|This is the beautiful garden at the Church we attended - the first greenery I have properly seen here!|
|Casually a dinosaur and a giraffe hanging out just outside of work...|
|The building next to the one we work in - another reason to remember to look up in Kolkata.|
|Banana cake that I made, and smothered in Oreo icing that E made... just like it tastes at home - thank you Edmonds!|
|Cutting up my masterpiece for the hungry flatties.|
|Nom nom nom...|
First of all, before I begin, I thought I had better do a shout out to the 'BOP-assy' (BOPRC) people who mum says have been keeping up to date with my adventures!
So, I have officially seen my first cow in India (which Judy thought was a horse), and today we actually saw a horse (Judy has only seen them in the zoo, so was a bit freaked out), and have just arrived home from work, after being surrounded by a bunch of kids asking, "What is your name?" It was such an uplifting scene, we were just laughing because we couldn't take two steps without a hand reaching out to shake our's. The kids here are just filled with life - sure, some of them have it pretty tough, but kudos to them, for smiling and taking the opportunities to laugh at the lighter things in life. We have a lot to learn from that spirit.
It actually caught me by surprise when they asked for our names, as their english for that sentence was so clear, that I had to stop and think what had just been said - I am so used to being talked to without understanding what is being said to me, so to realise that it was english coming from their mouths was new.
Hahahaha one of the boys is currently boogying in the lounge to some hip-hop while waiting for dinner to be cooked...
But anyway, as you can see in my photos, we went to a church which had a garden! We were so excited to see it, and the boys had a bit of frolic, whereas I was just in awe at the sight of grass!! I just stood and looked at it... so nice to see greenery.
Oh - I learnt how to tell someone to 'move', so if I am getting crowded by men on the metro or somthing, I can just say 'sorun!' Our Bangla tutor said that it will be totally acceptable to use that to 'politely' request them to move. I am yet to learn a less-polite way for when that does not work...
Today there was a strike in Kolkata, which was quite surreal, as the streets were so quiet, there was barely anyone on the road (be it walking or driving), and only the odd taxi drove past. It also meant that when I woke this morning, only the occasional horn was heard, and in their place was the sound of chirping birds! So refreshing. Although the crows seemed to think that it was their turn to make even more noise to fill the void.
This Sunday I am flying out to Pune, Maharastra, so that I can attend a two-day orientation programme - I am so excited about it! It will be really nice to get out of Kolkata for a few days, and see another part of India. And then I will return just in time for Holi festival! Bring on the colour! I have been warned by someone to avoid drinking the beverages that are served on the two days of celebration, as some of them are laced with marijuana...
It is a bit sad too though, that Holi will be happening, because it means that here in Kolkata, the men that are celebrating will be more likely to visit the women who are in Sonagachi (the red-light district). My heart is truly beginning to break for these women. I cannot even begin to ever understand what goes on for them.
Some days it is hard remain hopeful for Sonagachi when I hear stories about some of the women, and just how big the situation is. But I just have to keep believing that one day God will reclaim that area, and there will be freedom and happiness there instead of poverty, brokenness, corruption, and crime against the women.
Well I think that is enough for now, I am super hungry and can smell dinner! Hope everyone going great, that all the uni students are enjoying/grieving the start of a new year of study, and that everyone in between is enjoying slightly cooler temperatures in NZ - seriously, be grateful that you have winter to look forward to. I am so anxious about the heat levels lying ahead of us here in India!
My love goes out to you all back at home.