Out to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4!
Security lines to check in any bags, which were not allowed in the theater.
Theaters were not spread out in a complex, nope, there were stairs involved. Serious amounts of stairs. Space efficient theaters here, with a concession area and amphitheater style seating for the movie.
Besides plot line critiquing which abounds…the BEST part of the movie…was the incorporated intermission!!!! Probably meant for snack purchasing, but complete liberty was taken for using the bathroom, and not missing any of the movie! I didn’t even have to GO and I was excited.
Mcdonalds, cheap and safe for dinner. I have eaten more fast food the past two weeks than I have in the past two years in the states.
Pancake breakfast!!! Cooked by Papioue and shamani (SP??????????) complete with fresh mango!! And coffee!! A good amount of people showed up for the “early hour” of 9:30am.. Like most things in India, we did not eat unil an hour later. By then, the coffee was ricocheting through my blood stream and I chattered away to everyone there.
I went along with a group of girls to go shopping. After much debate and consideration, a couple of us who had been considering getting an upper ear piercing decided to join forces for courage and fun and do it together J It was a birthday present from a new friend, among many, who have a special place in my heart.
She took me to a safe, clean place and we checked and confirmed with other friends where we wanted it done with a little pen.
I watched the guy who was going to do it, critiquing his cleaning and sterilizing techniques. Satisfied, except for his lack of gloves, but freshly hand sanitized hands and alcohol cleaned earring. Then he leaned forward to do it by hand…do they do that in the states? Push it through by hand? I didn’t know that and nearly panicked But I made it, without a tear or curse word. Yay brave act. Yay controlling breathing and nerves! Thanks to all those big scary tests…. Finally gaining those benefits.
We all walked around shopping, the girls here are great. They give opinions on styles and how they look. Thumbs up or thumbs down, they won’t let a friend wear something that looks bad! I made the mistake of trying on one American –ish styled shirt. It was in a nice store, so I knew it would make it through more than one wash without falling apart. Aaaand they all offered full support, claiming that I looked great in it. So, I caved. Since I rarely find anything I 1. Like 2. Fit 3. Have in my price range back home.
Had a snack of Momos ..can’t describe them. But it was street food that happened to taste great. Had one in consideration of my stomach. Also, tried Masala Coke. It had a very strong, distinct taste. With the salt not mixed in enough at the bottom. And the syrup giving a flavor to the coke. I tried it, and shared it with Joel. Several sips in I decided it wasn’t that bad, not a favorite, but more than tolerated.
Three of us continued on to market. Where everything is super cheap. It is open, not in stores, so you had to hunt for a size or style that you wanted. I was under strict instructions to not purchase anything without one of the other girls there to negotiate prices.
We entered onto the crowded road, bustling the people, sales on the sides, with clothes layered and hanging up on display..filling the entire wall space available. Ladies walked around, with necklaces or bangles draped over their arms, offering stuff for sale. Dust, and smoke lingered in the air, kicked up by everyone walking around. We were on the hunt for somewhat specific items. The hardest part, finding the sought after size (yes, even here). I made the mistake of pointing out a couple shirts I was interested in, and before I knew it, one of the girls had haggled them down to 150 rs…that’s $3. Each. W00t! even managed to find the one style shirt I was looking for! (it looks like a man’s button down dress shirt, but s more feminine by cutting in close to the waist, but being long enough to reach mid thighs). It was fun, working our way through the crowds holding up different colors, inspecting the articles for tears in the fabric. We stuck close, linking arms and holding hands while weaving through the crowds.
We were hot sticky and dusty. We went to the one girls house to freshen up. She graciously let us in, we rinsed off our feet, washed our faces. She offered us some Chai (that is just standard tea here, sometimes served with some spices and milk. ) we fluffed our hair, changed clothes, borrowed jewelry and set out for a surprise going away party for one of the leaders there.
When we left at the end of the night, I realized all the ways I have changed in just a couple weeks. Whole heartedly tried the food, not wincing nearly as much at all the spice, and I comfortably settled in among the groups of people, chatting away instead of hugging the corner and desperately trying to understand the heavy accents.
Walked to the metro station so we could find an auto rickshaw, since it is hard to find them on other roads once it gets late (after 10pm ish). Sticking in groups, and ensuring each person got safely home, or had someone to ride with. I hope I do that with my friends, I guess I is not as much of an issue, but it is still something that needs to be incorporated.
Last Sunday with SDC? (South Delhi Congregation)
Is it weird how welcome I feel? How much a part of this place I feel, although my roots are not deep?
After the service, we had a break for Chai, then went back for a prayer meeting. I was pretty nervous going into it, I don’t usually pray outloud, which is weird. Maybe it is because geneva is so full of experienced Pray-ers, who know how to articulate the issues they are worried about. Maybe I’m just letting my insecurities interfere too much.
Anyways, it started with worship, then on the screen they put up a list of issues. Then we broke into groups of four to pray over the list. The first list was global/international concerns, and the lists gradually became more local, ending on the congregation’s prayer concerns. Even though I didn’t know most of the people we were praying over, it actually was really great, just to pray together.
American embassy! The whole group! For Joel’s graduation party, as well as for Luke graduating too! (though he has been taking college level classes online).
We got in, and although the ball field and the bowling lanes were rented…I made a bee line for the swimming pool. Today was probably around 115 F…and in my opinion, the water is the only place one is supposed to be!
Even wearing a whole piece suit, and shorts, I still felt extremely self conscious. Luckily Sophia was in the pool with me the whole time! It was fun, though the group kept getting the whistle blown at us for our styles of fun. I wished I had any experience teaching swimming. It would have helped. Most people only swim once in awhile, if at all here. A lot of the girls were too nervous to get in. It was a lot of fun though! Treading water, practicing dives. For once, I could keep up with the strongest swimmers in the group (rare back home).
Quick game of football (soccer) I realized I have not played since GYM CLASS in HIGHSCHOOL. That’s just embaressing. Oh well, it was fun. And the game was too intense and short to let me interfere at all. The country’s sports are football (soccer) and cricket. In the summer, they are just put on hiatus for afternoon times.
Dinner: Italian Buffet style! When Mrs. Bennett warned the chef that she would have a large group of youth (here youth is 18-28) so he wouldn’t run out of food. He assured her “Mam, I have been cooking for Americans for 11 years…running out of food will not be a problem” hahahaha sooo true. We had a room all to ourselves and a massive table, around which we crammed 30 plus people. Have you ever sat around one large table with that many people? One would think cross ways communication would be impossible, but I assure you, it was managed rather well. In some form or another.
I apologize for all the details that could be summed up as “Anna spent time with new friends” but it has been these friends that have made the visit here so amazing. It is the conversations that took place and friendships built that made this so much more than just a short trip to India.