|An ordinary white girl with an extraordinarily beautiful village woman.|
The other day, while walking home Charlie and I were accompanied by a number of neighborhood girls. The girls love to run up to us and try out their English. They say “hello” and ask us for our “good names.” We generally greet them, exchange the pleasantries and then they run off in giggles. This time, however, one of the girls took a liking to me and sidled up beside me to walk awhile with me. Charlie and our friend fell a few paces behind and watched our exchange. I soon heard them snickering behind me and began to wonder what was going on. Once my little friend had scurried off, Charlie and our friend caught up to me and confessed what they were laughing at. Apparently my little friend had been stroking my hair during our walk without me ever noticing. Sigh.
One of the village visits I made recently was to a very remote village near the foothills. The bus ride took us well over thirty minutes, and then we hoofed it another twenty into the heart of the village. It was beautiful. We wandered along the rice paddy ridges from home to home. It was a peaceful scene. The students I was with had kept a steady pace while I had fallen behind to shoot a few photos. I kept an eye on them and made sure I could follow their path. I noticed they had trekked through a shady area, along the ridge of a rice paddy, past a content dog that was happy to watch them pass by. Then I walked by. The peaceful dog went ballistic as if it too had never seen such fair skin. This raucous caused my team and all the village folk within earshot to look up and being to laugh hysterically at the fact that even the dogs notice the white girl. Sigh.
|This is the scenery I hiked through in the villages on Friday.|
|Beautiful. Peaceful. Simple.|
|My team marches on.|
Last weekend, while visiting some friends and attending church service near Chennai I was invited to stay for a meal. I was eager to enjoy the fellowship and food with my friends. I had begun to learn their names and stories and was excited to learn more. As mats were rolled out on the floor, and plates were passed around, I took a spot next to a young girl. I was not handed a plate. Instead I was handed an invitation to leave the room and go upstairs where a separate meal had been prepared for me at a table. I was flooded with mixed emotions. I was honored that they wanted to treat me well, but crushed that I was not going to be able to have that sweet fellowship with them. I know it is their culture. I know it is their way of showing proper hospitality. But I didn’t need a meal fit for the Queen of Sheba as much as I needed their fellowship.
|This is the line I attempted to sit at the end of for my meal on Sunday. Epic fail.|
I am just an ordinary white girl, trying to remember that I may not look so ordinary to those around me. It does wear on a girl though.