Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Water-Based Wall Paint

So, I had this dream last week.  I was dreaming that I was driving our new van/car/can with so much authority and grace that it dazzled even the locals.  Now, let me remind you that the last time I drove a stick shift was in high school in a parking lot, and at that time I failed miserably.  So, the thought of driving a stick, in India, with everything opposite, including the side of the road I’m driving on, and the only child of mine that is in a car seat is Jovie, gives me a good case of the hives.  Needless to say, yesterday morning when Jayson took me out for driving lessons, I was not excited.  But I got behind the wheel of the van/car/can and had a flashback to the dream of mine, and I was off like the Indy 500.  The only moment that I got a bit nervous is when Jayson told me to practice starting uphill.  The moment I  started pulling over to practice, this monkey came swinging out in front of us and I nearly wet myself.  I really don’t want to get into my feelings toward monkeys in this particular post, but...let’s just say I didn’t invite him in to join us.  

We had a fabulous weekend at our first Freedom Firm retreat.  The retreat really was Jayson’s first project that he has been in charge of, and let me say this, I was so proud of him.  Everyone really had great words for him in regards to making it a restful, meaningful and community-building retreat.  Those words are a beautiful gift.  The kids (12 total, including ours)  basically spent most of their time playing star wars, swinging on a tire swing and playing in a huge pile of sand.  Their were two particular memorable events at the retreat.  One was Freedom Firm’s first ever graduation service - for two of the girls in the aftercare program.  These girls will now live in the YMCA for a while, with the FF staff helping them figure out life on their own.  The rehabilitation that FF devotes so much time, energy and love into is really beautiful.  

The other event that meant a lot to me personally was a long chat with some of the Indian social workers.  I have many, many questions about India, so I dove in with questions about why they think the population is so high, why the caste system is so engrained, why there are so many languages and then smaller questions about produce and places our family must see during our time here.  I truly enjoyed that conversation around the bonfire - and now have a million more questions.  Oh, and by the way, the entire time that I was having such deep, meaningful and stimulating conversations, I had a huge glob of marshmallow in my hair...  I have such dignity.  (P.S. Marshmallows are such a disappointment here - the only similarity they have to those in the States is that they are white and round.)

Okay, here is a funny thing about wall paint here...  it’s water-based.  So whenever you get a ding on the wall that you need to wipe off, you wipe off the paint too.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I have no idea what our walls are going to look like after any sort of time here, because after just 6 weeks being here I have wiped off our walls peanut butter, chocolate, mud, spaghetti sauce and pencil... what in the world.

Yesterday, I was invited over for tea by one of my fellow jazzercise junkies.  We were walking home together and she invited me up and I was thrilled.  We talked about everything from cooking to her arranged marriage to what caste she is in and where in India she is from.  She said I will go far here because I ask so many questions.... who me?  She also said that she will teach me how to cook Indian, saying “her people” are known for fish and their use of coconut...mmm. 

I need your help on something...  I’ve been asked to facilitate a sort of weight loss class here in Ooty.  They have nothing like it here (in a town of 200,000) and there has been an expressed need.   I also think that it would allow me to get to know more of the locals and just be a part of the larger community.  So, here I go - But I need a name for it.  This is where you come in.  I will accept any and all ideas and will decide by the next blog entry what name is the big winner - because I start a week from this Friday!  (A little motivator for you all, the winner will receive a can, no wait, an envelope, of cooked beans from my best friend “the pressure cooker.”)

I will leave you with this...  water-based wall paint - why?


Marsha said...

Hi Tarrah! Once again, you impress me with your way with words. It is so fun to read your weekly updates. Your honesty is continuously refreshing. I'm so thankful to God for the great retreat you all had. That's awesome! Here is my entry for the name of your new weight loss program: Treads. Have a great day!
Love, Marsha

Anonymous said...

Hi Palms! It's so cool to read all your posts. I look forward to each new one that comes. Monkeys hangin in trees by the road, cool lookin mini-mini-vans (microvan??), and all the cool people you're meeting and cool stuff you're learning. I truly envy all of you for the opportunity and the guts it took to take it.
For the wieght loss thing, I've been trying to think of some way to incorporate 'Ooty' and 'booty', but I'm at a loss...

Keep the hits comin!

Juli said...

hmmmm.... I acutally wonder if you could get weight watchers to donate or help facilitate something like that over there? how about lovely curves??? or lucky loss? or superwoman? or the first loser? or scary journey? or super hard to lose weight group? or the naked project?

on another note, i am working with a trainer that is fabulous, perhaps i can get her to help you out with some ideas of stuff you can do with the group.

and on yet another note...i think i would pee my pants if a monkey fell out of a tree on my car. and screech a little, and then laugh, and pee my pants some more. anyway, what is the funniest question you have heard come out of your mouth so far?

Anonymous said...

going off an earlier comment "the ooty booty busters" but please dont send us an envelope of beans.

Dad said...

Tarrah..I've got it figured out."Lost Kilo's" & you don't even have to send me the prize...I'll pick it up when I visit in June..(save you a few bucks) so there you go..matter settled..

Jennifer Swanson said...

I sooooo miss your questions. Email just isn't the same, but I'll take what I can get. I'm learning. I actually asked my father-in-law a question today and he talked. :)

"Cutie Ooty Booties"? heh heh

Sandy said...

Hi Tarrah, I love your humor and am enjoying reading all about your experiencing. I think you should call it "Ufdda" - a little Minnesota and also think they can say Ufta everytime they lift weights - you would be laughing the whole time. Love and prayers for you all. Sandy

SLMW8MAN said...

I just heard about you from Dawnette Scott. We live in Delhi. I use to run a gym for women only. We were closed down last year because of zoning laws. Now I lead aerobics in our house 4 times a week with ladies. Maybe this is something you can do. Keep it simple. My ladies also love Salsa dance. You can email me if you want. Weightman@mytravelbox.com

dawnette said...

I just emailed you about my friend here who commented before me :) I know India's a big place, but hopefully you can connect!
much love - d

Anonymous said...

too late now but weight loss group