19 days in. 19. Almost three weeks.

I am not having a great day. I have vowed to get one of my to-do’s to done, and I am starting with a blog post. If this actually gets posted, feel free to congratulate me.

This is my second move to do something that will lift the day’s spirits. The first was to eat some Starbursts (which were apparently not the right candy to bring. It’s ‘girl candy’ here. It’s sour, and in India boys don’t like sour. I had never before assigned tastes to specific genders. But I guess if sights can be so assigned, blue-boy pink-girl, then why not tastes?). I grabbed three valentine themed 2-per packs and pulled open the first to find a strawberry and lemon, praising Him for two flavors that weren’t cherry. Then I looked closer to discover that a little ant expedition had discovered my fruit chews. I had a mini-fit of rage. Please commence envisioning me going directly to the sink, unwrapping each chew, smashing all ants found therein, washing the chew and angrily and immediately consuming it.

So, since fruit chew consumption didn’t do it for me, how about a blog post?

I have so enjoyed my Indian family. I call the parents Dada and Didi (older brother and older sister), and they’re boys are like my own little brothers. The culture of hospitality is again overwhelming and encouraging. Didi cooks every meal, is patient with me when I try to help (although now I can be trusted with chai!), is always trying to get me to rest, and argues with me everyday about bringing my clothes down so that she can wash them. Dada is always telling me how glad he is that I’m here, sharing jokes, talking about his vision for the poor in the slum, laughing and crying with me.
The brothers are very interesting. I can’t imagine what it is like to grow up in a household like this one, where God is very much your only real security, where your Dad and Mom are both the bravest people you know and the riskiest, where your family standard is so far removed from your friends’.
They are excellent cartoonists. Since I sent them a VeggieTales movie in 2007 they have been drawing those little counter-top characters everywhere, filling every book with them. Yesterday the older of the two finished a storyboard for a cartoon he was envisioning, and then I wrote the story. We’re quite a team. It was actually very funny. We had story time around the table and read it as a family.

Working here is so very very different. I don’t really feel good about dishing all of what I’m thinking about work environment here on the net. But know that it is different, challenging in ways I had never ever expected. It really is the most difficult working environment I’ve ever been in. On the one hand, it’s great experience for working in Armenia. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.

On the upside I’ve been able to visit the slum a few times. I am so absolutely charged after going to hang out with the guys in the slum in the evening. I know there is an large element of my being American that gives me an in because I’m kind of like a little one man circus. Not for all of them, some of the guys really want to get to know me, help me with Hindi, learn something about English and the Western mentality. The other guys stumble up to me drunk or high and laugh immediately and try to get me to repeat curse words in Hindi. There’s one that always holds my hand too long and stares at me in a way that absolutely gives me the shivers. These kind of encounters are kind of hard to avoid completely. But otherwise, really, I love it. I love standing around the Carom Board, enjoying the traditionally camaraderie that goes along with recreational sports.

In conclusion, yesterday I went with an Indian friend to see Seven Pounds. Great movie. It left me feeling three things. I wish seeing a movie at home only cost US$1.50 and that US$1.50 wasn’t so very much here in India. I would like to marry Rosario Dawson. And I want to live in America after all. (If you know me at all, you know that my saying that means I’m in the middle of some emotional whirlwind.)


  1. You are doing AMAZING things. Yes, wanting to live in America is HUGE for you. I cannot wait to sit down with you for a few hours when you return and discuss what you have learned. I will, in the mean time, settle for e-mails and facebook stalking, and if we are lucky, an occasional Skype session. I know you are having a hard time, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like. keep writing! Keep expressing yourself! Enjoy the little things. Smile, cry, laugh, scream. All of those things are okay to do. Embrace the culture, and enjoy the food you love so much. In sum, keep being the amazing person that you are and sharing life, as they have never seen it before, with the people you are amongst. Spread the hope and joy we are all blessed to feel.

  2. just thought you should know I just read all your posts instead of studying.. and it was glorious

  3. christine

    Who doesn’t want to marry Rosario Dawson?? :p I loved Seven Pounds and cried at least seven times during it. I met a homeless man in New Orleans on Saturday and he also made me cry. I think I cry too easily and too often. Oh well. I’ll blog about it later. :)Keep smashing ants, defiantly eating candies and loving peoples. love,christine

  4. […] dream. I would fly up my best friends from summer camp, my 11th grade English teacher, my family in Kolkata, my landfamily in Armenia and the ladies at the bakery in Stepanavan. I would fly in my besties […]

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