I just finished my morning run, went to take a bath, and found there was no water. Not an ideal situation, so I decided to write a post as I listen for water to coming rushing from the tap. Unlike other days when there is simply no water to be had, today the cause is the college has been turning off the water at night so that students don’t sneak into the science labs and turn on all the taps – apparently recently a frequent pastime.
Tuesday, after a “normal” day at CMS, I went over to Mandirim, Becca’s site, via the back of a friend’s motorcycle (much more fun than a bus). We were joined by a girl from California, Kacee, who was traveling in Thailand and decided she wanted to volunteer for a few weeks in India, so she’ll be staying at Mandirim and helping out. As many Malayalis did, we stayed up quite late to watch the President’s inauguration. It’s phenomenal how important the rest of the world, from the looks of things, and especially India, from firsthand experience, sees this moment in history.
I was impressed with the inclusivity of President Obama’s speech; reminding our country and the world that our nation is one of “Christians and Muslims,” etc. is powerful in reminding people of the identity of a democracy that claims to represent all its citizens. I also appreciated that he bluntly told the nation we can no longer afford to be “indifferent” to the relative poverty of other nations as we continue to selfishly consume. Apparently, he agrees that all of God’s children deserve fundamental necessities. I know that these are things that many people don’t want to hear and/or don’t agree with, but I believe it’s crucial to have leaders who will faithfully challenge the complacency we often slip into.
Wednesday we spent a lot of time sitting with the grandmothers and grandfathers at Madirim, which has begun to confirm what I learned through my senior project on Older Adult Ministry – I really love old people. That afternoon Becca and Kacey joined me for my usual hour of talking in English over coffee with a social work student. I was really moved when I watched him interact with Kacey (who, unlike Becca, he was meeting for the first time); his confidence in English has grown exponentially since coming to me last Fall for help.
I’m now back at CMS, but will be leaving today to travel to Wayanad for the weekend with the other volunteers. We will be meeting with a tribal community there to learn about their struggles and joys. I’ll probably save that upcoming story for my January Newsletter, so you can look forward to that!