Thursday, October 4, 2012

India journal writings - Sept. 12, 2012

Wednesday – September 12, 2012

Before breakfast Brad played stickers with Anjali - and I even got a few too!  Brad forgot he had one on his face - (like a sideburn) and the waiter admired his Dora tattoo :)

Wednesday was a day full of sights, sounds, colors and emotions. We started like every day - early breakfast and then got a driver to do some shopping - Anjali is a great shopper - touching and taking it all in with her little toddler swagger, especially when she’s comfortable someplace. We ventured to a market a little further only to find the road closed so we went to another one that our driver knew of close by. We were escorted to the basement sat down got offered tea and they began a rug presentation (we weren’t looking for a rug). They were gorgeous, unique in design, handmade, very high quality - even Brad was mesmerized but we don't need a rug- they started big and moved smaller in size and price- long story short we held our ground and passed on the rug - our house isn't much of a show place in this phase of our life; we have Cheerios on the floor and common place is Nerf gun chases so what would we do with this luxurious rug? The salesman “chased” us up stairs with his calculator (converting rupees to US dollars) and continued to lower the price, what started at $400+ (for a rug runner) was at $225; we continued to walk and he begged for us to offer him a price to get his daily sales off to a start :) - I took his calculator and typed $50 and handed it to him - he laughed told his boss and they laughed - we laughed and continued to walk out. I think we did by a t- shirt for Joshua :) - as we neared the door he continued to beg for an offer on the rug and I replied back with a mild yell "fifty U.S. dollars"...we all laughed and then I seriously thanked him for the beautiful work done on the rugs, we truly appreciated their beauty and value (we just don't need a rug).  We also thanked them for the fun experience :)

We were finished shopping at two places and headed back to the hotel. Recall we don’t have a cell phone, right – but just so you know, these drivers will stay just outside the markets with their car and wait while you shop. During our ride back to the hotel, we came upon an accident where a woman in a beautiful red dress with cream embroidery lay on the ground surrounded by men / people looking down at her. She had obviously been in some sort of accident or something. There was no ambulance coming, the sound of beeping horns continued just like every other day, traffic total gridlock so even if one was coming they couldn't get to her. I said to Brad – “it looks like she's having a seizure” (her body thumping up and down as she lay on the ground) he replied, "she's dying - that's what dying looks like" - he got a better look at the accident and said it appeared as though she was on the back of a motor cycle and got sideswiped. Women literally ride in their flowing dresses side saddle on the back of motorcycles, no helmet of course. I couldn't help but wonder where she was going – to work, family, friends - someone must be expecting her and does she have ID and who will come to collect her body? Hundreds of cars continued to pass by as we did too when the traffic began to move - sadness engulfed our taxi and Brad and I both felt nauseous.

Our car continued on, and then at an upcoming stop light a handicapped man and several children began tapping on our windows begging for money. Something happens to you when you see such a sight – it’s almost like these faces are burned onto your heart….the image there permanently. The Holy Spirit said to me, "When you see these, you see me, the faces of humanity created in the image of God." Because we’ve learned to travel with food for little miss, we still had an apple and Gerber snacks for Anjali. Brad rolled down the window on his side and gave the apple to the child barely tall enough to see in the window; the child quickly grabbed it. On my side two more children came smaller yet and a woman selling roses. Anjali looked at them through the window….as she pressed her nose to the window. All my fears passed about opening my window and I asked Brad what else we had in his backpack - the remaining item – an almost full container of Gerber snack puffs. Anjali likes them and recognizes the container as he pulled it out of his backpack. I roll down the window a bit and in seconds the Gerber container is swiped by the woman and children. Anjali didn't fuss one bit seeing her snack go to someone else! (And it almost seemed as if she understood their need for food.... it was interesting for sure).  Anjali was been amazing the last two days actually giving up food she otherwise would clutch in her hand and even hand feeds Brad and I a Cheerios or two or Gerber snack., apple chunk - it's huge to see her give up food--- I think she likes us:).

So as we continued back to the hotel all I could think of was this, "thank you God - that our daughter will not have to live this very hard life…thank you Lord she will not ride side saddle wearing a dress on a motorcycle to work in traffic like this, and thank you Lord that she will have all her needs met by us, her family and that she doesn’t live on the streets.”....... “Thank you Lord for blessing us beyond measure.” It really is a hard life here…. no matter what your life status is.

We decided to try this Chinese restaurant at the mall for lunch. We had fried rice and it was amazing! This time together brought laughter upon our dark day as Anjali played drums with chopsticks on the metal chair and ate boatloads of fried rice. I'm reminded of days in Kenya with such swings of emotions - sometimes your heart just doesn't think it can take any more emotion ...and peace sets it.... it's as if your internal compass is ever changed..... I'm so very thankful for all our preparations for days such as these. We love this place - yet can't wait to get home and are so thankful for our life in the U.S.

After lunch we ventured out to the play area at the mall… we are reminded how much we appreciate being able to stay at this hotel that has the mall, food, and play area attached to our hotel, so we don’t have to constantly face the traffic of India.  Tomorrow we begin our long trip home.

Daily trip must haves:

When venturing out for driving trips – bring food for the street kids (apple, banana, bottled water, etc) – it is a huge blessing to share what we have.  - Can get these from hotel.

Plain cheerios – Anjali LOVES them!

Goldfish crackers are a good snack also.


Daily lessons:

Life is short – take in every moment. … you never know when it will be your last day on earth.

Count your blessings and give thanks to the Lord.

There are certain universal truths – give a kid chop sticks and watch them become a drummer before your very eyes – without ANY prompting :)


  1. What a shock to come upon that poor woman. And it is very difficult to see children (or anyone) begging . . . especially when you've been advised by many different sources not to give money. We are not used to seeing people begging in our home city, so it was hard to know what to do. We also ended up giving water bottles and granola bars away. I am planning to bring extra boxes of them along next time. I know it doesn't help long-term, but it will help that person, that day, at least.

    I love hearing how Anjali warmed up to you bit by bit -- gives me a picture of our K doing the same. :o)

  2. I love your journal writing!

  3. We were shocked that in two trips with the crazy Indian driving that we did not see accidents, but like you brought to light, they do happen. How sad to watch how differently the response is in a place so different from home.

    On a happy note, Anjali sounds like she made huge strides in just a short time. It is so wonderful to watch our little flowers blossom!


  4. Look at those big smiles with Brad. I love it. :)

    And the story of the woman breaks my heart. That must have been so hard to see.

    I am just so glad you are home...and I'm thrilled with how you are doing.... I loved your post on FB about getting to go on a date with Brad. Woooohooo!!!!! :)

    Love you,