Sunday, January 27, 2013


Last Friday marked the beginning of my fourth week here in Vellore, India. The fourth week since my little world was shaken around. I am amazed at how time has both stood still and flown by. It seems like forever ago that I was walking away (teary-eyed) from my (even more teary-eyed) sister as she dropped me off at the SeaTac airport. And yet, that day could have been yesterday.

I will never fully adjust to life here. I say this because I am not from here. I did not grow up here listening to the sounds of horns, crows, people, and the chatter and clatter of life here. I did not grow up expecting power cuts. I did not grow up hand washing my laundry. I did not grow up eating “spiced” food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did not grow up in this life; therefore I don’t believe I have what it takes to fully and completely adjust to life here.

I do miss some of the creature comfort I grew up with. That being said, this feels like home to me. I hesitate writing that because I am only three weeks and change into this adventure, but I decided to write it now so that I could look back at the end of my trip and reflect on the changes in my perspective. Maybe this post is written more to the future Emily then to anyone else. I adore the people here, even those I can only smile at. I enjoy the food, even the dishes I cannot pronounce. I am learning to love hand-washing clothes because I believe it will help tone my arms. (Hey, sometimes you have to create the bright side before you can look at it!)

Yesterday I met an American who is here for about a year doing research on tropical disease. The young chap readily admitted that he didn’t too much care for meeting international students because they were sickeningly excited about being here. I assume he was referring to the “honeymoon phase” where everything is seen through rose-tinted glasses. I’m not sure what caused him to introduce himself to me (clearly I am not from around these parts). Nevertheless, he did and one of the first things he said was “Ah, the three week mark. I remember that point. It was good.” Then he implied that it is downhill from there. He may be right; after all he has lived it. That might have been his gentle warning that my “honeymoon” was about to end. I hope he was wrong. I pray my perspective does not turn sour as his did.

After musing over the last three or so weeks, I have decided that I have been transplanted. I am not a native flower— I never will be. And I won’t be here long—just long enough for my roots to soak up some healthy lessons, and then I will be transplanted again. I don’t exactly know where I will land next, but I know it will be good because my Lord will be the gardener who will do the transplanting. I just need to bloom where I have been planted, regardless if the soil is dry and dusty, or wet and soggy. And I should probably learn to enjoy where I have been transplanted for longer than a three-week span of time.

The following photos have no real "theme." They are sort of "Oh, ho hum. This is my life" shots. Enjoy.

This is my morning commute on the College Campus bus. The  light one is Charlie. :) 
Charlie with some of the international students in front of the CMC hospital..
The street cobbler that fixed Charlie's shoe... in about 2 minutes flat.
Another shot of the street cobbler.
This is the man I buy my bananas from. His shop is across from the hospital campus.
I think this sign basically says "1/4 kilo of veg biryani will cost you forty rupees." My Tamil is improving.
And then there is a cow... This is on the street by the main gate of the hospital.
This was taken from the bus on our way to Wednesday night dinner at the Darling Residency
I MacGyver-ed up a solution to Charlie's plug that kept falling out of the socket. 
A banana split from Darling Residency. There was a lot of discussion regarding the flavor of the green ice cream. 
Charlie and I enjoyed pedicures the night before the 5k. It was lovely. Not all creature comforts had to be left behind! 

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