Life in South Asia is a roller coaster. Everyday.
Seeing South Asia through our friends' eyes and through their questions was GREAT! One minute, a little part of our everyday lives that excited them made us smile, and then an experience that served as gut-punching dose of the fallen nature of so much of society here made us refocus upon why were are here.
We got to see Mt. Everest!
Then we saw the beautiful ISKCON Temple
(International Society of Krishna Conciousness, formerly Hari Krishnas),
Complete with terrifying scenes of a mythological Krishna's antics painted all over the ceiling...
We saw the Basic Health Clinic started in a local slum area by our friend,
Which our U.S. Church's Youth actually paid to rebuild after the city tore down the clinic!
Then we saw people praying to a form of god created a few centuries ago in an attempt to bridge the differences between Hinduism and Islam...
We ate some amazing chicken curry and butter paneer!
And we strolled between neighborhoods where women are explicitly enslaved and exploited daily
And one where families are trapped in generations of poverty...
We drank some of the world-famous Darjeeling tea in Darjeeling!
And we saw tiny villages with enormous temples dedicated to those gods who can bring them power...
We got to experience the roadside chai stalls where you can relax and make new friends while drinking 10-cent chai!
And we were sometimes 'stretched' to try new cultural things, such as the Eastern toilet...
We ate beef at a Muslim dhaba while journeying through the villages one day!
And we saw women bowing down to a small stone idol begging for a better marriage and family life…
To the end, we were immersed in South Asia,
And even if we barely impacted the South Asian population,
God taught us greatly through this busy, roller-coaster ride of a week.