Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dev Diwali, Henna, and Candy!

This week was great! Actually, I had kind of an off week with wanting to study Hindi (aka not wanting to study!) but, other things were great!

First, Dev Diwali was this weekend. Diwali is celebrated in most of South Asia, but I think Dev Diwali is celebrated in very few places. However, since we live in the holiest of Hindu cities, of course we celebrate ALL the holidays! Diwali is a day (3) for people to celebrate, but Dev Diwali is a day for the gods to celebrate. We heard there would be thousands of people at the ghats (steps next to the river), so we decided to go down and check it out. It was actually really fun! There were not very many people actually worshipping, but tons of people lighting candles for prettiness and just having fun. There were tons of vendors for food, cotton candy, peanuts, cheap jewelry, balloons, etc. I told Kyle it was a lot like being at the State Fair of Texas. :-) We were not planning on going on a boat ride, because they are supposed to be super expensive on Dev Diwali, but we ended up being talked into it by a very good salesman/boat-rower for a very good price... it was so fun! We got to see the candles along many of the ghats in our city, which is famous for its ghats! It was my first time on a boat on the river here, and it was a very fun experience. It was also Corinth's very first boat ride, and she LOVED it! The pictures I got are terrible, because it was nighttime and my camera stinks at night, but here are a few semi-decent pics!
Family photo
No, this is not a swastika. It is a backwards swastika, which is the sign for peace. It's all over the place here!
The best picture I could get of the boats.
She was super happy about that balloon, and that made us super happy too!

Also, this week, I hosted my first mehendi party. (Henna is the same thing as mehendi.) Women often have mehendi parties, sometimes before special events like weddings, but sometimes just for fun! I had 12 people there, which I was glad about for my first event. I told a story IN HINDI!!! The story went with the mehendi design, and after we all talked about the story, we all drew the design on each others hands. The evening was pretty much only in Hindi, since I was the only one there who doesn't speak it, so it was great language practice. My friend told me today that there were some GREAT conversations going on that I am so thankful to God for! You can look up the stories at, and have your own henna party! If there is a mid-eastern or South Asian/Indian store close to you, they either have henna or can tell you where to get it! I look forward to having many more mehendi parties!

Some of my friends at the party!
Good discussion too! :-)

Also, this week, we got 3 packages! What?!? Yes, 3! Hooray! Corinth got an early Christmas present from her Mimi, we got a small package of wonderful things from my mom (including Christmas ornaments!), and a HUGE box of candy from the Worleys! We couldn't even wait until after we took a picture before eating some! Thank you all for loving us in this way!

She was genuinely this happy about the candy!
Corinth loves the ring pops!
I just LOVE Christmas!
Oh, and by the way, Happy Thanksgiving! Thank God for all of His blessings!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baby #2 Update

We went for our second visit to the doctor yesterday. I thought I'd share the experience with you.

It actually started 3 days ago. We went on Wednesday night, which is a 20 minute ride away. You don't make appointments here, doctors just have certain hours that they work every day. Our doctor works from 6-8pm. We arrived to the office at 6pm, went to the desk to tell them we were there to see Dr. Singh, and they looked at us like, "who?" We said, "we are here to see Dr. Singh. Is she here?" They told us that she, in fact, was not there. She had gone on vacation and would be back Friday. Touche... this happened the first time we went to see her also. Kyle said later, "first time- shame on them... second time- shame on us." So, that was our failed attempt on Wednesday.

So, yesterday (Friday), we went back to the doctor, arriving at about 6:20. We tell them we are there to see Dr. Singh, is she here, and they say yes and tell us to sit down. So we do. For an hour and a half. At 7:40, she walked in the front door of the clinic, and we went back about 10 minutes later. Are you kidding? I mean, I know this is South Asia, but you're a professional doctor! Come on!!! So, Kyle and I and our 2 larger-than-life attitudes walked back to her office. She asked me if she'd seen me in her office before. I said yes, but left out the "I'm pretty sure I'm the only white girl patient you have right now" part. My head is so sassy sometimes! Then, she asked me why I didn't bring my paperwork from last time. I told her no one told me I was supposed to, to which she rebuttled with a short lecture about how she can't treat me properly without knowledge of previous appointments. Sassy thoughts continue... After that, it got better. I laid down to have the ultrasound done, and she said, "Do you have any twins in your family history?" I quickly said, "no, no one in my family has twins... and neither do I... only 1 baby..." She didn't think that was very funny. Oh, well.

All that said, baby F2 is doing great, measuring at 14 weeks and 2 days, and developing well! Every time I see babies (in real life or on the computer) I get really excited to meet my baby! Corinth was a spectacular baby, and I know they won't be the exact same, but I hope our 2nd is as enjoyable as our 1st is! God is good, and we are so blessed! Thanks for listening to my prego-rave! Talk to you soon!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diwali, Housewarming, and a Man in a Tree

Happy Saturday! We have had a great week, filled with many things, of which I can only share tiny pieces with you!

First, last weekend was Diwali. Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated to remember the Hindu god Ram defeating another god, Ravan, in battle. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is also celebrated, but she will only visit your home if it is very clean. (Because of this, our apartment complex set the huge trash pile outside on fire, which we were thankful for!) Diwali is like the South Asian version of Christmas and New Years put together. It is celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains, which are all of the major religions here, other than Muslims. During this 3 (in our city it was actually 5) day festival, all businesses and many homes decorate the outside of their buildings by hanging lights like we do on Christmas. Many people have parties in their homes for family and friends, and everyone lights firecrackers and fireworks in the streets or on their rooftops. While we did not celebrate Diwali, we did go over to a friend's house for dinner and firecrackers. It was like Kyle was back in Kansas, up on the roof setting off firecrackers, fountains, and other fireworks with the boys! (It was cute to watch him!)

Our trash pile burning! Hooray!
 (Our building during Diwali)

Secondly, we had our housewarming party/ Christian worship ceremony in our home yesterday. It is common to invite neighbors over for a welcoming party after you have moved, so we decided that would be a great way to get to know people and tell them more about us. We had 15 people attend, most of whom were friends or people we meet with often, but a few were neighbors. Others that could not attend also brought us flowers and chocolate, which was SO sweet! Our party was very good, and we felt that it opened several doors for us to get to know our neighbors more soon. We also wore our very traditional South-Asian clothing, which was so fun!

Family photo, South Asian style!
Our ceremony 'stuff.'

And finally, this is what I saw out my window while eating breakfast this morning. Just another day in paradise, people!

This is our view from our dining room.
This is a man shimmying up the tree! We have no idea why...
Have a great weekend!