Hello everyone! These last few weeks have been pretty cool! Here in South Asia as Spring time comes they celebrate Holi. Holi is a Hindu holiday thats about their mythology of good triumphing over evil. The adults do a lot of pujas (worship to idols) however the kids have all the fun. Here's a link for a site that tells a lot about what happens it was really helpful in giving me an idea of what to expect and what it really about. http://www.holifestival.org/holi-festival.html
So Holi is on Wednesday but starting monday the kids go crazy. The kids do Holi where its more of a secular holiday. The way the kids do it is by getting waterguns, pipes that pump water in them and shoot people with it, also they play with colored power and colored water. So its about getting anyone and everyone wet and colored in colors.
It reminds me of Fiesta in Santa Barbara, California. I spent a lot of time in Sanata Barbara as a kid visiting my mom's family and during August there's this big Mexican part all over town where egg shells are filled with confetti that you break on people's heads or throw at people.
Well back to Holi....on Monday I went to sub-city in my Mega city. I went to visit my Behen Gita (sister) her Mom is my Mommi from the village. So I told the auto driver where I was going and he dropped me off at what he said was the right place. I was told to call my Byya (Akosh) when I arrived so I called byaa and told him i was there somewhere. Well as it turned out the auto driver dropped me off in the wrong place so after waiting some time byaa showed up......ON A MOTORCYCLE! It was so FUN! My family doesn't own a car or motorcycle so i think it was one of his friends. Anyhow, so i got to ride on a motorcycle. A few weeks ago a guy offered me a ride to where I was going on his motorcycle but because I didn't know him and I'm a white girl I thought it was probably a bad idea no matter how bad i needed a ride. I was kinda bumbed out because I really wanted to ride one. SO the Father brought me the best chance. It's okay to ride with him because he's my brother. So I hopped on the back as soon as he said, "can you ride? Will it be okay?" It was pretty darn fun! Here the women sit all sidesaddle, so I sat sidesaddle and held on for life to the cycle. It was a blast weaving in and out, Byaa was really happy to show me his driving skills. You should have seen the faces of the people on the side of the street watching a white girl fly past. (Okay mom dont worry, I'm okay. I know you never wanted any of us kids to ride on motorcycles but it was SOOO fun and it wont happen often so all is good....trust in the Father and pray)
After the fun ride on the bike byaa dropped me off at Gita's house and then drove off. At Gita's house I was greeted by the cutest little niece in the world Brenna. She is like 7 and served me a cold lemon soda as we waited for Dede (sister) Gita to come. AS we waited another guest arrived to my suprise is was no other than.......MOMMI. I was really happy to see her it was such a nice suprise I had seen her the day before but always miss her, papa and byaa. So we all sat there and had some sweets, that were amazing and only come out during holidays. Believers take part in Holi too but they take part in it from a secular stand point just playing with colors, welcoming Spring, and wishing everyone a good year. Later Byaa and Giga-G (brother-in-law) came home too! So we made water balloons and threw them at eachother all day, squirted each other, and threw buckets of water at each other. IT WAS A BLAST TO GET TO SPEND THAT SPECIAL TIME WITH MY FAMILY. The neighbor kids also threw balloons at us as we threw them pack. Another really great part of Holi is you can throw water ballloons at anyone and it's okay. Gita's house is on the fourth floor of an apartment complex with narrow allies and stuff. So i stood on the veranda and threw balloons at ANYONE that walked by. They would look up and see this white girl laughing and then have a look of shock as yelled down, "HAPPY HOLI!" It was funny byaa was rolling he was laughing so hard. After the waters were put away they look out the colored powders. Sister told me to get Giga-G (brother-in-law) really good. So i took a big hand full of what feels like babypowder but is BRIGHT BRIGHT PINK and put it on Giga-G's head and shirt. He looked really funny, everyone was laughing I guess usually he's the jokester. Then mommi came around and put a thumb line of pik on all her kids (including me) and grandkids foreheads as a Holi blessing of Spring. After that Giga-G got me good. I was alll bright pink. My hair, my face, my shirt, my purse, my eyelashes, my mouth. It was funny then byaa came up to me with wet hands and more powder and smeared more on my side of my face and gave a satisfied, "Oh wait, wait.......okay thats better!" It was funny. Alicia the littlest neice was fun to play with we'd get Byaa and Giga-G. Gita and mommi stayed inside away from the mess.
When I went home that night and got cleaned up the water in my shower was BRIGHT PINK for a really long time. It took sometime to get all the powder out. It was really cool to see water that pink. The next day i sat on my veranda (my flat is on the second floor) and threw balloons at kids that walked by. When they saw i threw the balloon they started to throw them back. There were a group of men sitting on the corner across from my house watching. They work for my landlord, they would signal to me when people were coming that i could throw balloons at.
On Wednesday the actual day of Holi i stayed inside. I already had my Holi fun with my family and the neighbor hood kids and decided to play it low. So I bought a movie off of I-tunes, listened to a Francis Chan sermon on-line podcast, read the Word, talked with the Father, and kneeled for awhile. It was a great day of relaxing. The rest of the week flew by.
This week I have talked with a Non-Government Organization (NGO) about helping teach English in their schools. It was really fun, I had dinner with this great woman Rachel and her husband Danny. Rachel's from the UK and her hubby is from around here. It was great to talk with them and get some ideas about doing Bibl* stories through ESL in a school. The schools is located outside of the mega city in the slums close to where I did my homestay. I start next week going on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please kneel for the Father to prepair a way for me there and guide me to follow his leadership of what's best.
This week i made some friends in the neighbor hood where my flat is! I've been kneeling for freinds here for a really long time now. I've met people but no one that's really wanted to spend time with an American learning their language. However I met this really cool older lady that has a shop near my house. After we were talking in my new language for a little while she said she could help teach me Hindi. Having two people help with language is really great. So she is my second tutor, when I went to her house to do Hindi her grand-daughter was there. Her grand-daughter speaks great English but more importantly teaches the local language really well. So her grad-daughter helped me with a language lesson. It was great! So through a language tutor now I have a new family of friends. Thanks for all your kneeling for me these last few weeks on finding friends here. I've found more and more ladies to talk to in my neighbor hood and tell Bibl* stories to. It's been a really blessing and an answer to my kneeling and all of yours! We serve and amazing Father.
Here are some really needed kneelings! This week I recieved some really hard news. The pastor of the fellowship I worked at in Florida last summer. His wife is sick! I not only worked with him and his wife but I also lived with them part of the summer. They have become like Floridian parents to me (even though they're from California) it breaks my heart to not be there with them in all of this or even be there to help out in any way I can. However I know the best way to help is through kneeling. PLEASE PLEASE KNEEL FOR JEN AND ANDY! Also some famliy friends in Half Moon Bay lost a husband/father this past week, it just a really hard situation. There are kids involved and a grieving wife they are believers and really should be lifted up in this hard time.
Thanks all! Blessing and love Sarah!