So we made it! We arrived at the airport around 11 pm (that���s 12:30 pm central time!) and it took us until about 1 am to get all our luggage and get through the lines, etc. But, PTL, all our luggage arrived, we weren���t stopped by customs (which could have taken forever to get through with all the bags we had!), and there were people waiting for us! We loaded up our luggage and made it to our new home (for the next few weeks of training) about 1:30 am.
Friday morning, we had a little orientation time and then headed to lunch with other people from the team here. This was great���good food and a chance to see several people that I���d met back in January. Let me tell you, nothing feels better than seeing familiar faces when you���re several thousands miles from everything you���ve ever known! Friday evening, we headed down to the marked to explore, and then came back to our house and ordered dinner���quite interesting when you have no idea what anything on the menu means (even though it���s in English!). I���m proud to say I called the restaurant and placed our order J
On Saturday we had some down time, which is good, because the time change has been a challenge for us all. We went to lunch with some people from the team here, and also got to have some chai and dessert���pretty good stuff! Last night, we took our first auto rickshaw (imagine one of those little red and yellow plastic cars you have as a kid, only bigger and green and yellow, with a little guy driving it like a motorcycle instead of using his feet) to a single girls��� fellowship. Lots of fun and a good chance to hear more people���s opinions on things here (that���s one thing I���ve already learned���everyone sees everything differently, does things differently, and it���s pretty much ok���you have to take your time and figure out for yourself what is going to work best��安ith food, clothes, language, travel, etc��夷nteresting���).
Sunday afternoon we went to church���very cool, and yet also with tastes of the West (cell phones going off, etc). I didn���t understand much of what was being said, but I had a really good time. Then last night we ate Domino���s (not as good as in the States, but it���s always nice to have something familiar. We also had Subway for lunch). Finally, after an adventurous ride in auto rickshaws we met up with some of our other friends before they head off to their cities today.
Overall, I am very glad to be here. I know that this is where I���m supposed to be, although it is hard to realize that, whoa, I���m really here. I���ve had my up and down moments in these past few days, but my heart���s desire is that my attitude would reflect the TRUTH���that I���ll be willing and obedient and let JOY be my strength. Also, I���ve been reassured and encouraged and humored by several things since I���ve been here:
-I KNOW this is where I���m supposed to be
-We���ve constantly been surprised by things being better than we expected (smells, sounds, etc)
-I flagged down my first auto rickshaw by myself Saturday night, and got him down from 50 rupees to 35! (42 rupees = $1)
-Everyone is very nice and encouraging
-Most Hindi is at least salted with some English, which basically makes you wonder if they���re actually speaking Hindi, or it���s English and you just don���t understand!
-I haven���t gotten sick (yet!) and overall I���m feeling pretty good
-The heat is really not that much worse than Louisiana :)
Well, that���s pretty much it for now���thank you all so much for thinking of me and being so supportive!