The preschool students are the ones running after the older students with a banana peel and telling them to put it in the trash. The same students are picking up other people’s trash because they have ownership and pride. How much more powerful is the message to keep things neat and tidy, when coming from the youngest members of the school?
I wish to go home and feel the comfort of heat on a cold day, yet not forget those who are without any source of heat. I wish to feel my body soak in a warm bath, but not forget those who have not enough water to drink – let alone bathe. I wish to sleep on a soft, cushy mattress, but not forget those who share a bed with their whole family. I wish to have a family, but not forget those who have many more children than they have food to feed them. I wish to be free to choose where I want to live and work but…..
It’s time to take a stand: to believe in the power for all of us to see with new vision. Find the good in others. Find the beauty in the natural you. Question what we are told is “good looking”. Seek to find something to admire and love about everyone you meet. Find the good deeds that they are doing, the kind words that they speak. Spread the news that you will not be defined by some model’s image of beauty.
As I continue to learn and stretch myself in this new place in which I live, I was reflecting on the things that I’ve learned (to live without). #1 A Washing Machine & Dryer – In India it is very common for people to wash clothes by hand and hang them out to dry. Many families do have a washing machine, but a dryer would be much less common. But, here there are no laundry mats for those without. Instead, those without machines at their house either wash clothes themselves, have their household help (an Ayah) do the washing for them, or hire someone (a Dobi) to take the clothes…..
At the start of my school vacation time, I had the chance to visit the little town of Uthamapalayam. It’s about 3-4 hours away from my town of Kodaikanal, depending on the speed at which the taxi driver was going. It is the nearest congregation of my church, Community of Christ, to where I am living. So, before I left the Seattle area, I had made contact with people at the world church, who then got me in touch with Prince Daniel and his wife Ruby. They came to visit me in Kodai and then we made plans for me to visit their church and see all the work that…..
I finally made it through to the end of the semester and I can say it was an eventful time. I am now getting ready for a visit to the local congregation of our church and I am very excited to meet everyone and worship together. But, before I leave on that trip, I will share with my follow teachers in a Kodai version of Thanksgiving. In that spirit I want to say that I am so thankful for all the blessings I have received thus far; being so warmly welcomed in this town and into the school community. I was especially blessed by all the positive comments I received…..
Today, as the rain was pouring down on the metal roofs and it was grey and dreary outside, I sat and listened as Giovanni played some Bach on the piano. He is one of my music teacher colleagues here at KIS. I have watched him play for accompaniments with the students and have marveled at his ease with which he can play and just sight-read amazingly complex things and make them sound simple. But, it’s not just his ability to play lots of notes that wows me. Many people can play piano at this level, it’s the fact that he plays with so much intensity every single time he touches…..
Why have I not written for so long? I think it’s culture shock or maybe it’s the final sort of settling in and wanting to simply “be” here, rather than write about it all. But, two major things happened in the past two weeks. There is this feeling of your life being turned upside down when you move to another country. Everything you knew before is changed and different. Many things at home are upside down. But when I have gone through change in the past, there have been certain things that held me up. When I have been depressed or off balance, for the past 6 years, dancing has…..