Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surely It Has Been Outlawed

A girl on the streets in Mumbai

I love the fall.  I would say it is my favorite season, but when spring and summer comes, they also make me want to wet myself with excitement.  Oops, did that I just write that?  I am pretty sure that I did, what do you do... just keep on writing I guess.  I still operate under my Minnesota seasons here.  I am not sure if that will always be the case, but I just can’t help myself.  We are still in the same hemisphere here as the States, so technically it would be fall, but it sure doesn’t look like what I am used to. 

Fall means to me… crisp apples, shuffling my feet through leaves, watching the leaves turn, pumpkins, candy corn, apple orchards and pumpkin patches, wearing long-sleeve shirts and a fleece vest, to name a few.  Here its umm, a bit misty, very green, the flowers are in full bloom for some reason and there are these funny fruits in the market right now that taste like a cross between an apple and a mango.  So this weekend we re-created fall (Minnesota style) at our house.  We had a few families over and carved pumpkins, bobbed for apples (more on that later), tossed bean bags, made wassail, ate pumpkin pie and apple cake, had candy corn on frosted cookies and did a scavenger hunt.  So fun.  Now let’s talk about apple bobbing.  There is a reason why I have not seen apple bobbing for at least a decade - because it’s absolutely GROSS!  Surely it has been outlawed in any sort of public event for years.  As I was watching each of the kids bob up and down in cold water, with snot dripping down their faces, chomping into apples, it nearly made my chuck.  And you know me, I am not a huge germ-a-phobe.  I think if I was a bit more conscious of germs, I would have thought a bit about the process and ruled it out as a game before I nearly chucked.  The kids loved it, which I think made it worth all the grossness, I think...

Bobbing for apples

Tarrah wiping the snot off Andrew while bobbing

All the kiddos smearing loads of frosting and candy on sugar cookies

Every family had one pumpkin to carve

The Palm family pumpkin

Today I was at the Parenting Class that I teach with the women with children in FF’s aftercare program.  They told me a sweet and simple story of the best part of their week and I want to share it with you.  Last week at the class we talked about bathing.  Before I launch into any subject with them, I try to get a feel on what their current situation is.  A bit of background first.  For a few different reasons, the women with children do not stay at FF’s aftercare house.  So we, as FF staff, have little control over what goes on at their hostel.  So, their current bathing, as of last week, was one - maybe two - cold baths per week with no soap...  Ugh.  So, I try - working with what they have - to make the most of their situation.  But, and here’s the fun part, after the class last week, they were assigned new responsibilities in the hostel and their new chore is to heat the water in the morning for the whole hostel, so now they have (as well as their kids) taken a warm bath every day with soap (one of the FF social workers got some soap for them after we found out they had none) and they were so grateful and excited.  I thank God for that bit of comfort for them.

So hey, we are going to throw some pictures up this week that a friend of FF’s took up in Mumbai in the red-light district and of some brothels.  We hope they give you a better picture of where FF does their work as well as where our aftercare girls come from.

A brothel in Mumbai

Girls outside a brothel in Mumbai


wanderingellimac said...

thanks for continuing to do what you do everyday.

Chris and Sarah said...

So glad you had some fall fun! Fall is my favorite season too - largely because of the assortment of pumpkin flavored things in addition to many things you mentioned. Plus my kids were both born in the fall - that's right, kids! Yesterday we welcomed Addison Grace into the world! There are pictures on our blog if you are interested.

mel said...

what a fun fall guys are so fantastic at celebrating! your love for celebration and maintaining traditions must be such a gift to your community! love it!

sounds like the apple bobbing was quite the experience! did any of the kids actually achieve pulling an apple out of the water? i have to admit, it seems like an impossible task...almost as impossible as actually winning a stuffed animal from one of those machines at the bowling ally. you know, the machine with the metal claw that you control ... placing just above the prize of your choice, only to have your hopes dashed once again because the claw that is meant to grab your new stuffed animal is about as sturdy as a wet noodle!

Anonymous said...

you are such a blessing to your co-workers, with your amazing hospitality. what a sweet difference you are making to your women, too - a hot bath. can you imagine if they saw our big bubble baths. we are so ridiculously spoiled. keep on keeping on, dear friends. glenda

Jennifer Swanson said...

Luke was pretty grossed out by the apple-bobbing concept, but somehow he had no qualms about donut-on-a-rope eating contest (hanging from a tree, no less, and the same rope used repeatedly by various children, eew).