Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, Saturday, Sunday








Ruby picked us up at 8:30am. We walked to Karagiri, the Leprosy Research Hospital. It started 50 years ago, and the land is leased by the government for 99 years. They showed us pictures of the land when they first got it. It was literally a desert. The founders planted thousands of trees, and today it literally looks like a jungle. Our guest house is part of this hospital.

They took us through several different sections and words of the hospital. They showed us where the surgeon section used to be which was pretty much a tiny cabin with swinging doors. We saw the “ob & gyn ward” nursing branch, “xray & photography,” and many others…pediatrics was one! They took us upstairs to the testing and research facility where they test bacteria and diseases on mice. They showed us pictures of the infected mice where they turn white and their feet are huge, red, and nasty! They also showed us live mice.

Finally, they took us to see the Leprosy ward. They showed us a man with the most severe case that they had at the time. He literally looked like bones with skin on them. His legs were skinnier than my arms, and he was almost lifeless. His fingers and toes were pretty much gone because of the effects of Leprosy and he had severe skin discoloring pigmentation. They told us he was pretty much a beggar his entire life. His life over the last 40 years has consisted of sitting on the hot burning ground begging for survival needs. This caused blisters, callouses, and ulcers on his behind. The ulcer was the size of a tennis ball where you could pretty much see his meat and flesh. Graphic I know..sorry!

We then visited one of their general stores where the Leprosy patients make sheets, bags, pillow cases, rags, mats etc.. I bought 4 different things for a total of $7.

The pictures where you probably don’t know what it is…is a mans hands. They are nubs basically. He has been living in Shanthi Gramam “Village of Peace.” It is for Leprosy patients, and he has lived there for 23 years now. He is happier than ever, and lives for the Lord.


Saturday

We took a 3.5 hour bus ride to a them park/ beach. It was a joke! It was the Indian version of six flags. So we just went straight to the beach. We really didn’t do much but hang out at the beach and have a million Indian people ask to take a picture with us shaking our hands, which was pretty amusing. I got a sun burn whoooo! Daddy I got you sand!

Sunday

We got up really early and went to an Indian Christian Church. It was amazing! Then we went to a Chinese Restaurant! So good!

All my love,

Elise


Thursday Evenving the 28th

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a couple of days. In India the internet connection some times goes out…sooooo right as soon as I finished writing my blog on Friday the power went out! Every thing I wrote was completely erased! So I’m just going to start off where I left off.

After the henna party, we made our way to a different ministry. This lady Jean Aunty started this mission field in a neglected community called the gypsies. She provides jobs for the ladies by teaching to make jewelry. She makes a deal with them. If they stay in that community then their children will be provided with free day care, which includes a free meal and teaching them Christian songs, stories, access to toys, and much more. The sad part is, most all of the adults drink in the evenings beyond their tolerance leaving the children with no supervision and no role model to look up to. Jean Aunty and her staff members are the only suitable people in their lives. The good thing is the younger generation is now being educated and they are being raised with a positive endeavor in their lives, and hopefully the generations to come will be moved by Jean Aunty’s efforts. Jean Aunty might not even live to see this change.

When we went to Jean Aunty’s mission field, there was so many children everywhere crowding us as we stepped off the bus. I looked around after we settled down in the church, and I noticed that some of the babies, not even 5 months old, were standing and walking on their own. It just proved to me that these kids have no choice but to be independent at a young age.
The children loved LOVED having their pictures taken. They would scream in their language to see their picture on the camera. They don’t know but two or three phrases in English, but they do know about 3 or 4 other languages. We talked for a long time through organized translation and going around the circle. All the girls and boys sang us a Sunday school song in English, Tamil, Hindi, and in their own language that has no name and no script (as in no way to write it).

Shortly after their beautiful little voices, the rain began to pour. As soon as I saw 3 or 4 children run outside I sprinted and followed them without any thought. 4 of the young boys chased me around trying to get my waterproof camera because they wanted to take pictures. We ran through huge puddles and just laughed at each other. Then the girls and I started to dance and sing, and they taught me their Indian songs and dances. They laughed and laughed at me because I am so white and American!

When we went back into the chapel, the older lady gypsies sold us jewelry. I bought a few.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

henna





So yesterday, we went to the bank to exchange our American currency for Rupees. One dollar equals 46.45 Rupees. The exchange rate is great right now, but to exchange $150.00 and get over 6900 Rupees is AMAZING!!! I love it! We were at the largest bank in India called the State Bank of India and it was the most "efficient" bank we could go to.....welllll after 2.5 hours we finally got out of there. Normally it only takes like 30 minutes. This policeman stood guard at the bank with a shotgun. It was humorous to us because in the time that he could get the gun up and cocked someone could just karate chop it down.
Because it took so long, shopping was nixed. DANG IT! Its okay...I will definitely make up the spending of the money later. We just went to the Hope House for tea and crackers, then dinner afterwards. The tea was unbelievably hot and I was kind of amused when two of the girls spilt it...phahahha. I guess you had to be there. Right before we were about to leave I was taking random pictures. I was taking a shot of this front door and this old Indian lady walked out and I asked her if I could take her picture and she modeled for me and worked that camera. It is funny because any person that you ask to take a photo of, they immediatley lose the smile and pose.

We went to bed around 7:45pm last night, and at about 4:30am I was wide awake

All we have done today is get henna tattoos and it is amazing! I will write more tomorrow but they are hurrying me! We are about to go to a ministry with gypsies this afternoon....to be continueddddd.

all my love,

Elise

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the first day.

Elizabeth and I sat next to eachother on the first flight. We met this lady, Mrs. Belle, from New Mexico. She was a German high school teacher, and she taught me all I needed to know to actually read German and pronounce words. She recommended severel hotels, hostels, sites, and cities we should visit, and even gave us business cards to some of the hotels. She was so nice!
When we got off the plane in Frankfurt, Germany, we barely had 5 min. to use the restroom. Then we had to jump on a tram to catch a bus that took us to an airplane. It was like the movies, how we used stairs to climb on board.
My mind was so messed up with the time change. Sleep is impossible to come by, and the food was "gag" worthy! its okay though...I am not hungry really, and it will all be worth it.
After getting to India we had to go through customs, which took an hour! Finally, when we got done with that we all met with Ruby outside. We took one van for just our luggagte and 1 for our bodies! We crammed 12 of us in a tiny van. It took us 2.5 hours to get from Chennai to Vellore. After totaling my car 3 weeks ago, the Indian driving scared me to death! you are supposed to drive on the left hand side of the road, but people drive wherever they want. literally. So when we were rampidly driving down the road, and we were about to approach and pass a vehicle...we would honk and they would get on their side of the road. BAHHHH! so scary!
After the long ride, we got to the guest house at around 3am last night. I am rooming with Kari and Michelle in a "air-conditioned" room with our very own bathroom! believe it or not...the toilet is farely normal. It was so hot that we did not use any blankets, and wore as little clothes as possible and still woke up in a pool of sweat. jealous? ha...i figured.
This morning we woke up at 8am, and when we ate breakfast....I tried really hard to eat the Indian breakfast, but my body wouldnt let me! They served pankcake-like fried bread, boiled eggs, and certain sauces..spicy (with curry) and another sauce to neutralize the spice. I ate A boiled egg. ha.
After breakfast, we got to meet Ruby and Sam's two beautiful daughters, Lydia, 7, and Lily, 5. Lydia calls me Elise Auntie and she said I am her favorite Auntie. I will probably have a million pictures of her because we are attatched at the hip. She is actually begging me to come play with her right now.
When we ate lunch a few minutes ago, Lydia and I sat next to eachother on the floor to eat our rice, chicken, curry sauce?, and yogurt. I grabbed a fork, and so she went back to get one, but she couldn't figure out how to use it; therefore, she wouldn't let me use my fork. She taught me to use my fingers like they all do. I thought I was going to be completely disgusted, but honestly it wasn't that bad.
Well in about an hour we are off to go shop for some Indian clothes, and relax for the rest of the day.
All my Love,
Elise

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Almost There


My flight leaves this Monday, the 25th at 4:20pm.
 I'll arrive in Frankfurt, Germany at 9:15am and have a layover for about 1.45 hours before we make our final flight to Chennai, India.  We will get to India on the 26th at 11:45pm.  After customs, getting our bags, potty breaks, and d
riving to Vellore we will probably get there early in the morning around 3 to 4 am. To put it in one word we'll be EXHAUSTED!
So now I am going put my Europe trip to the side and focus on India for the next 3 weeks in this blog.
The purpose of going on this mission trip is to build relationships with the girls in the all-girl Hope House orphanage and furthering the kingdom of God. We will be visiting different mission fields that were started by individuals following their personal calling from Jesus Christ. 
One of my personal focuses is to be humbled by God's grace.  I never want to be complacent in my walk with God because a relationship is ever growing.  One of the things I learned from my friend Lauren is that I am in this stage called sanctification, where I am in the process of renewing my mind and becoming more holy like God and His son.  I am ready for this transformation to be apparent physically and emotionally through my mind and body.
I really would like to build friendships with these girls and show them the love and compassion that my savior has showed me.

on a different note. 
I had to get all of this into a backpack. not a suitcase!


I DID IT! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ready Go!

Are you ready for this? I am about to start this crazy summer in less than a week and I am so stoked!  All I need now is patience and a good coffee.  I am way too, well, Elise Peak to relax for a week before I go to India, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy!!! I have been working my tail off these past few days doing hard elbow-grease manual labor work for my Mom.  We have been moving heavy, dusty, and dirty boxes from building to building. The first day we moved 93 boxes! 3 girls and 1 boy. Sad part is, we probably worked harder than the guy. We asked him to help us put boxes on the top shelf...after taking 10 minutes to stand up, get on the step ladder, and struggle putting the box where we needed it, I told him to just take a break and we girls did a "man's job" better and faster!  This trip is going to be a breath of fresh air, and I can take on anything that is thrown at me. God is going to move people.  Get ready.