Rach's Ramblings

Thoughts from another world

Five fly over the sea

The monsoon just started!  I woke this morning to thunder rolling through the Himalayas and now the rain is thunderous on the roof.  The paths are gushing with rivers of water.  The hills are soaking up the rains. The insects are making a mad dash for safety by retreating into my house – so far this morning 3 silverfish, 2 earwigs and 1 massive spider. And…this will continue for two months!  Two months of stir crazy children and being perpetually wet.  Suddenly India seems more daunting!

 Only one week ago we arrived and yet it seems like a lifetime.  Life here is SO different and praise God, we are loving it! (So far)  The people are beautiful- welcoming and friendly and the scenery is SPECTACULAR.  For us country people we couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to live.

 I could write an essay on all we have experienced but for my readers sake I will put it into a list.

  Walking through the gates at Melbourne airport after farewelling our family and Levi announcing “I in India!” And after every flight after asking, “Are we there yet?”

 25 new staff, all equally bewildered by India, bonding and discovering our new country together. One very special family with 3 kids the same ages as our boys – feeling very blessed to have such lovely new friends.

 A 5 hour train trip across India.  The boys had their noses stuck to the window most of the trip as they took in the masses of humanity, the slums, the sugar cane, the Hindu processions, the mangy cows and donkeys. An amazing introduction to India.

 A one hour ride up the steepest, winding road imaginable (think the Great Ocean Road on steroids and going uphill) and we climbed off our bus to a huge welcome from the principal and some of the staff (check out the Woodstock school website for photos of our arrival)

Monkeys and more monkeys!  Very cute but not so friendly.  One tried to attack Samuel and was scared off just in time by my brave and valiant husband.  Another one with a baby came into our staff meeting! And I arrived home yesterday to see all my washing spread around my yard – apparently they can be very cheeky and love to play with washing!

 An Australian Party.  All the Aussies on staff got together at a house on the hillside to talk footy and cricket and all things Australian.  Had a ball! (Many of the Woodstock staff are from the USA so it is a pleasant change to be with Australians.)

 Quirks of life at Woodstock:

  • When I turn on the kettle the lights go dim.
  • The tap with the red dot is the cold tap
  • Leeches love me and I only know I have had one when it drops off and then there is blood everywhere. (Lucky I’m from a farm so not at all freaked out!)
  • Purple water is safe water. You have to soak all fruit and veg in a potassium solution which turns the water bright purple.
  • When you ask to see a dryer (to combat the monsoon)  in the electrical shop, they ask you to wait a minute and then you see a man carrying it up the bazaar from their store house which is obviously somewhere else! Nearly had to buy it from embarrassment.
  • The bread man, Ayahs seeking work (house help), grocery man, bin men, coolies who are lost – are constantly at my door!  I have taken to making sure I am decently clothed at all times.
  • When I bought a dryer, it was carried up the mountain by a coolie (strapped on his back – a 30 min walk straight up!!) And arrived at 9pm the day I bought it – the Good Guys could take a leaf out of their book!
  • We live and breathe hand sanitiser.
  • The saucepans don’t have handles
  • Monkeys are scared of rocks and umbrellas – we carry them at all times.  You can also buy monkey bombs (like a firecracker) from the bazaar – am going to get myself some of them!
  • To get an Indian outfit you go to one shop to choose material and then to the tailor to be fitted out. The boys and I are going today as they need outfits for Indian Independence day – they are going to look so cute!

 So, how are my darling little boys:

Well, they love it here!  Josh says he would like to stay forever, and despite the evil monkeys, Samuel is really loving it too.  He has been a bit more prone to sook and I have been getting lots of cuddles and I think that’s his way of coping with the adjustment.  Levi is just cruising along- loves playing with all the kids but needs to have time by himself.  The school is ridiculously well equipped – gym, pool, ovals.  The kids will do hiking, languages, music and heaps of other extra curricular activities – so they really are fortunate.  But the standard of academics is very high and when they start school next week the rubber will hit the road as the holiday ends.

 Overall, we have been overwhelmed by the friendliness of everyone.  From staff to the people in the bazaar, we are feeling truly blessed to get to know these people.  I had prayed for a heart for the Indian people and I can feel it starting to spring to life in me.  I can’t wait to get into Hindi lessons so I can start to communicate with those who don’t speak English.

 Thankyou dear friends in Oz for your love and prayers for us as we have settled in.  We have felt the impact of those prayers like never before.  Please keep us in your prayers as we know the honeymoon period will end and some of the quirks mentioned above may start to seem less quirky and more challenging. We know there will be struggles ahead but also great joys and we feel truly blessed to be here in India to do and experience all that God has for us.

 Xxxxx Rach


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