Thursday, January 21, 2010

Feeling Very, Very Spoiled

Lovin' on Auntie Mel

To celebrate our one-year anniversary in India, we made something we haven't tasted in a year...donuts.

Jovie versus the lemon. Before.

Jovie versus the lemon. After.

Big brother, little sister

We had arrived 1/2 an hour early, which is pretty remarkable for us Palms. Standing in the Coimbatore train station at 10:50 p.m., waiting for our 11 p.m. train to go to the beach, we thought to ourselves that we have done this twice before, we are so on top of this travel by train in India business. And this man came up to us to chat about where we were going, yada yada yada, and mentioned to us that we were on the wrong end of the platform and oh, by the way, the train only stops for five minutes. Just as we heard that, our train started coming. And we started going about as fast as the Palm Six plus one (Auntie Mel) could go. Just as we started, a Korean tour group came in, and Sydney thought she saw her preschool teacher (not her, just similar looking) and she wanted us to stop and we couldn’t because we had to catch the train. And she started to scream bloody murder. I scooped her up, with Jovie on my back in a carrier and we started to run. Both were screaming the whole time. And this wasn’t a 50 foot run, this was (literally) a 200 yard sprint, at 11 p.m., 85 degrees out, a four and six year old with backpacks on, two adult backpacks, two pieces of luggage and a portable crib kind of run. And the train started up and people were yelling at us, “just get on, just get on” in Indian-broken-English… So, we did, we just got on. My lungs were 10 seconds away from explosion and all of us were drenched in sweat. We then had to find our compartment, which took us a few cars to find, trying to be as quiet as church mice, since most people were sleeping, you can only imagine how our brood did with that… Anyway, we found our compartment and promptly gave ourselves a wet wipe shower. Always refreshing.

The Palm Six plus one travels
That was the start to our trip to the beach. Even though train travel in India is the least relaxing way to travel, it is the cheapest. An overnight, round-trip train to the beach was $60 for all seven of us. Cheap wins. The four days at the beach were great - warm, sand, ocean, yummy seafood, pool, boogie boarding, absolutely perfect “people watching”, sand castles, and great memories. The most interesting part to me was seeing so many people that had the same color skin as me. It is peak season and there a lot of travelers from the West. I kept on being so surprised that our family did not stick out like a sore thumb. We kind of just fit in.

Sweet taxi to the beach. Almost there.

And we made it.

Grateful for an overcast day, since we're about two miles from the equator (or maybe just a bit more) and already have plenty of sun by day three.

Jammies on the beach is seriously underrated

Our first go at boogie boarding

Bringin' in the fish

Our trip back was not as eventful as the getting there, except Jayson was wretchedly sick. I have very little empathy in my bones, but I actually felt bad for how sick he was and that he spent his night in the disgusting train bathroom. Poor, poor Jayson.

Train toilet. You're jealous, I know.

Speaking of Jayson, it’s his birthday tomorrow (the 22nd). Happy Birthday Jayson.

Mel, Jayson’s sister, left yesterday. We had such a sweet visit with her. Thanks Mel for seeing our world - for encouraging us, making us laugh, validating some of the difficulties that come with living here, being a great auntie and making me coffee in the morning.

We got a kitty two weeks ago. Why you ask? I ask myself that same question most days. Anyway, his name is Tommy (Ani named him). Tommy makes me sneeze and poops in my shower, but he’s cute and my daughter is happy…

Meet Tommy

On the Freedom Firm front, FF operatives, along with the police, rescued ten girls and arrested four brothel keepers last week. Exciting! I hope to never get “used to” girls being rescued. I hope to always be filled with joy when we get a phone call that the operatives found more girls that are desperate for another kind of life. In other FF news, not as glamorous but still really important to furthering the goals of FF, Jayson finished the both first ever Annual Report and first ever budget last week. He is really please with the work. And I am proud of him. Here is a link to the Annual Report if you are interesting in more of the nitty gritty of Freedom Firm.

My mom is coming early next week. So great! I am feeling very, very spoiled from all of our visitors the last three months - but like most only children, I kind of live for being spoiled… did I just say that? I did, I am just going to go with it. Anyway, we are so excited to see her! And if you live in Bemidji, invite my dad out for dinner.


Emily said...

My husband and I were the couple persistently stalking your husband Jayson in our quest to serve with FF, and I thought I'd identity myself after weeks of blog-stalking you:) Although i don't know you, I look forward to your weekly posts, which give me a lot of hope to keep dreaming--even when our dreams feel far off. so thanks.

Kara said...

I love the pictures! So great to see your life - and love that you have visitors. Hope all the birthday celebrations are fabulous (no more getting sick, please!) wish we could be present to celebrate with you, but know we are thinking of you all. Much love~

Anonymous said...

Hi Palms,
Happy Birthday Jason! Are you having Dairy Queen cake? The trip to the beach sounded like great fun. I'm sure the kids had a wonderful time. We're sitting here in Minnesota with a couple feet of snow and now freezing rain! Typical winter.
Good to read your message, once again.
Aunt Sue

H said...

I laughed our loud at Sydney's shirt fashion in the picture at the train depot...I think I'm going to try to bring that style out west, I'll let you know how that goes! you're family is beautiful! -honja

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing your stories of living in Ooty. I went to Taylor and Jerusalem University College with Jayson and then after I graduated my husband and I worked at Hebron for three years. I love seeing your photos and hearing your stories of our beloved India/Ooty/Hebron school. As hard as it is living in India some days, once you leave, all you do is dream of going back.

Lindsay said...

Looks like you guys had a great time with auntie Mel! I LOVE the picture of her with all the kids! Priceless!
-Lindsay Casten (Gibson)

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, I keep up with your Blog all the time. I just love it! It feels like we are with you. I am so happy that you have had so many visitors. Picture of Jay and Lorraine and recently of Mels with the kids is great. We sent our love.
Aunt Linda Kay and Uncle Bob

Sarah said...

I am so glad you have had visitor after visitor there... so fun. You all are amazing traveling with those kiddos all over the place. And I don't know if there would be anyone more sympathetic than me of Jayson getting sick in that toilet. I don't even like getting sick in my own clean toilet.
Hope you all are well. Miss you here in the frozen tundra.


Tarrah, You look adorable adorable adorable in the donut picture. Enjoy every moment with your mom.


PS. You have inspired me to start my own blog. I think you'll enjoy it, Tarrah.