Wednesday, January 25, 2006

the beginging of freedom for another..

i am barely writing i am so tired but today was a good and amazing today. my friend angoli who is 20 (she says but i think younger) came with us to freeset. she has only been on the line for a month and she wants another job so bad...she actually came and looked for a month but could not find work as a house maid so she ended up on the line through a lady from her village. angoli is the sole bread winner for her family. her mother died and she has a younger brother and a father who is mentally 20 she carries so much on her shoulders. she has is not owned by anyone at least we are thinking not and the lady who connected her to the line work came with her and is supportive for her taking the new job and will allow her to live with her for a small expense. because she is so young and new to the line freeset wants to see her leave the line right away and live with this lady and will pay her a little more during training so that she can leave. please pray that nothing happens to change her mind between now and friday morning and pray that her "didi" is really the nice woman she appears to be...we have real concerns that maybe she may try to take lokhi's paycheck as it seems lohki is paying her most of what she earns right now--this was discovered after the agreement to come and work at freeset..seems this will require some follow up--alot actually--please pray for angoli and lokhi and us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A day in the Gach

Yesterday was a great day in the gach. We have started keeping a daily journal of what happens and who we talk with...below is mine from yesterday slightly edited...

Please feel free to pray for these women!!

23 Jan 05

Partner: Kiran

Deepa –at the front of the line today usually in the middle with the young girls

Puja—also at the front today

Chandana - Today we met a couple of new girls at the beginning of the street. Primarily, Chandana who has been on the line for 10 days, is 19 and has 2 kid—ages 2 and 3. She was very interested in going to freeset to see about new work but was not able to go today. They always say that so I am hoping she come on Wednesday as promised.

Mona-is a flyer—does not come regularly to the gach but is really interested in new work—we talked with her about making blankets for sari bari—she only comes in when she needs money

Flyers on the corner—talked with a number of ladies whose names I need to learn but do not know yet. They are always very friendly and welcoming and it is now known on that corner that we can help them get other jobs because almost every time we go they introduce to someone else who wants new work—cool but hard when right now jobs are not really available.

Monica—asked about puja (beth)—very friendly and affectionate—put her arm around me

Somali and friend puja—puja might be new—never met her before lives in somali’s brothel

Krishna—spoke her a little today—seemed a little out of sorts not her usual friendly self—busy doing laundry

Angoli-she is healthy and still interested in coming to freeset—she has only been on the line a month and we found about today that her didi Lokhi is actually her didi ma—her grandmother. She said she will come with us to freeset on Wednesday. Lokhi was not there and if I understand right she is now staying in another room—her room rent is 150 rupees a day (this ridiculous rent by the way)

Somali’s family-we had a great day in somali’s room. Sonda talked with kiran like she was a friend and was maybe the most open that I have ever seen her—talkitave….it was really a good day. I paid for tea—maybe we should offer to do this more often. Mitali was in a good mood—we talked about her birthday and having a really fun party on the 8th to celebrate. She did mendhi for me and she actually did it nice this time. I played with anish—we play hand clapping and I tried to get him to identify his nose and mouth etc…not really able…does not probably get enough stimulation. Kiran and mitali played a game—really great.

Sima—nepali girl in brothel 19/a she is only been on the line 5 months—really nice but maybe a little stand offish—spoke to kiran in hindi

Sonali—she is so sweet always asking where we are going—need to make a priority of having tea with her—maybe we can bring tea for all those girls next week.

Dumpa-gray brothel right after the young girls invited us in for lunch today—she had made roti and wanted to know if we wanted to come in and eat—it was already 3pm so we did not stay but made an appointment to go back on Monday and eat with her at one. There are a lot of girls in her brothel that we talk with including the one with the golden sindoor but whose names I do not know.

Chobi and soma’s room—we spent an hour and half in their room… I think kiran really likes to spend time with this lady and wants to see come to know jesus and release her worry…the mom talked for a long, long time but I kind of zoned out and just played with the batcha—so fun to play with him do not think he gets to play much—he kept trying to feed me and share his food—we played peek abo with my dupatta. I gave chobi my hand cream and they all kept talking about it and that probably only the boro lok(rich people--like me) have such nice cream…kind of hard place to be wanting to share but also wanting to live simply but everything I have is a treasure –wonder what the line is…

Ratana-we went to visit ratana---my first time—she has a really nice room meaning a little bigger with her own bathroom—she had another girl in her room whose name I did not get and a man and small child sleeping on the bed. She got a call from a customer while she was there and I spoke to him on the phone and he asked if he could come and make friends with me—I said no but he arranged with ratana to meet her tonight—ratana though Kristin would be going with her to the village tomorrow so she gave me her phone number Good to meet her after hearing about her…kiran advised that Kristin not go with her alone. After catching up with Kristin, Kristin called her and told her that she/ we go another day.

Another Good blog

Please check Kristin Keen's blog--she is way better at posting than i am and she really gets down what happens in daily life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

odd thoughts on kentucky friend chicken

today i went to was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! i think maybe the last time i ate kentucky fried chicken was ten years ago and i am sure i have not missed it but wow--something about eating kfc in India where nothing else is familiar must be what it is...i will say that i struggle to move in between two worlds...going to a sweet mall out in the rich suburbs of calcutta (states comparable) where people take thier nannies who they pay 500 rupees a month and they sit with them but they(the nannies) do not get to eat kfc and they certainly can not afford to buy the nice things contained in the mall...just hard to make this reconcilation in my mind...i can not throw off fully who i am--i do have the money to eat kfc and today i chose to eat there and yes i did enjoy it but i was very clearly reminded that when i chose kfc in am choosing something that most of the women i work with in the gach coudl never afford..$3.00 for a meal...crazy...not fully resolved on how i feel ab0ut but uncomfortability remains in my do these things exist together..can i treat myself ocassionally when for so many such a treat is never possible.

one good update...7 ladies from the gach are now working with freeset...2 of them are asha and onita who we took awhile back but we were not sure they would return esp. onita but they have both started proud of them and so hopeful about what the future will bring for them and their families.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

ADAM...yes he is this cool!!

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The beautiful Brook!!

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Say it with FIRE!

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Happy New Year

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The Future Staff of WMF Kolkata -Adam, beth, kristin and Sarah

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Fire thrower in Kosamet

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Releasing a Lantern...theThai's say it carries away your sins

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New Years Eve...featuring beth, kristin and sarah

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More acting natural!! so natural!!

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Italian guys on the beach in thailand acting natural

this was so funny there were these three guys totally in love with themselves and so posing for the whole--we had to take a few pictures--the guy on the left was excellent at acting natural!! Posted by Picasa

My friend Siara on Sudder Street

For those of you who remember the little girl Asiya who I was able help to have surgery on her arm back in 2002 --here she is with her family (mother Siara in the middle)--she is the girl on the bottom right! She is so amazingly beautiful and grown up at 12 years old!! Posted by Picasa

Me and Sahil

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What I love about Kolkata today

I love old ladies sitting in the back alley's warming themselves in the sun. The light shining and warming their faces and filling them with light.

I love kristin and beth and adam and the hope that we have in community with one another in the coming years.

I love that we got to see 5 women make a final decision to come out of the trade and work for Freeset! I love that when a woman who already works at freeset shared her testimony and story of coming out of the trade that Jesus was apart of her new life. And that the other 5 women were so compassionate and interested even thought it was a reflection of their own stories.

I love that i ate my first grilled peanut butter sandwich for breakfast--pretty tasty and new way to use the peanut butter i got for christmas!

I love that we can send Adam home today but know that he will be back within a year. And i love that God answers prayers before we even think to ask--by early next year we should go from a staff of 2 to a staff of 4!

I love sonagacchi and all the women in it...i love being with them!

And today, crazy as it may sound, i love Kolkata!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Yes, suffered through a beautiful relaxing 4 days on the beach in thailand for New Years. It was amazing!! But i can tell i am getting old...

top ten reason why i know i am getting older
1. Sharing a room with bed bugs and 6 other people is not fun for me anymore
2. i am the first one to go to bed
3. i do not think it is fun to get woken up through out the night when people come home--I LIKE TO SLEEP!
4. silence is amazing!
5. i am the first one up in the morning
6. college seems really far away
7. i have to battle to keep my eyes open for New years
8. i prefer small intimate gathering to crazy wild parties
9. the more deserted the beach the better!

And while of these thing point to me being aged at 32...inspite of my age I still had a wonderful time with my amazing community of friends and fleshies.

I am hoping that 2006 will be another good year to add on to an already amazing life.

Happy Year to YA!