The group is back safely in Bangalore and we will be updating the blog over time with details of the past few days.
By Hannah and Jacob
We woke at 2am to fly to Guwahati. When we got to the airport, there was close to a dozen lines for the men to get through security and only one line for the women. We were rattled by this norm because it is not something we have experienced before. In the United States, this experience would quickly be labeled sexist. Here in India, we came to discover, this separation was for the persevation of modesty (as only female officers worked in this section of the airport), which is an important and empowering aspect of the culture.
Upon arrival to Guwahati, we met Pastor Samuel, who always seems to be in a rush to do nothing. He rushed us from the church to different houses of the village to the ministry, and his urgency was softened with gentle English phrases, like “Please come, please come” and “kindly go, kindly go.” He would even ask us to not talk while we were eating so we would eat faster. His eagerness was energizing. In the times between our hustling, we got to share a lot of special time playing with the children.
After traveling to the direct opposite side of the planet and then traveling 6 more hours north, I discovered that Indian kids are in fact…kids. Upon our arrival to their small village of Uldagiri, the “language barrier” was pretty much shattered after the first juggle of a soccer ball. I didn’t juggle the ball cuz that’s just not what I do (extreme lack of foot-eye coordination), but by simply watching you could see that these kids wanted nothing more than to connect, and to have the opportunity to love and be loved. If the sweat stains on our shirts after the first half an hour of playing are any indication of our first sports camp set for tomorrow, it’s sure to be a blast (and wet). As we were packing up to leave for the day, “yellow T-shirt boy” (name to be discovered) tugged on my shirt, pointed sternly up at me, and said “Tomorrow. Come.” I will do just that my friend, I will do just that.