Monthly Archives: October 2010

Well India, it’s been great.

Hello everyone!!!

Katie and I have been having a GREAT time in India. We’ve only been here for 4 days, and we leave tomorrow, so everything has gone super fast! We’re wishing we would have known how great it was so we could have planned to spend more time here! There’s so much to experience, and 4 days definitely doesn’t do Calcutta justice.

These past 2 days, Katie and I have been volunteering at the different Missionaries of Charity homes. In the morning we’ve been working at a home for mentally and physically disabled children, and in the afternoon we’ve been at a home that focuses on palliative care for adults. It’s been really humbling to work with these people and to be able to get to know them a bit.

At the children’s home, we do basic chores, like washing laundry or making the beds. Then there’s a time of physio therapy for the children. Many of them have severe arm or leg contractures and need to be stretched out or massaged each day. Every child has a little booklet that tells a little bit about them and different exercises that you can do with them. It’s really interesting being with these kids, as most can’t walk or speak. You have to pick them up to take them anywhere and you almost feel as if you’re going to break them! During physio therapy time, there’s also a time of singing and listening to music. We all sit in a circle, and it’s really cool to see all of the volunteers there in one room together. We’ve met people from all over the world here, so as we sit in a circle, there will be people from Japan, the Netherlands, France, Norway, Scotland…everywhere! It’s just interesting how the vision and love of one person can bring people from every corner of the world together. But you’re not allowed to take pictures of any of the homes…so don’t be expecting any!!

Getting to know the other volunteers has also been fun! During our lunch break Katie and I usually tag along with some other people and go get lunch, or just walk around the city. They’ve shown us some really great places to eat and have helped us find our way around!

We also seem to be in India during the most exciting time of the year! There’s a HUGE festival that starts tomorrow, called Durga Puja, and it celebrates some strange looking goddess that has 8 arms. Anyways, all the buildings are covered in lights and there’s lots of music and celebrations! Katie and I were walking the streets last night looking for dinner, and we happened to stumble upon a big concert going 0n! We stayed for a while and watched, and let me tell you, there were some pretty awesome acts going on. There was one singer performing, who was apparently pretty well known in the area, but I’ll admit, he was a big hard to take seriously. He was a little bit bigger individual, doing Michael Jackson-like moves on stage, dedicating his songs “to his parents, and to his first love…the audience.” Awesome.

So needless to say, Katie and I are loving India and have been really blessed to see what Jesus is doing here! There are so many opportunities to share your faith with others and learn about theirs as well. We have so many stories that we wish we could share here, but there’s just not enough time to write them all!

So tomorrow we travel back to Thailand for our last stop of the trip! You can pray for safe travels, and that Katie and I will continue to stay healthy and safe. Thanks to all of you who have been praying during the whole duration, we appreciate you so much!

Have a super great day everyone!!!

Hello from India!

Hello everyone! Sorry we’ve been a bit sporadic in updating all of you these past few weeks. Internet hasn’t been the greatest!

Katie and I are now in Calcutta, India!!! We arrived Sunday night around 6:30, and we have been loving it so far. We were a bit sad to leave Bangladesh, as it was such a great country to visit and provided so many great experiences, but we were excited to keep moving! Calcutta is  such an interesting city, with so many things to experience and learn. We feel like we’re already on overload after only a day! We’re staying at a guesthouse that’s right down the road from the Missionaries of Charity–Mother Teresa’s organization where we plan on volunteering for the next couple of days.

This morning Katie and I ventured out and visited where Mother Teresa lived and her gravesight. It was pretty incredible. It’s hard to explain what it was like being there and seeing all of it, but it was definitely something neither of us will forget soon. They have a whole room with all of her belongings and writings, and it’s interesting to walk through and read her story of how she got to where she did. They also have all of her things on display, like her shoes, her pencils…they even had a piece of tubing labeled, “This is the piece of tube that went right into the lungs of Mother Teresa while she was sick.” I had to laugh to myself and think…did they really have to be that specific?? It was just really incredible to see how available she was to serve Jesus. Katie and I were left thinking about our own lives, and contemplating what it means to suffer for the cause of Christ, or to leave everything we have and follow Him. Sometimes it seems as though Americans (ourselves included) have such a skewed view of what this really means.

This afternoon we registered to volunteer for the next 2 days. So tomorrow we’ll head out to the home for the mentally and physically disabled children. We’re looking forward to seeing what this is like and to learn more about what people are doing to serve Jesus here. We’ll let you know how it goes!

Also, Katie and I are having a great time venturing around Calcutta! We have a lot of freedom here to go out and do whatever we want, so Katie and I spent the day today walking around, going into random shops, walking through different churches…And we’ve been having fun fending for ourselves and trying out different restaurants in the area. But don’t worry, we’re not drinking the water!

Well, we should probably get going now otherwise we will owe the computer people at the internet shop an extra 10 rupees. But thanks for keeping us in your prayers and we will try to update you soon on all that is happening!

Have a wonderful day!

Pictures from Bangladesh

                                

এইটি বাংলাতে একটি বাক্য।

Nomashgar from Bangladesh! Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve updated–we’ve been busy! Katie and I have been working in the hospital every day and learning lots about the people and the culture here.

It’s been interesting to see the different types of cases that the hospital here gets. This past week, a 20-year-old girl came in with rice poisoning. Basically, people ingest rice pesticides as a form of suicide. It’s an awful way to go, so it’s not fun to see people suffering from this type of diagnosis, as many don’t survive. This particular girl was also 4 months pregnant, and she comes from an abusive home life, as many of the women here do. She wasn’t able to breathe on her own, so they intubated her because her body was producing a lot of secretions from the poisoning. We were able to observe how the staff handled the situation and sat for a few hours keeping her breathing with the ambu-bag. It definitely made us thankful for ventilators back in the States! One thing that we kept thinking while we were saving this girl was that on one hand, it’s great that we’re saving her, but on the other hand, we’re saving her just to put her back in a potentially harmful situation… It doesn’t really seem fair either way. We’re just hoping that God can use this experience to show her truth and to give her life hope!

Another case we got to see was an 18-year-0ld boy, who was sitting on the side of the road and was hit by a bus. From just below the knee down to the ankle, all of the skin was ripped off, the muscles hanging out, and the bone completely exposed. If any of you have seen the Body Works exhibit, it was kinda like that. It was interesting to see, but we couldn’t help but feel so bad for this boy! They were trying to decide whether or not they would be able to save the leg. Here in Bangladesh, an amputee is usually destined to live as a beggar unless they have good family support. The doctors are doing all that they can, but we’re still not sure if it will be saved yet.

There were also 3 boys that came in having been bitten by a rabid dog. Apparently there were about 20 kids involved, but only 3 of them came to our hospital. This is a pretty common problem in Bangladesh with all the stray dogs, but it’s a terrible diagnosis. If you don’t get treated within a few hours of the bite, there’s no way to reverse the rabies. So we were able to watch them get all stitched up and hopefully they’ll be okay! These few instances give a snapshot of the culture here and what the people here are facing. It’s been interesting to note that for the most part, many of the problems are the same as the States, it’s just the story of how the person got the problem here that is so remarkable.

Outside of the hospital, Katie and I have been having fun! People go to bed around here pretty early, so Katie and I have mastered the art of entertaining ourselves. There’s a pool here that we went swimming in, we finally got the DVD player working…kinda, and we’ve been playing lots of card games, and sometimes, the unexpected happens…

Like last week, for instance. I (Becca) was taking a shower when I noticed a HUGE spider sitting in the corner of the bathroom. It was probably about the size of your palm. So big. I’m not much a spider person, so the first thing I thought of was how we were going to kill this thing. I walked out of the bathroom, and said “Katie, there’s a huge spider in the bathroom! You should kill it.” Unfortunately, Katie is a friend of all creatures of the world, great and small, and she decided that this spider deserved a chance at life. I couldn’t believe it. I was not about to have this thing crawling on my face during the night, so some way or another, it was going to die. Katie knew this too, and she decided that in order to preserve our friendship, she would volunteer to kill it.

So we got out a broom, and a shoe, and multiple other objects of torture, and Katie, after several tries, swiftly swatted the spider into the tub. She then proceeded to whack it until we were SURE it was dead. Thankfully, it was, but we noticed something was amiss. Little did we know that there was a HUGE SACK OF BABY SPIDERS on the back of this thing, and with all of Katie’s whacking it broke open. So crawling all over the tub were hundreds of little baby monster spiders!! We quick turned on the shower to put them all down the drain, and I looked over at Katie and noticed she was very sad. “Not only are we killing the mama spider, we’re killing hundreds of potential spider lives!” “GET OVER IT KATIE WE’RE KILLING THEM ALL,” I said. (As I’m typing this Katie is telling me that she’s a true pro-life advocate and that I am completely heartless.)

So anyways, that was our spider experience, and since then occassionally I will go into the bathroom and see a baby spider sitting on the wall. I was killing them all, until Katie made me promise to her that I wouldn’t kill any more baby spiders. Sheesh Katie. As I took the spider outside to dispose of it, one of the guards on the compound came over to see what was going on. He didn’t speak any English, and kept trying to explain about the spider in Bengali. But when I asked him if it was poisonous, he got a big smile and said, “Yes, Yes!” Sweet.

Life here is exciting, as you can tell, and we only have one week left to soak it all in! Tomorrow we’re going to Cox’s Bazar, which is the longest natural beach in the world! So that should be fun. Thanks to all of you who having been keeping up with us and praying for us, we appreciate it tons and tons! Please be praying for the people we mentioned in the hospital, and that they would recover quickly, and also that Katie and I would be able to show them compassion despite huge cultural and language barriers. Also, you can pray for my health…I have a cold! I’m not sure how I caught a cold in Bangladesh, but I think it’ll pass soon.

And we were going to try an upload some pictures tonight but they’re taking forever so we’ll try to get some up tomorrow! Have a wonderful day!