Things have been relatively calm the past few weeks – well, as calm as things can get in India! It has been a time filled with finishing up final papers, exams, and presentations. But between all of this schoolwork I’ve found time to do something fun things are Coimbatore and even did some traveling of my own to visit my friend Anna who is living north of me in Pune! Check out these pictures and recaps of my latest India adventures:
As part of our India Religions class we went on visits to a Jane Temple and a Sikh Gurdwara . . .
These are two of India’s “smaller” religions,but they still have a presence here in India.
We also discovered that we LOVE the movie theater at the mall in Coimbatore. They usually have one or two English movies playing!
I call it an “escape to America” because for a few hours you feel like you are in an American movie theater. Well, except for the surprise of an intermission in the middle of the movie! The best part of going to the movies? You can get your ticket, a drink, and popcorn for around $5 American dollars! Just one of the ways India is spoiling my wallet!
I also got mehendi done! It is basically like henna tattoos that you see sometimes in the states, but much much cooler! My friend Simaron owns a handmade jewelry shop and also does mehendi! She is very talented, as you can see by the artwork on my hands!
Also, we fit 12 people in a van taxi! The things we do to save a few rupees…
We had a closing ceremony type thing for our college! It was a very nice service, and it gave me an excuse to wear my recently purchased saree!
Next I’m going to talk about the highlight of my time in India! Some of you might know my friend Anna who is living in working in Pune, India for three years! She graduated from SNU in May, but while we were both in college we got pretty close. She was an RA in my dorm freshman year and is one of the nicest people I know. Her city and mine are pretty far apart, but I couldn’t be in the same country with her and not see her! SO I hopped a flight from Coimbatore to Pune this last weekend to pay her a visit!
I can’t describe how great this time was! We both felt like our American lives and our Indian lives were colliding! I couldn’t believe that we were actually together in a foreign country! I was in Pune from Thursday till Sunday and we packed as much stuff in my trip as possible! From shopping, to eating, to seeing her work, and hanging out with her fun co-workers, I saw all that Pune has to offer!
Here are some pictures of some things we did:
-Shopping in open air markets
-Cold Coffee at "Buddha’s"!
-Riding sidesaddle on a scooty! I see a lot of women in sarees doing this and I’ve always wanted to do it! Anna’s friend Saye took me for a quick scooty ride so I could cross it off my India Bucket List!
-Anna even took a turn driving it!
Pune also had some of the things I had been missing from America!
Chillis! Complete with chips and salsa, one of my favorite foods back home!
Dr. Pepper from an import store! It was a little more expensive than in the states, but its hard to put a price on your favorite drink that you haven’t had in months!
My first night there I got to watch a Thunder game. Some of the boys on Anna’s team have a cable package that includes an English sports channel, so I got to watch the Thunder beat the Clippers! I don’t have a picture of this, but trust me when I say I was pretty excited to watch them play!
Once again, I had such a great time with Anna in Pune! We both got some much needed encouragement from each other and it was a great “vacation” for me! A lot of people from the US really miss Anna, so I feel very bless that I was able to see her!
Some of you might know that the class/school part of my semester is almost over! We leave Tuesday evening for a 16-day long “field trip” that will literally take us all over India!
I’m very excited about the opportunity to see new places in India! But I also have some concerns and prayer requests to share!
Pray that our group has safe travels! We will be traveling from city to city by train. We have traveled this way before but every train is different. Sometimes we will be on air-conditioned trains, and sometimes we won’t. Some times the trains are clean, but sometimes they are dirty with bugs! We also have a few extremely long trains that we will be on for longer than 24 hours. So just pray that we have good trains, but it we don’t that these rides go by fast!
The weather is getting hotter every day in India! We will be very busy on these trips, so I’m worried about keeping up my energy and morale during these long days! The intense heat has a tendency to zap all my energy! So pray that God will provide times of rest and pleasant weather for us.
This trip also means it is getting close to my return to America! As much as I have enjoyed my time here in India and getting to know the great group of people I have been here with, I’m looking forward to going home and seeing my family and friends! But I’m trying to keep myself focused on making the most of this experience and not letting myself count down the days till I’m home. So pray that my homesickness does not keep me from making the most of every minute!
The Bible verses I am focusing on right now are . . .
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”
I came across this verse a few weeks ago and it really hit home on several levels. But I love that it says that God will be with us wherever we are. It is very reassuring to know that even here in my apartment in Coimabtore where I can here the Muslim Call to Prayer and look out in the hallway and see Hindu idols, God is with me. He will be with me for every minute as I finish up this crazy experience and I am so thankful for that!
Another verse that God gave me recently was Colossians 1:10-11 where Paul is telling the people of Colosse to “live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. “
I like how this verse commands us to live our life a certain way, but then promises that God will strengthen us with his own power. Endurnace and patience are two things that I feel like I lack sometimes! But how great that he will give us what we need if we follow and trust in him!
This will probably be my last major blog update from India! Free time and internet access will be very limited luxuries over the next few weeks! Since I will be seeing a lot of cool things in my travels (like this little place called the Taj Mahal), I will probably do some blog posts when I get back in the States!
I really appreciate each and every person who has taken the time to read my blog over the past couple of months! I have loved getting to share my experiences with other people! I look forward to talking with people once I get back and getting to share more stories with you all!
Every single facebook comment/message, email, or just telling my parents that you have read my blog has been great encouragement for me during this time! Never underestimate the power of a kind word!
I’m off to enjoy my time left in Coimbatore, and put off packing for a little longer!
Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers!