These last few months have me all confused with the concept of time. The days feel like weeks, yet the weeks feel like months, and each month feels like a day. So technically I’ve either been here for 65 weeks, 8 months, or 2 days.
(realistically, I’ve been here for a little over 2 months)
I cannot believe it has been two months. Two months used to feel like nothing, but somehow the two months I’ve spent here have felt like a game of gym class dodgeball where I’m the only one left on my team being pelted by giant multi-colored, rubber balls.
The small battles, such as: not having a working sim card, upset stomachs, running out of rupees, being away from home during the holidays, etc., feel much bigger when you’re approaching them alone. My home team has been preoccupied with, well, home. But that makes complete sense. The world didn’t go on ‘pause’ the moment I packed up my bags. Most days, I wish I could’ve packed up my people with me. It can become quite lonely in this extremely populated city; however, I made the choice to be here. It’s been the best, yet hardest choice I’ve made thus far in life. I’m grateful for my roommates, Kyla and Emma, who have made the same choice. So maybe I’m not alone in my game of dodgeball.
I feel like all of my previous blogs have stated this quite clearly, but living abroad isn’t easy.
These past two weeks have brought new battles to the field: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Recently, the biggest battle has been exhaustion. Most weekdays are fairly tiring. Our walk to and from work each day is like a real-life video game: dodge a rickshaw, turn sideways to squeeze between an approaching crowd, jump over a dog, dodge another rickshaw…
By the time I walk through the office doors, I’m red-faced and sweaty. My makeup is melted down to the collar of my kurta. But truthfully, I don’t mind it. I like being able to walk to work with my roommates, and my body is already beginning to adjust to the heat. (also my reflexes are improving at an insane rate)!
The last 14 days have been the busiest work days since I’ve arrived. We had some huge events, including a conference for Judges and Police Officials and NGOs to gather together to discuss how to secure protection and care for victims of sex trafficking, and how to do so as a united community. Two days later we had an amazing ceremony to recognize and celebrate a few survivors. Tears were shed and standing ovations were given. I even joined a few of my co-workers in singing a half English/half Hindi version of Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World.” That moment is currently in the running for my list of Top Five Best Moments Ever.
(I have a video for all those interested).
The weeks leading up to the events were mega stress filled. My communications team was typing and designing so fast that keys were flying off the keyboard left and right. Okay not really, but that’s how it felt some days. We were designing invites and powerpoints and banners, all while coordinating who was taking photos and who was connecting with the professional media teams and journalists that were attending. I ended up being appointed to assist one particular journalist...who I accidentally hugged at the end of the event instead of shaking hands like normal professionals. This occurred minutes after our “We Are the World” performance, so I was at the peak of an energy high. I think (hope) the journalist understood.
A day after the event, a team of us visited a partner organization a few hours north of our office. The community that makes up the organization is a cool variety. On one part of the campus is a nursing school. Once the girls graduate, they have the option to work at the on campus hospital. Next to the hospital, is home for those with leprosy. A few steps away from that, is a small building where the teachers and caretakers stay. That day consisted of dancing and singing and more dancing and learning and conversation and more dancing. We drove home with happy hearts and tired eyes.
Following those long string of events and campus visits, we returned to our cubicles. Our to-do lists are a tad bit smaller than before, but our office is never not working on something. Today is the first day in a while that I made a cup of coffee and had time to drink the whole thing. I also finally finished my first book since being here. I didn’t understand why my mom was laughing at the 26 books I originally had packed in my suitcase, but I’m glad she made me take out 16 of them before I moved. I don’t have as much down time as I thought I would, or maybe more honestly, I don’t spend my down time doing as much reading as I thought I would.
It’s been a whirlwind. I feel like I haven’t taken a full breath in a while, but I know that time will come. I’m thankful to be alive and healthy. I’m thankful for this journey. I’m thankful to have no idea what I’m doing. I’m thankful for the Lord who knows me.
I’m also thankful for co-workers and roommates who buy me turkey sandwiches from Subway on Thanksgiving day.