Good morning from Coastal Andhra Pradesh! (or should I say, good evening to you! – hint, if you want to figure out what time it is here subtract 1 1/2 hours, then change the AM to PM or vice versa. So it is currently 10:09 PM in Kansas, and it is 8:39 AM here.
A lot of things have happened since we last talked! The evening of my last post, Courtney, Paige, and I made a delicious dinner of chicken parmesan and fresh salad. These things are a huge minor miracle in Ongole because cheese and lettuce are VERY hard to come by in India! However, the Whitings found a head of lettuce when they were in Hyderabad to pick us up and More, the local “not so super”market has been carrying mozzarella cheese since we arrived!
Making chicken for dinner is an entirely different process in India than it is in America, however. You must go to a place and pick out what chicken you want for dinner from a whole bunch of live chickens. Then, as you watch, they catch the chicken, chop it’s head off, defeather it, pull the guts out to sell to the Indians who love to eat them, then pass over your chicken for you to take home and cook. Since Sean and Paige watched that whole process for the first time they now SEND someone to get their chicken for them. :)
In India there is a little man who sits in a room and when the government calls and says “hey, turn off the power” he does it for the whole town. There is no rhyme or reason to this, just that they CAN. SO. Power outages are virtually an everyday thing. Yesterday was the best as far as having the fewest outages, however on Thursday it went out while we were trying to cook both lunch and dinner. Just something to get used to!
Yesterday, we went out and got breakfast on the street with Sean and came back to the apartment to enjoy it together with a cup of orange juice and french press! Courtney and I then spent the morning going through some donated pillowcases and making sure every child had one with their name on it…a much more complicated process than it sounds! We then spent quite awhile correcting pillowcases that have the wrong names on them with puffy paint and fabric markers.
In the afternoon, we met up with the OTHER Paige (who is here for a few weeks living at the SCH baby apartment) and met Tisra Fadely. The Fadely’s have been living in Ongole for about 5 months working as SCH administrators. Eric and Tisra and their 4 kids have done a great job of adapting to the culture (Eric and Tisra both drive in Ongole – a very impressive feat!) and helping at SCH.
Anyway, Tisra, Paige, Courtney, and I went to SCH – the special needs home caring forover 100 kiddos – for about two hours yesterday afternoon. Walking in, I couldn’t help but smile to be back at this place! I was reminded of the overwhelmed feelings I had felt last year by being there but was ready to jump right in this time. We spent the next two hours taking pictures, giving hugs, being drooled on, and tickling. It was a joy to see familiar faces as well as meeting the new kids that have come since last year!
After our time at SCH, we went back to the Whitings for dinner and a much needed shower before heading to the Fadely’s for movie night! They live in Sean and Paige’s old apartment and have a projector for a TV screen so it was a perfect setup for a white people’s movie night! All 6 Fadelys, 2 Whitings, 1 Huber, 1 Nichols, and 6 Rebbavarapus crammed into their living room and watched Men in Black together. The Rebbavarapu and Fadely children were incredibly fun to be around and a joy to meet. The Fadely’s have a 4 year old girl named Dorothy who they adopted from India, perhaps the beginning of their love for this country, who is seriously the MOST adorable thing I have EVER been around. Before we left she came up, tapped on my leg, and whispered in my ear “I think I love you!” then kissed my cheek real fast. Girl knows how to melt my heart!
Since we’ve gotten used to bed around 8:30 or 9, staying up until almost 11, especially after a day at SCH, was a challenge! We walked back to the Whitings (yes, it is still hot even at 11 PM – not as bad, but still toasty!) and crawled right into bed.
Today will be prep work for camp, hopefully picking up our clothes from the tailor, and just a final “calm before the storm” day as camp starts tomorrow with a training session with all the teachers in the evening and the kids come on Monday!
I hear rumors via Facebook that is has been pretty windy in Kansas. What I would give for some wind here! Don’t take it for granted…Sunday and Monday here are supposed to be 111 degrees, with 5 MPH wind, completely clear, and about 600% humidity. Today’s low is supposed to be 93 degrees.
I’m going to leave you with just a few pictures!