Tuesday, January 30, 2007

beautiful as my blog

yes, i am now be heralded to be as beautiful as my blog. i am think i am happy about this...see the comments on the previous blog entry.

anyway, i just had a beautiful time with two of the ladies who work at our sari bari partnering unit. it is amazing how when they come out their context, that the simplest thing will open them up to sharing their stories. and i am always floored by the stories they tell...they are such sad, sad stories..stories of being sold or almost sold for about 250.00 dollars, of being married at the age of 12 to an old man who very tall and of hiding under the bed because she did not know what was going on and she was afraid. all this over tea and fried eggplant. they said they will come back to our home...it was fun to host them because they always host us...probably 20 cups of tea to our one cup today.

we have been talking about how to make the women more central in our community...i mean in a sense they the focus of what we do, but we want to see them be a more casual part of everything we do and hope for them to drop in, be friends, have community with them. this is my hearts prayer.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Momata's Birthday Party

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last week

The last week has been full of good things. On monday the 22nd we had a big meeting at Sari Bari for all the new ladies who will start work on the first on february. it was beautiful watch them trail in...some greeting us like old friends, some unsure. but we they sat down together oh what a beautiful image it was...9 women seated in a circle on the verge of something new. you could see the anxious hope in their faces. i was the one who got to share the vision... the hope we have for their freedom and the belief that we have they can do it...they can reach out with their own hands and take back what has been taken from them. They can learn to read and write, they can know God's love, they can have healing in the mind and their bodies, they can try something new and do well at it. I told them it was would not be easy but that we would help them. i felt something the God's pleasure sitting before those women...something of what it must be like for God to sit on the throne and welcome someone new into the kingdom. i just saw beauty and light and hope...the pain they have suffered, the hard rough they walked did not show on their faces for those few moments...only HOPE. i feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be apart of this freedom road, this exodus with these women.

after last monday everything else was bonus....beth is here so we did a little shopping for her room on tuesday and wednesday i spent time at sari bari finishing up 2006 financials--yes that was really fun! and we had staff prayer and devotion that morning and that is always good. it was hard week for staff as we tighten up a bit and make sure everything is ready for the new trainees...there are so many hard cultural differences in work ethic...i am want to empower and had off responsiblity but culturally the one seen as in charge gets asked about the tiniest things and no one wants to make decisions for themselves....i am seeing this as struggle but one that is more my issue...i just need to remember to be teacher and walk with them on their exodus of a different kind...the poor are disempowered no matter where they come from and sari bari will not only empower women to freedom from the sex trade but other bengali's to help them walk that road by handling the details with confidence.

okay so then on friday, on my goodness, i went to a picnic with my long time friend maya with her work. she is apart of the housecleaning department of a bank here. so it turns out that we went to someone's ones house---and it ended up being really ackward for me....maya ended be responsible to do all the cooking, so the whole point of it which was to spend time with her was lost a little, i had three guys from the bank hitting on me--one was young, one my age, and yes one my dad's age--nice to know i have appeal all on these levels but frustrating to have to deal with inapproriate advances on a picninc i was told would be all women. the best part---the part that has to be blogged is that at one point everyone sat around and SANG...yes they sang...they played game boys against girls where you sang part of a song and then someone had to start signing a new song based on the first letter of the last word...they did this for an hour and a half. i wish i had video...before the girls where all very traditional and the boys where all like sharuk khan dancing while they sang.

i did take the local train home by myself and them walked to my house from howrah which was really cool...it was relatively empty and peaceful (relative being that you are never alone in kolkata). i love walking along the river by our house...so much life and craziness goes on there.

so i guess that is all for now... more one this week as it happens....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

sharing a meal

i just got back from having lunch with some of the ladies in songacchi who work in sari bari. it was an amazing meal...each one of the ladies contributed something different. one pudding, one rice, dahl and chicken and one fish. i brought thumbs up (soda that tastes like coke with cough syrup). and the thumbs up was shared around with everyone who lives on the roof about 15 people--a 2 liter bottle. i am always awed by the hospitality and poor's ability to share with one another. they put my attempts to shame really. they have little and they give everything. it was good just to sit and talk and be friends...hear their worries and their hopes for the week...their excitement about the picnic on tuesday with our SB partner. it was good to share their life and let them be my teachers in everything from bengali to how to make a little go a long way.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

barefoot bowling in k-town

of all the things you can do in kolkata...bowling just might be the weirdest. today we went bowling with almost all the foreigners we know and we had fun for a couple of bucks. however, we did end bowling barefoot because the shoes were either too gross or too small. it was strange to bowl barefoot...i do not think they would let you bowl barefoot in the states...it would be like an OSHA issue or something.

this week has been good...normal and busy and happy. we are making a promo video for sari Bari which is cool. i just finished doing the voice over with john..we hung thick quilts over the window to block the noise from the street. i am really surprised how that worked...should keep em there all the time. i am sure i would sleep better. that's pretty tough work...voice overs...you have to sound normal and excited and like you are not reading from a script. i hope it turned out okay.

i got CSI for Christmas and sadly it seem disk 3 is not going to work for me and there is absolutely nothing i can do about it cuz i live in india.

so here are some amazing thoughts from this week...you can get ants off your sweet biscuit simply by blowing them off, big sari blankets might be more cool that small ones, the george's (we have one form the the UK and one who is Dutch) make me smile because they are so unique and yet so the same, freedom is going to happen for rekha AND HER HUSBAND at freeset and freedom is going to happen for at least 7 more ladies at sari bari, my bengali can and will get better and when i fast i feel like i can't pray but when the fast is over i miss the closeness i feel to the jesus.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

beautiful words

We dare to dance justice
in the face of oppression, reverence in the face
of exploitation,
beauty in the face of brokenness,
tenderness in the face
of violence.
And in the face of doubt
and death,
we dance our belief
in the living God.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Music i am loving right now...

and the winners are

1. Jason Morant
2. Anthony Skinner
3. Leeland
4. Patty Griffin (old school)
5. Matt Redman's new one
6. Corrine Bailey Rae
7. Ray LaMontange
8. Amy Cole

open your itunes and add these now!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

getting my own life

I struggle here in calcutta with many things...and one of them I think is how to live independantly of my community...that might sound bad but read on for a better explanation. everything is so intertwined that it makes it hard to get out and hard to stay in on many different levels. many of you are my friends and so might know something that my mom pointed out to me when i was home, which is that i can be a little relationally intense. meaning i love being with people but more than that knowing them fully and initimately, in a real way and this can be scary for some people i guess. the other side of this is that i generally do not feel safe unless there is vulnerability, truth telling and forgiveness...all of which lead to intimacy and or "real" friendship. i also love being known fully...i think that was what the prayer time omaha was all about for me...it was God letting me know that he fully knows me and he is cool with it!! but i also long to be fully known by others...there are people who really know me like Kim H and these are the people i long for in deserts like this...

so my struggle of the week and maybe the struggle of my life is being played out right now as i try to learn how to be present but not pushy. how to vulnerable without expecting it in return...how to give space and how at the same to make sure i am taken care of...my relational resources are limited here. we are kind of in a closed context where friends tend to be shared and sometimes sharing is hard.

so my unofficial goal for the next week is to get my own life...meaning i want to start taking better care of myself and not allow the stupid little things people do bother me--in other words not take responsiblity to fix others problems. so i am go out finally to get my easel and start painting and i am going to ask for what i need when i need it and keep my own counsel in the presense of the master otherwise.

i guess i might sound angry or hurt...i am hurt but that is just part of life right? not angry anymore just want to be happy to me in my own space, loved for who i am, and a good lover of people no matter where they are in life.

so i am thankful for my time in the gach today and the ways that God is teaching me to be silent with him. i am thankful for a little bit of creative energy--i made 4 bags this week out of sari blankets--they are wicked cool!! I thankful that i come from good people and for most of my life i have had a treasure trove of friends and i am thankful for this time in the desert so that i can worship god in desert or the promised land with equal excitement. thankful for my sari bari friends and all the cool people i know from the UK!!!

here's hoping for a another good weekend....

Monday, January 08, 2007

the lonliness birds

sometimes i feel like whenever there is something really good there always follows something bad. i did have a good day but i am weary in doing it...doesn't the bible say something like you should not grow weary of doing good...i am not weary of doing it just from it, if that makes sense.

and it seems that today after my sweet weekend that the lonliness birds are chasing me and my weariness makes so that i am not sure i want to run the other way. it is lonely to lead, to be in the crowd stared at but not recongnized, present and moving forward but dragging the weight of a thousand worlds on your shoulders. i think i am in BFF withdrawl...missing the julie's, the daphne's and the mom...or something! who knows!! definitely need to abandon this line of thinking and stop being responsible for things that are not mine!

here's hoping to waking up tomorrow , a new day, with a fresh perspective!! Cheers!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A great weekend

wow...what a great weekend i just had....sari bari is now open monday through friday and having 2 days off in a row is making all the difference. i slept in on saturday a bit and then we went to the gach to see if our friend rehka wanted to go to freeset...she was not there though we had an appointment...definitely pray for her...she is so close yet so far from freedom. And then we went shopping for a desk and some shelves for sari bari...it was amazing...I everything i wanted and needed on the first trip and all within a couple of hours. this never happens.

i am really excited about the desk...means i can actually do lessons plans somewhere other than the floor for sari bari training.

then we went back to rekha's but we still could not convince her...there are so many excuses. but we ended up with our sari bari friends in songacchi sitting on their roof in the sun and the breeze talking, drinking tea and being...it was soooo relaxing. it may sound like these thing were work but it really was restful...even the shopping part.

then we went to freeset and i helped them move some rooms around including about 8 industrial sewing machines...i am wicked sore today--two days later!! i did not even do the really heavy lifting i was one of two people one end of the sewing machine!! hung out a bit with annie and the kids and then came home for an evening of CSI (thanks to justin and laurel).

sunday was amazing. went to church which was good...discussed reconciliation...there are just so many contexts where that applies and can be applied to life. we then went to kfc picked up some chicken and had a great day at the bontanical gardens lazing in the sun.

then we all went out for a beer and just talked. it was like a real weekend. i even broke from usual routine of being the first one to go home and went out with charlotte and julian to the movies and then coffee.

thankful a great weekend and i am looking forward to a great week!!