I try to keep it pretty light here in blog-world because well quite frankly it can get a little heavy around here. It has been wonderful for our family to be under one roof for 4 weeks straight (well actually three roofs in the last 4 weeks but you know what I mean). Our move has not come without cost. We very much miss all that we left behind, and I don't just mean our dishwasher.
The physical and spiritual poverty that we encounter here on a daily basis is oppressive. Even little Everett has more than once turned his head from the car window and just closed his eyes and gone to sleep.
This morning, against all odds, and after many many wrong turns, the boys and I made our way to BSF. The boys uncharacteristically walked right into their class; they were so happy to be among other children. The ladies (all Indian but one) were very welcoming to me. I loved worshiping and studying with these women this morning. Our attendance this morning was surely the result of many prayers.
I have struggled with believing that God would meet our needs here particularly in regards to the boys. Upon picking them up from their class, they were full of excitement about what they had done. Suddenly in the midst of all of it (and when you are on a street in Bangalore holding on to two children I do mean ALL OF IT) Samuel stops in his tracks and proceeds to ask me to guess the name of his new friend from his class.
In Dallas Samuel has one little boy in his class that he misses very much. Caleb.
God did not have to give Samuel a Caleb in Bangalore.....but He did.
Since we are living in country that is not our own, we have made certain changes to our vocabulary in order to blend, or at the very least to communicate. For example if I ask for a hamburger, I will get a ham sandwich. So I have to ask for a beef burger. If I ask where the elevator is, I will get a blank stare. Hence, I have to ask where the lift is.
See the fruit of my beef burger efforts below......
The one thing that I just can't get used to is our interaction with our housekeeper and driver (if all you stay at home moms in Dallas are feeling jealous right now.....trust me....just don't) It's one thing that they call us sir and madam. I've totally given up trying to be addressed by my first name. The funny thing is that we cannot speak to them about each other without referring to each other as sir and madam. For example if I ask our driver to go to the city and pick up Carl, he just sort of gets flustered. I have to say, "Go to the city to pick up sir."
In the interest of keeping it real. Yesterday, in the car, Carl asked him to "drop off madam at the hotel" and then continue on with him and the boys. Samuel sits up out of his swimming induced stupor and says, "Dad, who is MADAM?"
So after a long and arduous Indian day, Everett locked himself in the bathroom. Despite both boys many suggestions and attempts to help me, I could not get him out of the bathroom. I called maintainance to get him out. This is actually not the first time this has happened to Everett so I knew what to do.
Then we waited. I asked Everett to sing to me so I could know he was okay and he chose to scream, "My God is so great so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do." Way to have faith, buddy.
Ten....yes ten....minutes later, two men come barrelling through our door. Each man has 2 or three random tools in each hand. There was no tool box or tool belt, certainly no key which would have been pretty handy at this point... just random stuff like a hammer, pliers...just whatever.
In the meantime Everett gets himself out of the bathroom (which is actually the same thing that happened at home after I called the fire department) and the men want me to explain how he got locked in in the first place. I kept saying, "He's a little kid." "He's three years old." They kept checking out the door with their crazy tools.
Soooo...every night at dinner the boys tell Carl about our day. This is one of the best parts about being here because at home Carl was well, here, so obviously not at the dinner table.
Last night the boys told him all about our school projects, leaf collecting, and swimming. I felt they were leaving out an important event of the day so I pressed them a little about our lunch at the pool. Suddenly both of their faces lit up as they remembered to tell their dad about the six fingered man who served them their lunch.
People in India LOVE children. Everyone is always bending down and talking to them and patting them on the heads. Yesterday at the pool, our waiter was no exception. What was an exception was that he thought that it would be fun to show the boys his extra thumb. And you know what? They loved it. They were all over it. It was the most exciting thing that happened to them all day.
I, however, much like Domingo, am now haunted by the image.
Often times when visiting a restaurant one is posed this question at the beginning of a meal. If the answer is no, then the server proceeds to explain certain "rules" that exist in that particular restaurant. He or she will offer suggestions to make one's dining experience more pleasurable by removing any confusion or discomfort from the patron's experience.
Every time I walk out the door of our apartment, and sometimes when I'm still in it, it's like visiting a new restaurant. It's the first date, first day of school, first day at a new job....
I remember the first time I took the boys to Mercy Street I wondered what they were thinking, how they were processing it, how it would effect them. Little did I know.....
The boys have seen more in the past 7 days than many people see in their entire lives. By grace, they have handled most of it in stride.
On of my favorite moments in the past week is when a little Indian girl from next door came over to play. It took about 30 minutes of her standing at the edge of our patio for Samuel to go over and offer her a toy. She then warmed up a little and actually crossed our threshold. Then, Samuel gets down in her face and says, "Hola. My name is Sam-well. Feliz Navidad."