Saturday, 29 December 2012

These cuties.

These beautiful faces are part of the reason I've managed to get through some of the harder times in Kolkata... a stolen smile, a warm cuddle, a dance in the rain, a muffled giggle; the little things that help me stay strong.

The most tear-inducing thought though, is the fact that the faces of the girls here are the ones that now have a future of education, and freedom from ever having to enter the sex-trade, losing that innocent glint in their eyes, and the care-free laughter, because Freeset has helped their mothers chose their freedom. Chose their own path. Making their own decisions in itself is new concept to some even.

And then there are the boys; they are the ones that will grow up heavily influenced by their environment, and the people who have input into their lives, and ultimately they will be husbands to their wives. Any influence that their mother's freedom and the wonderful women in the creche have in their perspective on the world, it's women, and its people, I pray will help shape them into wonderful young men.

Kushi, Charlie, Bindi, Luke... just some of the names of these faces I will forever hold ever-so-dear to my heart.

Friday, 28 December 2012


Diwali: the festival of lights.

If you close your eyes, you could easily make-believe you were in the midst of gunfire, with brilliant flashes of light piercing even the thin skin of your eyelids.
You find yourself up on the rooftops, surrounded by the people you've grown to love, and you allow yourself to lie backwards, head in the dirt, mesmerised by the light show above you; staring up into the sky, without being able to see your surroundings, you find yourself in a surreal place. You are no longer in India, nor are you in New Zealand; you're no-where, and anywhere you want to be.
The explosions drown out the sounds you've become accustomed to, like the persistent drone of a man bleating his call for you to come purchase his wares, the invasive chorus of a thousand horns, and the call of a mother shouting at her child because they went to pet a stray, mangy street-dog.

In all of this, you remember that the fireworks that are causing momentary blind-spots in your eye-sight are all to drive out evil spirits. And you pray. You pray that these spirits do leave, and that not just any light takes their place, but that of our heavenly father.

Diwali is the festival of lights. Our hearts cried for light to enter the hearts of others in a city that is full of darkness.

And as we hung our heads backwards over the balcony, for a moment it really did look like light was falling down to earth.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


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Saturday, 27 October 2012

This girl.

For those of you who have not been able to meet this lovely friend of mine, I am sad for you because she truly is an incredible, God-filled woman!
Anya (lasagne) has been spending time here in India working in a few different businesses and locations, and lucky for us, during her time in Kolkata she has been flatting in our apartment! Yay!
Sadly we must farewell her on a journey back to Ukraine tomorrow, and I just hate that there is a chance she might not make it back here before I begin my own journey home!

But what happens will happen and it is my prayer I will see her again within the next 3 months, because look at that face, how could I not wish for that?

Anya, you are such an amazing friend and character to have around, and it is going to feel very strange without abundant volumes of tok-doi passing through this house-hold, and quiet without your contagious laugh. You bring such a presence into the room, and have a light about you that will cheer up even the saddest soul! I am so blessed to know you, and you feel like a friend I've known for years; you inspire me and encourage me to continue following my passions, remaining committed in my faith, and to live with such a compassionate, loving, and selfless heart.

And to this day, lasagne will never be the same!
All the blessings to you on the next stage of your journey, beautiful,


Monday, 22 October 2012

Durga Puja.

Tonight we took the time to explore a bit of the festivities that are taking place throughout the city during this time of Durga Puja - this is a festival that celebrates the Hindu Goddess 'Durga', who is depicted in numerous 'pandals' (temporary structures, often themed i.e. Mayan) with numerous arms (up to eighteen) holding various weapons, riding a lion or tiger, and slaying demons. Her name means 'invincible'.

The pandals are elaborate, and typically the larger, and grander structures are said to gain greater blessings in the Hindu religion.
To see such adornment, such large steps to worship a higher-being, and such a public display of their belief, really makes me think about the way I worship Jesus, and challenges me in the image I create through this.

We went out with a few friends from Freeset, who happen to be locals, so they knew their way around and through the alley-ways, and short-cuts (so many people! So many bustling crowds, noises, smells...), and we had a good time enjoying a new insight into a culture we live alongside.

The crowds were jovial, the people were curious (our pale skin attracts enough attention without wrapping it in a saree), and all in all it was an experience I will remember for a long time. Our friends were welcoming and warm, and we were all smiles, laughter, and community - and we topped all this off with a crazy ferris-wheel ride, that spun insanely fast (I honestly believed that I wouldn't stay in my seat).

Enjoy the chaos + colour.