September 12th, 2012.
So… a lot of new happenings. It’s so much information and I don’t have enough photos – not even ten photos of all the new stuff about our lives. Plus the internet is limited now, so I cannot upload many photos anyway. Emerson told me about changing the size or something like that...
We moved out of the hotel, right? So now we are living in our apartment. As I write this it is Tuesday, September 2nd. But we do not have internet, so who knows when you will be able to read this. According to how I’ve seen things here, it might take a couple of weeks before we get it.You really have to go to other parts of the world to see how rich you are, and how whiny and spoiled you can get. The first day when we moved in I was having such a bad attitude, and really I hated it. I was tired of cleaning the floors and wiping the dust away. My expectations were that when you move into an apartment they give it to you clean, and almost sparkly, but not here. My feet were black with the dust on the floors, and so we cleaned it all. I think the floors are still dirty – but less dirty. We still get very black feet at the end of the day ;)
|My boy and girl|
Also Paccai brought me a lady because I told her I wanted to learn how to cook. But Lakshmi wanted money monthly, and I had to say no. A cooking lady is not in our budget, plus I had “success” with some parathas and chickpeas that were very spicy. I mean, I am not sure if that was authentic Indian, but they were not as greasy, and that makes me feel better. They use ghee here in excess, and it’s so good!! But it will kill your heart…Ghee is milk fat, and it smells amazing. It’s like butter, but sweeter and it’s a liquid.
Pachammal also thinks my children are going to break, especially Enzo. Pacchamal (not Paccai, I was wrong with the spelling) tells me – in Tamil- that it’s too hot to walk with the children outside in the sun, like they are going to burn or something. They are doing fine, it was just 0.3 miles coming back from school. But she's nice, and shares her food with me, and I share mine with her. Also, she speaks to me like I understand what she says in Tamil. Today we met Monjur, who was taking care of Achu. Achu is my neighbor Sagardi’s daughter. Sagardi works from 10 am to 4 pm, but she is helpful and speaks English. She has offered to help in any way I need.
So on Sunday we went grocery shopping, and it’s hard with two children. A lady called Regini approached me and asked questions… anyway, at the end she said Let’s be friends, come over to my house, and then told me where she lived: three houses down my street. So we went yesterday to thank her for her friendliness. She has two big dogs. One had puppies. Enzo and Libby were excited. She also had like three people working for her, two gardeners and another woman.
Regini mentioned Indian people give a lot of importance to the color of your skin, but that she is not like that. I hope so. She’s Hindu, and she was telling me about very interesting stuff about her beliefs. There are many dogs on my street, and Libby wants to pet them all the time. They don’t mind you most of the time, but as of today, I walk with a stick, like Moses. They feed the dogs because they believe that’s your last life or something. They could be your grandma or your dad.
I run with my stick in the mornings, too. God knows what you need… It’s safe to run in my neighborhood, at least on the street that runs parallel to my street. I haven’t gone any farther than that. But today as we were walking to school to check it out, Sagardi offered me her driver, so I said yes. He drove around, and it seems nice. So I’ll run a little farther than just around the block tomorrow.
I guess people don’t walk here if they don’t have to, especially if they can afford a driver. Maybe that’s why Pacchama tells me I shouldn’t walk, because my husband has a good job, I guess. But I won’t ride the car with them just to go to school, maybe if I need to go buy groceries, and need the car’s trunk to carry them, but I won’t spoil them. I don’t know, we’ll see...
What else?? So yes, Regini’s beliefs… They have seven lives, and you don’t know if it’s your last one or what, so you better behave and be good, do good karma. Else you’ll pay in the next life. That kinda sucks for the next life, right? I can’t imagine going thru my struggles in this life, plus my stupidity and wrong decision-making ruining my next life, too. But that’s what she believes, and I respect that. I didn’t say anything about Jesus until she asked, actually.
Just little things like the fact that I just have one life to live freely because Jesus died for my sins. Also that I don’t have to die as the punishment I deserve, because God already took care of that. And that at the end of my life I’ll go to heaven no matter what I did because Jesus already paid for me. Of course that doesn’t give me license to be a jerk to people, but pretty much the whole idea of salvation is that it is a free gift for you if you want it. Pretty simple. So simple that I’m beginning to understand why people sometimes ask Is that it?
Yes. That’s it.
For the first time in a long time, I’m not trying to change people’s minds. I guess all this time I knew I shouldn’t, but out of my bubble things are different for now. God is using us in some way, and He has a plan for us while in here, but honestly, I have no freaking idea what that is.
But I know we are making an impact somehow as a family, because our last day at the hotel, we said good-bye to everybody and they were so kind to us. Sugumar bought the children some candy, and all the staff at the restaurant brought us a chocolate cake. They wanted to take photos with us, and they said they were going to miss the children so much. It was really touching.
I thought it was going to be the same to the other guests who were leaving, but it wasn’t. I told Enzo and Libby they were kind and gentle, and respectful with all these people for a whole month. Shaking hands, saying good morning, saying bye when we were leaving for a walk, talking to them, and getting to know them. The reward was the fact that people cared for us, and they showed it by wanting to be with us, taking pictures, and they even gave us a free cake!
I told my children they made a difference and it didn’t matter they were little, like that Bible verse about not letting anyone look down on you because you are young, but setting an example to the believers in speech, live, love, faith and purity…
I also like living this kind of beach life, ha ha ha! I can only wash clothes in a little washer, but I’m thankful I have a washer. Then go upstairs, and dry it on the sun. God bless my mother because she did that every day, and washed my clothes by hand. And I am washing dishes again. And I’m sweeping the floors very often, and taking dust away. I don’t even use the AC so much, the breeze feels so nice… which is funny because the first day here I told Emerson that I hated it here, that I couldn’t live a life like this... Now I think that running in 80 degree weather with a 100% humidity is freaking awesome.
I am actually training for the Wipro Chennai Half Marathon on December 7th. I’m training harder than last time, in different weather conditions, and I hope to beat 2 hours. Hopefully I won’t be disappointed. I was 2:35 minutes away from that goal last time, my first time ever. So I hope I can do it this time around.
Enzo is speaking a lot
Libby and Enzo are very excited about school, I think. At least Libby is. And I'm excited for them. I don’t want to get rid of them, but they get bored here because there are no parks around, and the only playgrounds are around schools, clubs or very far away from here. They will play, have friends, and get out of the apartment. Libby will have music, dance, swimming, crafts, etc. I think they are really going to like it.
And I will have two free hours everyday to cook, clean, wash or whatever needs to get done. Relaxing also would be nice, at least once a week. Ha, ha, ha!
Tomorrow is our first weekend with Kannadasan, our driver. He's been driving Emerson to work this week, and also driving him nuts. Emerson says he drives like an old lady. But I like that, for the children. I like Kannadasan. He doesn't speak English at all, well... words here and there, so it's fun to interact with him, trying to take us places. Today he took us for groceries, and ice cream. So ice cream is good, right?
I'll introduce him to you later with a photo :)