Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Motherload: Just What the Doctor Ordered

James is not a big Dr. Pepper fan, but he can drink it if that is all there is available. (That is excluding a phase in High School where Sonic's Route 44 Dr. Pepper with real strawberries in it was his go-to drink.)

Kristie, on the other hand, is a Dr. Pepper fiend. During her time in Africa, paying $40 for a case of Dr. Pepper on her visits to Kenya was not big deal. We had heard rumors that Dr. Pepper sightings were happening all over South Asia, and while passing through an undisclosed location in Delhi...


Cases upon cases of Dr. Pepper. If only we had the budget or luggage space for more than one case...

Yes, you heard us right, because as an early Mother's Day Present, Kristie got an entire case, to be rationed out as needed for the next __________ months.

We will not disclose the cost, but let's just say it was less than a pair of diamond earrings would have been (at least a decent-sized pair).

Yes, those may be tears in her eyes--or she could have just gone over the edge after her first drink. Either way, it's the little things that you miss the most some days.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I See A Train A' Comin'

Being one of the world's biggest employers, the railway system here in South Asia is massive. But trains are the way South Asians travel. So many picture trains packed with people, hanging on wherever they can, trying not to fall off.

We have experienced an overnight train, but our most recent journey involved two train rides totally over 30 hours of travel time, including one that was a 24-hour long journey!

We waited for a while in the train station, because who really gets to the track early knowing the train would be late (we do!)?

Rebekah kept us and many of the South Asians around entertained for a few hours.

And although we do not want to spoil any martyr-like ideas in your head of us traveling in horrendously crowded conditions, we have to be honest:

If you get in the right compartment, the trains in South Asia are amazing!

Imagine a very, very slow plane trip where you are served food and snacks almost constantly and have a bed to sleep on (if you are 12 or older--younger children cannot be assigned a ticket, so they share with their parents).

And if you doubt our word, just let Rebekah's peaceful slumber during afternoon nap time be a reassurance to you (and this was only one of our bunks--we also had a fold-down bed above this one) of how nice a journey we had.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tools in His Hands

This may just look like an ordinary vacant house to you.

Maybe a beaten down place, needing a lot of work to be livable.

Your perceptions are accurate, but sometimes we need to look at the way tools can be used by the Artisan.

We have mentioned before that so many of the people here need Hope, and this old house is a tool that will be used in the coming months and years.

Certain women and their children where we live have little hope, having been abused and exploited their entire lives. While spiritual hope is the ultimate goal, reaching and sustaining that hope will never be possible without an environment like this "House of Hope."

Pray that God can be glorified through this home and those ministering in it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Like Father, Like Daughter? -- Part Two

We are always looking for cute pictures of Rebekah.

Here, on a Saturday morning, she woke up and fell back to sleep on the couch. 

It reminded us of the position in which James's parents assure us he spent every afternoon during high school.

Saturday, May 12, 2012



What started as just a prayer and a dream...

Gradually grew and grew...

And grew...

And whether I have been grumpy,



You have always been right by my side,

For new experiences,

Rebekah's first snowfall

new challenges,

Rebekah's first day of day care

And new adventures.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Promise Fulfilled

Just enjoying the sun and the water.

Since October 2011 when we moved to our town about 1/2 mile from a waterpark, we have been promising Rebekah, "When summer comes, we will take you to the waterpark."

Walking around in our swimsuit, hinting to mom and dad that it's time to go.

Every time we passed it on a rickshaw, Rebekah would ask, "Is summer here yet?"

Kristie and Rebekah in their swimwear. Yes, that is Kristie's South Asian swimwear.

So with our area heating up, we made good on our promise.

Kristie and Rebekah playing alone in the pool by the big slides.

While the waterpark is not American in many ways, one of the good ways is that it does not get crowded until after lunch.

Along with the slides, there is a wave pool and a kid's pool with smaller slides and swings.

Although the down side of the waterpark is that sometimes certain attractions are closed without notice for maintenance. But hey, at least they care about maintenance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Play Place

We are always looking for cheap, easy entertainment for Rebekah. Fortunately, she is easy to entertain. But we found a super-cheap, uncrowded Play Place in Nepal recently that Rebekah would have been glad to move into.

 Trains, fake exercise equipment, slides, ball pits!

Other than hanging out with our friends, it was probably the best part of our trip.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Southbound Train to the Big City

We have been wanting to go see Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for a while now. Finally, we had the opportunity to do so, so we three boarded the southbound overnight train.

The trains are not as crowded or unorganized as movies and documentaries about South Asia sometimes make them out to be, but you do need to understand the whole process or you will be totally frustrated with train travel. Rebekah's obsession with trains made her slightly out of control before bedtime and after she awoke the next morning, but it was fun to watch her excitement.

In one of the largest cities in the world, more opportunities for fun and adventure exist than we have had in a long time. So naturally, our first destination as tourists was... McDonalds. No hamburgers are sold at this McDonalds, but the chicken sandwiches, nuggets, fries, and

ICE CREAM made the sweating we endured on the subway worth the trip across the city. What can we say: we have not had the opportunity to indulge in America's favorite fast food in nearly 8 months.

We relaxed over the next few days, saw a lot of sites, and did a lot of shopping. The most touristy thing we did was visit the Victoria Memorial, a century-old monument/museum to England's famous monarch. Rebekah was more in awe of the grass and the bushes, however.

And we are eternally thankful to our hosts (and our cultural/travel advisers) for our little jaunt to the Big City, Elisa and Julie. They made vacation abundantly more relaxing than any stay in a hotel or tour-book guided trip would have been!