With time comes familiarity, and it’s nice to be familiar with my new home. I’m learning my way around the streets and the culture, slowly becoming accustomed to the ways of the land. I’ve picked up Hindi phrases and words that allow me to communicate (on a very base level) with people, and I even gave directions to tourists from Delhi earlier today! It’s the little things, you know…
This week I started language school. I am taking one class a day, Monday through Friday, and so far it’s been fun. Ask me how I like it in three weeks and I might give you a different answer, but up to now I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve decided that I’m going to put a lot of effort into it, not only because it’ll keep my mind busy and occupied, but also because it will prevent me from feeling isolated in a foreign country. Referring to the above paragraph, knowing a little of the language will help me feel at home. And in this case familiarity does not breed contempt, but rather contentment. Or to put it plainly, less homesick.
It’s been fascinating to learn both the culture and the language simultaneously, as you can’t truly know one without the other. An intriguing example comes from a conversation that Michael, Laura, and I had after our classes today. Michael was telling me that in Hindi, the sentence structure to describe someone being late to something is not “I am late”, but rather “lateness happened to me”. It’s not “I am sick”, but instead “sickness happened to me”. How indicative of Indian culture! Everything comes down to fate. They take no personal responsibility for what happens in their lives (which might be why their country has not progressed much farther than poverty in 4,000 years), and they hold true to the belief that they are bound to one inescapable fate. From incarnation to the caste system, their beliefs indicate that they don’t have a choice about what happens to them. And here it is - reinforced in simple vocab and sentence structure. That might be boring and irrelevant to some people, but I found it incredibly interesting.
Helping take care of John has been great. He is a sweet and willing little guy, and he’s been quite the trooper. I watch him in the mornings from about 7:30-12:30 while Michael and Laura are in school, and then they come home and we all eat lunch together at the guesthouse. Shortly after lunch, I leave for class and come back around 4:15pm. My day is full but not hectic, because nothing is hectic in India (except for traffic). Time basically irrelevant, and despite the hard day’s labor Indians put in every day, the town has a laid back feel. Keeping busy is good for me, and I’m thankful for the routine I’m settling into. I like the pace here.
Michael and Laura and I have settled back into the easy friendship we had when we were in college, and spending time with them is nothing but encouraging. God knew they would be the perfect people for me to be with, and I hope to be a fraction of the blessing they’ve already been to me. Keep them in your prayers!
So that’s me, one week in. My spirits are up and I’m glad to be here. I’m resting confident that I’m exactly where I need to be, and that puts any times of homesickness or fear in perspective. Thank you so much for your prayers, thoughts, comments, and love!