Saturday, 12 January 2008
We have arrrived... India... I am wishing I could post pictures today as my words will fail to convey the small piece of this country I've seen. But pictures can't capture it either - they don't communicate sound or smell, taste or touch, which will be the makers of my memories here. But it is beautiful - showing you the view I will wake up to for the next three weeks alongside the beaches of Goa will make it hard to believe I'm a mercenary. It is glorious, the Arabian Sea which runs into the Indian Ocean is just 1.5 blocks from our guesthouse. And neither are there pictures of the beggars I met today, both hungry, unkempt, and persistant. The one man has no legs, and the other an old woman who was obviously not well - both for whom the few cents they get will never improve their quality of life. It has struck me again today, that for these two scenes God finds the second far more beautiful. And the noise! I guess 1.2 billion people in a nation far smaller than Canada is bound to be noisy everywhere, from the fireworks that exploded right outside our house as I went to bed to the rooster that woke me up this morning (at about 4am though it isn't light out til 7 - anyone have a memory like this:)) This doesn't account for the constant people sounds during the day, the hum of life going on as "normal". Smell... well, there's a lot of them here. I would say overall you may be glad that I can't post smells here - but there are some wonderful ones too - streets lined with spices:) Taste... the food so far has been wonderful (Nealeen, I was thinking about you today as I ate my curry, and you too, Deni, remembering how much you like it:)) But I will mention that the snacks are a little, um, weird. Touch will begin soon; I think I've been posted to assist either in a clinic of miscellaneous ages and ailments, or with work alongside people affected by HIV/AIDS. I expect perhaps that some of what I'll see in the next few weeks will far outdo my own capacity to offer love and hope. Offering "there theres" and "it's okays" for things I don't have to experience seem shallow at best. As people, we often hope and love when circumstance offer us reason... and I don't anticipate seeing a lot of reasons for these vices in these places. The mystery is that even here, they still exist to the eyes that can see. May God grant me these eyes that I can see, and at least words to explain this vision to those who can't yet see themselves - that hope and love (as well faith) are undying candles, no matter what. So I am going to header here now, to experience some of that "what", and as you move on to experience yours, I pray you will find and count your reasons for faith, hope, and love today... no matter what!