Monday, November 3, 2008

The Roller Coaster Continues...

India is similar to a roller coaster. One minute I feel confident that God is here, I feel comfortable and am able to appreciate a different culture and all that comes with that. The next minute I’m wondering how this society exists, why did we come here and wondering how fast we can leave! For the most part I find myself somewhere in between these two extremes.

In Kolkata, volunteering at the mother home was very encouraging, a beacon of light in a dark place. I was also inspired by the sheer number of other westerners coming to volunteer, esp Italian Catholics. Many were spending their holiday in Kolkata volunteering. Yet at the same time, I didn’t have a desire to stay. Maybe spending a day with the destitute and dying wasn’t enough of a honeymoon for me. Maybe I didn’t feel like I could really make an impact there. The day spend at Kalighat, mother Theresa’s first love, the home for the destitute and the dying, was a day for much thought and reflection. I didn't get to right away as we spent much of the evening dealing with the train schedule...
Varanasi also exemplified this roller coaster ride…we saw bodies burning on the ghats, had an interesting interaction with our rickshaw driver, observed many aspects of Hindu prayer and worship and I was told to go back to our country by a boat driver….the very next day we witnessed another beacon of hope at a Asha Bhavan, a widows home in Northern Varanasi with a wonderful couple from Ohio volunteering there. We bought brownies and cookies from their store, spent some time with Indian church planters and left wishing we could spend more time helping them.
We visit the Taj Tomorrow then take our final train to Delhi before flying to Indonesia. I have no doubt the rollercoaster will continue and I’m just thankful I really like roller coasters and 2 really great riding partners....

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