Day 23

Wow! I didn't realize it had been 13 days since I had last blogged. I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so I think I'll upload as many pictures and captions as I can on this post, and write further about the last couple of weeks' experiences soon. Enjoy!

 

I keep track of the immersion team finances. The immersion team is a group that has decided to immerse themselves in Indian culture for 5-7 weeks and are moving more toward a commitment to serve the Lord overseas. Anyways, here I am doing finances and drinking coconut water. It's pretty crazy - you walk to the market just down the street and a guy uses a huge knife to chop off the end of a coconut, sticks a straw in it, and for 45 rupees, you can drink fresh coconut water. (The exchange rate is currently 64 rupees to the dollar.)

I keep track of the immersion team finances. The immersion team is a group that has decided to immerse themselves in Indian culture for 5-7 weeks and are moving more toward a commitment to serve the Lord overseas. Anyways, here I am doing finances and drinking coconut water. It's pretty crazy - you walk to the market just down the street and a guy uses a huge knife to chop off the end of a coconut, sticks a straw in it, and for 45 rupees, you can drink fresh coconut water. (The exchange rate is currently 64 rupees to the dollar.)

We visited the Desire Society, which is a boarding house/orphanage for girls and boys affected by AIDS/HIV. Most of them have HIV, but some have parents who have it. The children were adorable and we saw before and after pictures of them with the before pictures being skin and bones and the after pictures being much healthier. They provide the children with nutrition packs to help them gain weight and several rounds a day of medicine to help raise their "levels." It saddened me that the medicine that helps them is so harsh that they all take 2 hour naps every day after lunch because they're so tired. We were told that the medicine is even harsh for adults.

We visited the Desire Society, which is a boarding house/orphanage for girls and boys affected by AIDS/HIV. Most of them have HIV, but some have parents who have it. The children were adorable and we saw before and after pictures of them with the before pictures being skin and bones and the after pictures being much healthier. They provide the children with nutrition packs to help them gain weight and several rounds a day of medicine to help raise their "levels." It saddened me that the medicine that helps them is so harsh that they all take 2 hour naps every day after lunch because they're so tired. We were told that the medicine is even harsh for adults.

This food was so good! Every year on Eid, so many people in Delhi flock to a certain district in Old Delhi to enjoy some amazing non-veg food at incredible restaurants. Eid is an Islamic religious holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan, which was a month of fasting. This was the second time I've headed down to this district on Eid and it did not disappoint. In India, eating a vegetarian diet is so common that non vegetarian (non-veg) is the thing that's out of the ordinary. I was hoping we could go to Karim's, which draws people from all over the world for it's cuisine, but I've already been to Karim's and it was surprisingly closed for the evening. So, we went to another great place that I can't remember the name of, but the breads and meats we ate were all very different and delicious, and it was a fun treat.

This food was so good! Every year on Eid, so many people in Delhi flock to a certain district in Old Delhi to enjoy some amazing non-veg food at incredible restaurants. Eid is an Islamic religious holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan, which was a month of fasting. This was the second time I've headed down to this district on Eid and it did not disappoint. In India, eating a vegetarian diet is so common that non vegetarian (non-veg) is the thing that's out of the ordinary. I was hoping we could go to Karim's, which draws people from all over the world for it's cuisine, but I've already been to Karim's and it was surprisingly closed for the evening. So, we went to another great place that I can't remember the name of, but the breads and meats we ate were all very different and delicious, and it was a fun treat.

I love having my best friend, Corey, in India with me! Here, we are enjoying the air conditioned train ride from Delhi to a town a little past Jaipur to visit the Barefoot College in Tilonia. When we booked our tickets, the air conditioned train was the only one with seats still open, and I've only ridden it a few times. We normally ride the regular train which has no AC. Even though the AC train seems very affordable to an American, it's too expensive for the majority of Indians, especially the millions and millions that live below the poverty line.

I love having my best friend, Corey, in India with me! Here, we are enjoying the air conditioned train ride from Delhi to a town a little past Jaipur to visit the Barefoot College in Tilonia. When we booked our tickets, the air conditioned train was the only one with seats still open, and I've only ridden it a few times. We normally ride the regular train which has no AC. Even though the AC train seems very affordable to an American, it's too expensive for the majority of Indians, especially the millions and millions that live below the poverty line.

Barefoot College is a place in the state of Rajasthan where poor people, who may be barefoot, can come to be educated. This wonderful woman is very experienced in growing medicinal plants and she was also a midwife for about 4 years!

Barefoot College is a place in the state of Rajasthan where poor people, who may be barefoot, can come to be educated. This wonderful woman is very experienced in growing medicinal plants and she was also a midwife for about 4 years!

This is a group of us in the medicinal plant nursery at Barefoot College. I think I was taking the picture.

This is a group of us in the medicinal plant nursery at Barefoot College. I think I was taking the picture.

No big deal, just a close up shot of some of the plants at the nursery that I was pleased with. :)

No big deal, just a close up shot of some of the plants at the nursery that I was pleased with. :)

At the Barefoot College, they train women, normally grandmothers, from all over the world to be solar engineers so they can take electricity back to their villages. I was actually posing by myself in this spot but this solar engineer in training from Tuvalu jumped in the picture with me and I was delighted!

At the Barefoot College, they train women, normally grandmothers, from all over the world to be solar engineers so they can take electricity back to their villages. I was actually posing by myself in this spot but this solar engineer in training from Tuvalu jumped in the picture with me and I was delighted!

When we went into the Research and Development room at Barefoot, we were told that the Apple corporation donates a lot of money, iPads, and Apple TVs to them. Barefoot has started several night schools in local villages for children who work the farm during the day and can only attend school at night. They're bringing them digital education by putting together these boxes that include an iPad for each child. I thought it was funny that a part of the system was called a "rachel" server.

When we went into the Research and Development room at Barefoot, we were told that the Apple corporation donates a lot of money, iPads, and Apple TVs to them. Barefoot has started several night schools in local villages for children who work the farm during the day and can only attend school at night. They're bringing them digital education by putting together these boxes that include an iPad for each child. I thought it was funny that a part of the system was called a "rachel" server.

During our three days at Barefoot, we would walk the mile or so between the old campus and the new campus on this beautiful road. The scenery was just gorgeous in this place that is considered to be desert. It was much cooler here, out in the rural area, than in Delhi, so it was a welcome respite from the heat. All of the concrete in the city heats it up so much, but God's creations of grass and trees, etc., in the village keep things surprisingly cool.

During our three days at Barefoot, we would walk the mile or so between the old campus and the new campus on this beautiful road. The scenery was just gorgeous in this place that is considered to be desert. It was much cooler here, out in the rural area, than in Delhi, so it was a welcome respite from the heat. All of the concrete in the city heats it up so much, but God's creations of grass and trees, etc., in the village keep things surprisingly cool.

The solar engineers at Barefoot College are also trained as tailors.

The solar engineers at Barefoot College are also trained as tailors.

At Barefoot, illiterate women learn how to build solar cookers that can cook a family's food only using the power of the sun. 

At Barefoot, illiterate women learn how to build solar cookers that can cook a family's food only using the power of the sun. 

So, at Barefoot, when we would go into the mess hall to eat, we would put our shoes on this shoe rack. I saw a guy just sitting on top of it like this. Perching, if you will. So, I wanted to do it too.

So, at Barefoot, when we would go into the mess hall to eat, we would put our shoes on this shoe rack. I saw a guy just sitting on top of it like this. Perching, if you will. So, I wanted to do it too.