‘It’s india man, cows roam the street and noone ever has a solid bowel movement’ Rajesh Koothrapali, Big Bang theory
Today marks the end of my first week in India! Time is flying so quickly and I never want it to end, but I am so excited for what has to come!
So we’ve now seen all the projects and have decided what we will be working with for the next three weeks. I’ve enjoyed all the projects, but ones that sat on my heart include Lakermath, New Market and Connections. Lakermath is a informal school for children of this red light district of Kolkata, and I’ll be there every afternoon. New Market Slum is one of the poorest and rawest places I havebeen to, but one that has given me so much joy. It is another informal school in a very basic room in new market slum and I’ll be going there Mon-Wed mornings. Connections is a place where the ladies take used saris and make cool western products-bags, scarves, bunting and they sell them to the US etc. I’m going there Thursday and Friday.
I’m finding several things difficult, like the extraordinary heat, delhi belly, the amount of beggars on the road for example but nothing compares to the poverty and awful situations I have seen here. Old people who have severe nerve problems having to walk over 20 miles a day to earn money from selling incense to survive. Child drug addicts who have come to the city looking for work but are met with forced prostitution, abuse and drugs. We heard today that they start inhaling the fumes from car exhausts in order to stop feeling hungry. What is this world? Why are people living like this? The hardest project I think I have seen is Sealdah Railway station project. Sealdah is a mssive railway station, and lots of child drug addicts live there in destitue poverty. Many are in gangs and almost all abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes. We sat in a little cafe (well,literally some sheets of metal and a plastic roof) and the boys were given a meal, most didn’t speak english but we played together and they all seemed very happy to see us. But the girls were even harder. They were younger than me or around my age and I couldn’t help feeling guilty, sitting there having a life which they deserve just as much as me yet they don’t have it. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to me? a couple of bad grades, a rough heartbreak, fights with my mum. I sat opposite a girl who was six months pregnant, fourteen, her sixteen year old husband had left her last year and she was a glue addict. And she gave up alcohol for the baby. Can you even imagine? Another two girls my age had rickshaw pullers as husbands- a job that makes me feel sick when I see a skinny old guy pulling a rickshaw and several people who look like they can walk barefoot across the streets of Kolkata- and had one child already and one on its way. Can you even imagine?
Anyway, I look forward for what God has instore for me at the projects. I love womens and chilrens ministry and I have a heart for them, and I think the projects I have chosen will be raw and real yet fun and enjoyable at the same time. Please pray for:
No more ill feelings! Well, it is India but I don’t want to be feeling too awful during my projects. I’d hateeee to miss out.
That God can bless and continue to change me and the rest of the girls on our trip
That we can bring something to the people we meet, and build relationships and friendships with them.
Thank God for the fact nothings really gone wrong so far! Also the fact we are here, happy, well, and making great friends already. Thank god for the amazing work he is doing here with EMC and I pray he grants more of his blessings on this fantastic city.
Here are some pictures randomly taken from my video camera which is all I can plug into the system at this internet cafe. Any video will take to long to upload in the hour I have here- so that’s it for now! Mainly the pics are from around EMC church and Pauline Bevan childrens home, as well as one of the slums outside connections. I’ve tried to be braver with my DSLR but using it sparingly as the sockets here seem to blow up everytime you try and charge something.