Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Drove Us to Light the Wick

It seems to me, that I have never thought more about 4th of July than now, while I’m not even in the States. Weird. Maybe not weird, but at least puzzling. Did we celebrate? Oh yes. A friend of mine sent some 4th of July gear and away we went. We invited some Americans over - and an Indian and a German. We are the melting pot, you know. Anyway, we had red, white and blue covering the dinner table which was - you can guess - laden with burgers, fries, cole slaw and a tomato salad. I made a 4th of July quiz (including the question, Which two U.S. Presidents died on the 4th of July. Do you know?). We sang the Star Spangled Banner with much gusto. We blew bubbles - from little red and blue bubble dispensers with stars on top! How patriotic is that. And we watched the 2008 4th of July New York City fireworks display on YouTube.

Patriotic bubble blowing

Alum, one of Freedom Firm's social workers, amidst a frenzy of bubble popping

One of our friends came over with fireworks. These fireworks that we witnessed that night will always be near to my heart... It had been raining for 3 days straight (and still is, monsoon season has officially arrived) and so we thought that it would not fare well to have the fireworks in the rain, meaning we had them under our metal car port. It was one of the decisions that could have gone either way (“Should we really be lighting these?”) and I think our nostalgia and need to celebrate drove us to light the wick - not common sense. The fireworks were not the blast-in-the-air type but the pop-on-the-ground kind. Anyway, when the fireworks came out of the box they looked like a reel of automatic ammunition. Jayson unrolled them, laying them on the ground, and had everybody stand back. Holy buckets. My life really didn’t flash before my eyes, but I was the one holding the video camera with two kids and I kind of felt like a CNN reporter with a live feed to the west and I got caught in the crossfire of a war. Literally we were ducking for cover and shoving the kids into the house for fear of explosion. James was the funniest one of the bunch. The previous night he got scared watching Finding Nemo, but that night he was the bravest of the crew. He just covered his ears and pulled up a chair for a front row seat to the action. A bit ironic of him. Anyway, after the fireworks finished, there was a definite high pitch buzz coming from the girls (and my ears) and my knees were definitely shaky and my heart was pumping. Happy 4th of July.

The row of pop-on-the-ground firecrackers, pre-danger
Lets see, as I said before it’s been raining constantly here. Either really gushy gushy rain, steady betty rain, light and lovely rain or misty mountain rain - total dork I know, to name all the rains - oh well, what’s a girl to do. I have nothing else to say on the subject, just being the Ooty Weather Girl to the greater world population.

So, I think I have told you a bit about how we have a bit of an accent going - the kids especially. Its mostly a touch of British, but sometimes a bit of New Zealand and Australia pops in. Well, I have another dimension to my speech. Its called “Abbreviated English, with a bit of an Indian accent and a head nod thrown in”. I have noticed it way more now that I am interacting with FF Aftercare Staff. The housemothers have really done a great job of picking up English, but to help them understand what I am saying I try to stick to simple nouns and verbs. Today I said, “you coming going, me coming going” - what is that?! That phrase is classic for Maria, one of our house mothers, so I guess I have picked up a bit of Indian/English Slang. Just an inside scoop on me, I have terrible grammar, so I can only imagine what long-term effects this will have on my oh so intellectual commentary on life.

Hi friends. Jayson here with a very fun Freedom Firm update. We’ve had 3 rescues in the last 4 weeks totaling 11 girls! In 2008 we had 25 rescues total, so that gives you an idea of how fantastic it is to have 11 in 1 month. The most recent was a landmark rescue. According to some information that IJM passed on to us, 3 girls were on a train with 4 traffickers headed from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to Pune (click for a map of this journey). Freedom Firm mobilized police in Pune, who were there when the train pulled in to Pune Station at 6:15 yesterday morning. As the brothel keeper, who was expecting the girls, looked on (it turns out she was at the station and police recognized her), the police took the traffickers into custody and brought the girls into safety. Later the police also arrested the brothel keeper, who it turns out runs a brothel that Freedom Firm rescued a girl from last September.

Last, but certainly far from least, the contest winner. Drum roll please... Chris and Sarah Nichols - some friends of ours when we worked with Royal Servants. Thank you to all who entered. That was fun!

Yes, the name was drawn out of a hat. See?


Chris and Sarah said...

So excited that we won! Also, I happen to know the answer to your 4th of July question (but only because we were just in DC two weeks ago) Adams and Jefferson. When Adams died his last words were "Jefferson still lives" (or something to that effect), said not knowing that Jefferson had died early that day. (a little extra fact while I still remember it).
Take care, glad you were able to celebrate the 4th. Between RS and now India, you haven't had many in the States!

Dave C said...

Ahhh! 4th of July in another country! Very fun!
Tarrah, love the blogs and I'm sure that even if you slide into Indian/English slang they'll still be fun.
You write read! I read write!

Sarah said...

hilarious as usual!