Its official, we have been in India a year. Holy Cow!! (literally)
What are our reflections on the past year????? Here are the typical questions we get and our standard response:)
What is the strangest thing you have seen? To be honest, this is really hard as the daily occurance of strange sighting is really high. I'd have to say: the donkey riding in a rickhsaw. But.. the florescent green lake by our house is quite a sight (and smell).People sleeping in the median of a busy road, people just walking in the monsoon down pours trying to get from one place to another because they have no choice.
What do you like the most? This one is WAY too easy ..The PEOPLE, followed by The FOOD! The people we have met, both through work, the OWC, school and our neighborhood are incredible. They are smart, flexible, open, helpful, friendly and welcoming (ten fold when discussing our cook, maid and driver!!). The FOOD is fantastic and we have each just naturally lost weight here. Yippee!
What is the hardest part? huh... How to answer ... the lack of convienence? (ie. not being able to drive, cook, have a reliable source of electricity or internet?) But .. this is probably where we have learned the most in terms of patience and going WITH the flow instead of against it. The other really hard thing is the poverty. You just dont get used to it. Its gut wrenching and a daily struggle to see how a good portion of the people in the world live.
What have you learned? That diversity comes in MANY forms. Religon, country, experience, education, values.... We have been able to really really LIVE our spiritual principles here and it feels really good. You should try it:)
What is it like? Do you remember the Calgon commercial from the '70s where the phone is ringing, the baby crying, the postman is at the door, the dinner is burning, etc.... Like that, every minute of every day, but add to it other sensory overload stuff like... airplanes so close that you can read their id numbers, smog, 7 million people, traffic, snakes, rats, 3-5 languages AND then add in all the good stuff too... new friends, spicy food, loud music, fragrant flowers, signs signs signs everywhere. Its basically sensory overload 20 hours a day (I think there are about 4 hours of the day when there is actual "quiet" and things settle down a bit- I usually am asleep though, so don't quote me on this).
Then trying to get the simpliest things done like ordering flowers and your driver brings you a bundle of colored paper...
What do you miss from the U.S.? Our family and friends, Mexican food, good red wine, good cheese. Any real Steak House and a Grey Goose Dirty Martini, and a relaxed atmoshere that is not rushed. Home.
When are you coming home? Good question, we'll let you know when we find out:) You are ALL welcome to come visit. We are taking the 1 year down, 1 to go approach.
Overall, we are LOVING this experience, both for ourselves, our relationship and for the kids.
We are truly blessed to be able to be here experiencing LIFE :)