Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
There are so many things about this culture that are different and new it can often feel overwhelming at times. It is easy to focus on differences, but I really don't want to be that person. I want to be a person that looks for bridges and ways to understand and connect. The other night I was gently reminded that even if people grow up in totally different worlds there are some things that remain the same.....
I have met a lady(Yasmeen) here and she is teaching me to read and write Hindi(the script). She has been married for 3 years and is 30. I have been married for 2 years and am 29. I thought these would be our main points of sameness, but I have been surprised that we have much more in common. I have been praying the God would give me a sense of home in the midst of foreign and that God would help me feel like I have a connection with some women here. God is so good and is answering both of those prayers.
The other night I was talking with Yasmeen about her weekend. I asked her what she does on the weekends and she told me they are pretty much the same as all the other days of the week. Nothing really special happens. Then she got this sparkle in her eye and said, "But when I go visit my mother's house(she will go in March) everyday is special! My mother makes everything special for me." Then we talked about how much we love and miss our mothers. It was a sweet time with her and a great reminder of what a blessing my own mother is to me. My Mom has and will always be one of my best friends, and she somehow has the ability to make me feel that she cares about all the details of my life. "She makes everything special for me." ...... So, I guess we are not that different after all :)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
We visited a boys government school and a girls private school(where the medium for the older students is English, so this means it is taught in English). The principals of both schools sat down with us and gave us chai(hot tea) to drink and answered some of our questions about their schools. We learned so much and are so thankful for their hospitality and openness.
Both of these schools are in a poorer area of the city and are predominantly Muslim. The population of the boys school is an even poorer class of students than the girls school because it is free. The girls school costs around 250 rupees a month. This is roughly $4.80...yeah 4 dollars and 80 cents a MONTH! Many of the families in this area can not afford to pay that.
One thing I noticed in these schools was the level of respect for teachers and adults. When the teacher enters the classroom the entire class stands and is not allowed to sit down until instructed to by the teacher. Also, when a student wants to answer a question they must stand up and address the teacher. They also have a big wooden stick at the front of the class in case of discipline problems. This was all, MUCH different than when I substitute taught in low income areas of Austin.
We asked both of the principles what is the biggest challenge they face overseeing their schools.
For the boys school:
The principal said that it is hard to motivate his students. Most of them will eventually work in the same profession as their fathers. They see no need for education because they know what job they will do when they get older. He says this tends to keep many of them in a cycle of poverty because they don't have very high expectations. This, of course, is not the case for all his students and they actually have some students go on to University and even to the prestigious IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), but many are stuck in the cycle of poverty.
He also said their parents are not that involved in their children's education.
For the girls school:
The principles at this school face a different set of problems. Because this is a private school and parents pay for their girls to go they are more involved and usually a bit more educated themselves. The girls also want to learn and many of them have big dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, and lawyers. However, the principles told us that many of these girls do not go on to college or careers because they get married and have children.
So those are some of the things we learned about schools in Kanpur. It is really interesting how some of the problems are really similar to problems in American schools and some are totally different.
We didn't get any pictures at the boys school, but here are some pics from the girls school:
This is a handicraft class. They learn to sew and do small handicrafts. I wish I would have learned to sew in middle school.
A highschool class. This girl was standing up to answer a question and she just kept standing while we took the picture.
A view of the school, it is 3 stories.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
It is hard living in a country with so much poverty and need surrounding you but still having all the things you need(and WAY more). It is something I don't quite know what to do with emotionally......
A few blocks away....
Friday, November 25, 2011
This past week we were a part of some training and one of the teachers talked about when the Israelites left Egypt during the Exodus. They were following God into a land that they didn't know and time after time God provided for them and showed them his power and provision. HOWEVER, time after time they grumbled and did not trust God.
One part of the story that stood out to me is in Exodus 15:22 when they found no water to drink. Then they found water and it was to bitter to drink. Wow, if there is one thing I have taken for granted my entire life, it is having clean water. Access to clean water is nothing to take for granted here. The water that comes out of our faucets is totally undrinkable. It is filled with bacteria and parasites :0
Apparently, the World Bank estimates that 23% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water. Diarrhea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily-the same as if eight 200-person jumbo jets crashed in to the ground each day. Most of these daily deaths are children under 5 years old.
I don't write this to make people feel guilty or have pity on India, there are actually many things we could learn from the people here. I just think God is teaching me and helping me dream of what the world would look like if there was clean water, better education,(and on and on) and if there were not children needlessly dying everyday.
God is in India. He is working and moving and many people here are desperately seeking him. Please pray for us that we would have wisdom and creativity in our role here and that you would have wisdom in your role wherever you are. The Kingdom of God IS growing and it is really exciting!
I really had no idea when I sat down what I should blog about, and honestly I don't think this blog makes much sense(its kinda scattered), but I guess this is just a glimpse of what is going on inside my crazy mind right now....
I do want to more consistently share our experiences about living in India, but right now there is so much I could share I feel a little overwhelmed. Maybe ya'll could help me out by sending me questions or things you want to know about our lives here in India, India culture, food, travel, ect....
Just leave a comment.....Thanks, hopefully my next blog post will be better ;)
A few random pics:
This was a first for me. This toilet doubles as a western style toilet you can sit on and then lift up the lid and it can be used as a squatty. I think you have to have pretty good balance to squat up there..
Monday, November 14, 2011
Ryan: So what country would you really like to visit?
Kristin: I have always wanted to visit Morocco. It seems mysterious and beautiful. What about you?
Ryan: I would really like to visit India.
Kristin: Yeah, I think I would like to visit India but I don't think I would ever want to LIVE there.
Today marks day three of living in India and I can't imagine wanting to be in any other country more than here. It is pretty ironic how things work out and how God leads us in ways we never imagine.
Here is a little tour of our temporary(3 months) home in Delhi, and a Sikh parade in our neighborhood that we happened upon.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
We're sailing in the storms
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for
So when I lose my way, find me
When I lose loves chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith to the end of all my days
when I forget my name, remind me
'Cause we bear the light of the Son of man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
'Cause He promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of this chaos baby,
I can dance with you
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Anyways, we were sitting there enjoying our chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and sweet tea when a really cute, blonde, very pregnant girl with a toddler on her hip walked over to our table.
She introduced herself as Ashley and said she saw us and felt like God wanted her to come tell us something. (Honestly, at this point I started feeling a little nervous of what she might say...)
Ashley- I just wanted to come encourage the two of you. I, mean I love Jesus and I saw yall and God gave me this picture for yall. It was a picture of a rock and ...are yall married?
Ashley- I just saw that you are building your marriage on a strong rock and wanted to tell you to keep doing that. God also told me that there are some really big things coming up in your lives, but that you can trust him in the midst of these big things because He is that rock.
Me(and Ryan)- Wow....(sat there a little awkwardly)
Ashley- And I just wanted to encourage you to trust God in the things that you want, the desires of your heart. You can trust God to give you the things you are praying for right now. So, I wanted to encourage yall with those things.
Me(and Ryan) - (still getting over that I have never had a stranger share something like this with me in the context of chik-fil-a) Well, today is our wedding anniversary and we are about to move to India and we are praying about adopting a baby......
Crazy, huh? God is faithful and continues to surprise and stretch me.
Have you ever had any experiences like this??
Monday, September 26, 2011
|Ryan's first time to Sea World with his parents|
|riverwalk with Ryan's parents|
|discussing Ryan's paper with his Mom and Dad|
|Shady Grove with Ryan's parents and Jessica(R's sister)|
|Ryan's Mom and Sister after our dance party :)|
|Ryan and Rhett(R's brother) hanging out|
|Coffee with Amber(friend from journeyman training).|
Love this girl, miss her sweet smile.
|Went to Galveston with my (Kristin) family.|
|Train at Kemah.|
|Catching up with Amber(friend from college) and met Mercy!|
|Amy Marks!! Woohoo. Our matchmaker :)|
|Ryan went to a business training in Indiana|
|Mom and I went to San Fran for a girls trip together|
|celebrated Memee's birthday|
|Jessica Hall (friend from college) came to visit. This girl, what can I even say, I am unexplainably thankful for her!|
|she lets me dye her hair|
|r Brandon's 33rd(K's brother) birthday|
|Bess(friend pretty much my entire life) had her first baby!|
|Cannon Walker Ray, so precious :)|
- Also celebrated my (Kristin's birthday)
- Ryan's friends Nick and Sheridan got engaged
- Rhett had his 21st birthday
- Whew, so much!! :)
Only a little over a month until we head to India, CRAZY!
PS I fought with the pictures on this post for about two hours and could not get them where I wanted them. Uggghhh, sorry it looks kinda disorganized. I am not so savy at all this.... :)
Monday, August 1, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Material things and the way they make us feel are so strange. There is such a pull to have things and always want more. I realized this even more in my own heart as Ryan started posting all our stuff. It was very strange. There is a part of me that is so excited to sell our stuff because it means we are moving. It is a new phase, a new season. I didn’t realize that giving up my things would be a such challenge. I hate clutter and I like to get rid of things that add to clutter; however, this has been harder than I expected. Selling our tv, dvd player, chaise, and chair= easy, no problem, glad to see them go. However, when Ryan told me a lady was coming to pick up our ottoman I had a little break down. I know…. really, over an ottoman?!?
The thing about that ottoman is that it was a wedding gift. For our whole 1.7 months of marriage we have had that ottoman. It was used to the max. It was used it for seating when we had way to many people in our first small apartment. It was used as a table to hold snacks and drinks before and after we had an actual kitchen table. It was used by this cutie as a hiding place when Ryan came home from work.
Maybe it was only an ottoman, but it was a great ottoman!
Ahhh transition….I am sure there will be many more “ottomans” in my life that come and go.
What does the thought of selling everything do to you? Do you wish you could do it and get rid of all your stuff? Does it freak you out? I am swinging back and forth between both of those…..