a thicket/trash area outside our window. And, last week was a Hindu festival, and during those few days, they were giving camel rides around our neighborhood. So, pretty much we live in a zoo.
We both (and I'm sure Corinth feels the same) feel like we ARE the zoo almost always when we go out. We are always talked to by strangers, Corinth's cheeks are always pinched, and someone almost always comes up to us and tries to take Corinth from us without asking so they can take a picture with her. You'd think it would be flattering, but I now feel very sorry for movie stars all over the world. Every time I go out, I feel like Julia Roberts. (Yes, I know I look nothing like her, she's just the movie star that always pops into my head!)
It is going to take a long time to get used to living here, but there are so many things that will always remain strange. You can pray for us that we would be at peace and find joy in simple things every day. Also, you can pray that we would learn Hindi quickly so that we can converse more with people than just "Hello. How are you? What is your name?" We have been doing language class with our tutors every weekday, and so far that is going well. Also, big shout out to Rosetta Stone- it's awesome!
Thank you for praying for us, for responding to our updates, and for your messages on Facebook and Viber. Hearing from you guys is encouragement that we really need, so if you ever even think about us, send us a message, even if it's just to say hi or to tell us what you had for dinner. We love you and want to be in your lives still, and vice versa! I'll leave you with a few pictures of our last few weeks, with a promise to get more pictures of our neighborhood and the environment in which we live! Love you!

Corinth's new friends, the workers at one of our favorite local restaurants!
Corinth and her baby doll calling her Grandma!
Racing girls in "our park." :-)
Corinth the movie star, mobbed by adoring fans!
Corinth watching the monkeys out the window!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Our (Second) First Week Here

A friend of ours who recently landed in our country sent out an email about his first days here. In this email, he very appropriately wrote what I have been feeling as well. I asked him if I could post his thoughts here. Here they are:

 "Ugh, we're here. Right now, you are probably thinking, "These are the ones we sent out? Shouldn't they be excited? Is it too late to find someone better to take their place?" Well, you may be able to find someone better, but the truth is that we are excited about why we are here. That reaction was directed more to the negative aspects of this country that came flooding back to our memories all at once. There is a misconception out there that all sent out ones really enjoy (even prefer) living where they live. The reality is that this place is dirty and smelly and polluted beyond belief. It's crowded and noisy and full of prejudice. It is a dark land full of blatant idolatry that provides a daily assault upon the senses and emotions. Sure, when you first come to South Asia, it can be new and exciting, but unfortunately, we skipped the honeymoon phase. There are some things we do genuinely enjoy about our country, but I'd much rather be in the Deep South, for sure. So, no, we don't particularly enjoy daily life here in many ways, but there is greater joy in telling someone about the Way when they have never heard it before. You can ask that we continue adjusting to life here and become comfortable in the culture. Ask that we would be granted a love for the people that overshadows our dislike for the rest of it."

Please pray for me, as I (again) am having a difficult time transitioning to a very different everything. We also have been living out of a suitcase for 11 months, and want to move into our apartment, but there are still many things that need to be done before we can do that. Please pray that those things are finished quickly and that we can happily settle into our new home. One more request is that my stomach will settle. The roads are terrible here, and every time we ride in a rickshaw I feel awful. Pray that we all adapt well to living here. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It is very helpful! We love you, and I'll write more soon!