Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New hair!

I forgot to say, I chopped my hair off! It was a tough decision (harder to make than I thought or would like to admit) but the decision was made, said and done!

In case you wondered, Andrew was so for my hair getting chopped, which really surprised me! He has always talked about how much he loves my long hair! But I think he saw how uncomfortable I was, besides, my hair is in a ponytail 100% of the time (blame the dust, heat, humidity and lice!) so he rarely saw it! 
 I was the one who kept saying no to short hair, worried that he wouldn't like it.But he was for it and now he LOVES it. 
He keeps running his fingers through my hair and staring at me.

Maybe a little too much....
Naw, lets be honest, who wouldn't blush with that kind of attention! :)

I think it was the right choice, I feel free-er already! 

Ability Camp..

I have been trying to send out our newsletter for the past week and am not having any success! I will hopefully have it working tomorrow, but I thought I would update on here first. 
On friday, we are starting the "Ability Camp". 
We jumped at the opportunity to do this and can hardly wait to start, Unfortunately, because of my time in the hospital, it was pushed back, until friday!
The Ability Camp was started this summer by 2 volunteers from Toronto. (go Canada!) 
We are starting with 3 days a week, from 9:00am-4:30pm. Once we have the hang of that, we might increase to 5 days a week. 
We will be spending those hours with 4 of the kids who are close to mastering a skill. The volunteers chose these 4 because of their ability to do the skill, but they just need some people who are willing to invest into them pretty frequently. These skills mostly include walking and potty training. I cant wait to introduce them to you all. You will fall. in. love. 
They are so precious and sweet and cuddly! 
Its exciting to be a part of something like this, where you can see the progress regularly! There is so much need here, it can be pretty overwhelming. The ayahs (indian nannies) do the best they can, but there are so many kids! We have already been spending loads of time with the little (and not so little!) ones. We help them with homework (the school age girls all speak english fairly well!), practise walking, and help feed and care for them. Still the urge to do more, to help in a more effective way, drives us to pursue individual kids. We want to leave here knowing we have shared love with these kids, helped them practically and made them feel valued. They have been told how little value they have, all their life. We want to come in the opposite spirit and share truth with them. Its not an easy place, or an easy task, so we appreciate all the prayers we can get! 

To see what the past volunteer did, visit
and get excited about this with us! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The great hair debate!

As of 2 minutes ago, I have made a huge decision. 
I have been wavering back and forth, saying "yes" then changing my mind (that is, after all, my prerogative as a woman!)

But now I am set. 
My hair is getting the chop! 
Thats right, after 3 years of growing it, combing it (oh the combing) and then deciding to stop using shampoo (still sticking to that one!), its gone! 

Well, its not gone yet. 
But it will be, very very soon. 

Want to know what Im thinking?
(Picture these but with blonde hair) 

This one is my favourite, heavy in the front and short in the back! 

What do you think?

Friday, September 21, 2012


As you know, it has proven impossible to load picture onto the blog (so annoying!) so I decided to load them onto Flikr! 
Please go here and check out pictures! Enjoy! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

IV's, photos and whatnot.

I got home this evening from the hospital. 
Yes, I know. Only one week in India and I land myself in the hospital! What is up with that?!
I begged Andrew not to take me, but when my fever reached 103.6 and wasn't budging, he insisted. Or was it when I flat out fainted into his arms and he thought I was dead? Either one of those. 
We headed to the hospital (this is all a feverish fog to me) and were put in "casualty" which is the equivalent of "Emergency" in Canada. kind of..
They started the poking. Oh the poking. Canadian nurses are so gentle! The needles go in on the first try, its hardly painful, usually.
Nope, thats not how it went. It was painful. In fact, my left hand, where I had the IV, is swollen so much, I cant bend the wrist! 
The doctor didn't seem to happy that I woke him (and trust me, I woke him. He was in his PJ's and rubbing sleep from his eyes) 
They started at array of tests, most of which were not necessary (in my humble opinion) but were so smiley and sweet, and I was so feverish and sick, I let them do whatever they wanted. 
I believe they injected me with something to make the fever rise, so as to break it. Thats what I think, although I don't know if that exists. Perhaps my fever just rose at a fast rate? Hmm, anyhow, it went from 103.6 up to 106.
 106 people. 
I thought I was on fire, but also, I was so out of it that I didn't care! 
They did an ultrasound and I was going to joke about "Are you seeing if theres a baby in there yet? Mom and dad would be so happy!" but I couldn't seem to make my mouth work. 
Then an X-ray, where they made me stand up. Well, I ended up almost fainting (Andrew noticed I was swaying and got me just in time) and then, voila, we ended up in a "special room". Thats where I stayed put for the next 40 hours. 
I wanted to share some of our observations. I was blessed to be in a newer hospital, one thats "westernized" and I was thankful for that. 

But, there are still plenty of differences! 
Things that show just how different India is from Canada:
-We upgraded to an A/C room, payed extra, then had to pay a bill for the "additional electricity" that A/C cost. 
-At any given time, 2-7 nurses (and some cleaning ladies) would come into my room to check on me. They would stand around my bed, stroke my arms or pinch my chin/cheeks, or rub my ears (yeah. ears) and tell me "You so cute". 
-At any given time, said 2-7 nurses would take pictures of me. sick. passed out. on a hospital bed. 
-The nurses would come into my room (at ANYtime) and turn on lights, turn off A/C, open/close blinds etc. 
-At 3am, the nurse came in, flicked on the BRIGHT lights, to change my IV. When she saw that there was still a little bit left, she took a seat beside my bed and stared at the IV for 5 minutes, until it was empty and she could put the new one in. 3am people. 
-The cleaning lady would come into our room (at least 10 times a day), come and check me for fever, say "Any problems? You need more medicine?" and insist that she help me use the bathroom. (I begged off, saying I had just gone)
-The many many times Andrew had to run off to purchase supplies so that they could use them on me (IV's, saline, antibiotics, even the needles and hoses!)
-The 5 times Andrew had to go and pay for different tests they wanted to do for me.
-How they had results for my stool sample and wanted me to pay for it. I didn't do a stool sample! I don't know who's results those were, but certainly not mine! 
-The man who would come into my room (3 times), thrust a paper at me to sign and say "complaints?" then walk out, no explanation.

Theres just a small sampling! I wish I could name them all, maybe I will as time goes on. India is a who different world! 
I am really thankful to be feeling a lot better. It was a pretty horrible 48 hours, so Im feeling AMAZING, I can walk without fainting! Yay!

Oh, for some reason I simply cannot load pictures onto the blog! I don't understand but I am trying to find a solution, either a link to a different site? I am posting some on facebook, as it is working on there. I have many pictures I want to share! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Onward to Ongole!

After a 7 hour, hair-raising drive, we arrived safely in Ongole! There were many times that our lives flashed before our eyes, but we laughed it off and were assured that driving like this is normal here! In the 7 hours we encountered:
-Many men relieving themselves (you guys, #1 AND #2!!!) on the side of the road, for all to see!
-A protest that stopped all traffic and ended with hundreds of people pushing around our car (terrifying!) as we squeezed through!
-Monkeys, cows, water buffalo, and goats on the road. (Not deterred by horns or cars either)
-A cutlery-free buffet lunch, spicy food the only option! Its fun to eat with only hands, makes you feel like a kid again! 
 -Countless close encounters with cars, trucks, people and animals. The close encounters where you tense your whole body, hold your breath, grab the door handle and stomp your foot on the imaginary brake! 
-Plenty of laughs as we try to communicate in a completely foreign language!

We are now settled into our apartment and thanking the good Lord that we have an air conditioner. Its louder than an oncoming train and, with electricity being so sparse, we can only use it for a few hours a day. But still!! We are so thankful! The humidity here is really high (almost always over 65%) and makes the already-hot weather, even hotter! 

We have our own bathroom, complete with our very own bucket for showers/flushing the toilet.
And, do you want to hear the very best part?!?!
We have a real toilet!
I know, I know, life is just too good right now! 

India has been one grand adventure so far. We are feeling very far away from home right now. 

My apologies for no photos. I am trying to upload them, but it is not working (or will take at least 4 hours for 3 pictures) so I will wait for another day. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Welcome to India!

After a great sleep, we were ready to go out and explore! We went out for food and ate a bacon chicken burger! Thats right, BACON! We haven't had any in months and months! It was delicious! 
We then headed to an open air market. It was great! 
It was hard to resist the colourful fabrics, but luckily Andrew usually holds the money in his wallet, (wise wise man!) so we made it out with minimal damage! 

The trees were really cool.  

I get some henna done! The women are so fast at it and the designs, so intricate! 

Impressive, it took under 10 minutes! 

We were excited to see grass! 

Andrew is a star, with his height and blonde hair. I cant even count how many pictures he posed for! He's nice and says yes, while I tend to run away and hide! We'll see how long that lasts!

I thought I would share this picture. Looks like a normal shower right? WRONG! Do you see the outlet on the right side? 
Thats an electrical outlet. In. The. Shower! 
Umm hello electrocution chamber!

Anyway, that was some of our day! We loved our first day here, it was a bit crazy (traffic is wild!) and we are so looking forward to getting to Ongole tomorrow evening! We cant wait to meet the little ones and start forging friendships!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We made it!

After 17 hours, we are here! 
We arrived this morning, got through customs with no issues, and our bags even managed to survive! We hadn't slept in over 24 hours (I managed about 15 minutes on the flight..that was with the help of a gravol!) so when we got to the office, we quickly got acquainted with our cots! We woke up long enough to eat spicy curry with rice, then slept for a few more hours. So here we are, its 6:30pm and I am wide awake, hungry and so excited to be in this place! 

So far India is green, busy and beautiful! We will explore Hyderabad for the next couple of days, complete with pictures. I was so tired on the drive from the airport, my sentences weren't making sense and my picture taking was non-existent! Im sure that will change! We cant wait to share our experience with you! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...again...

I meant to write this last night. 
But then the power went out (and the internet along with it) for a few hours and I gave up and went to to sleep instead! 

We are in the middle of packing right now. As I write this, Andrew is stuffing underwear into his shoes. (oh how I love this man who can pack!)
 Yep, we are those people! 

We fly this afternoon to the glorious, loud country of India! 
Its surreal that this day is finally here! I have wanted to go to India since I was in elementary school. I had so many friends from there and I wanted to experience it first hand. The food, the people, the scenery and chaos. I get to so excited just thinking about it! 
Bring it on!! 

Of course, we are thrilled to spend time with some very special people, which I am sure you will hear plenty about! 
Thank you for your prayers so far, they have been so felt! We honestly would not have survived so far without Gods guidance and grace! 
We are so blessed to have wonderful support back home and we know that we do not go alone. While it is us that go, we feel strongly that we represent so many of you. You have sowed into this and into us, and we are so grateful! 

Well I better wrap this up, my bag isn't going to pack itself. (Any inventors out there? That would be handy tool!) 
We will send an email ,or possibly a quick post, when we get to Hyderabad. We will have very limited internet, so please bear with us! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

5 for 5 months.

I meant to write this last week. 
But I didn't. 
So now I am! See how that goes? See a need, fill a need! (Name that movie!) 

Over the past couple weeks, we have been reflecting on our time in Israel. I cant count the number of times one of us has said "How is our time there over already?!"
5 months of our life. Time flies. 
And since I know people who love things that are even (Here's looking at you Amanda!) I thought I would drive her crazy and do this:

5 things we will never forget about Israel. 
(5 is an odd number Amanda, just in case you missed that..)

1. The kids. I will never forget the smiles, hugs, trust. It was a privilege to know them and have them depend on us. I think of them every day, wondering what trouble they are getting into, wondering if there are people taking care of them, praying that they know the love of their heavenly Father. 

2. The friends we made. We were so blessed in our friendships, people that we know we can always count on, and thats rare! We were so blessed to stay with some amazing guys in Jerusalem, a gift from God! These guys became family, brothers to us. The thing about Israelis is, they don't trust quickly, but once they trust you, they are loyal through thick and thin.

3. The food! We love to eat! We already miss the hummus and falafel! And the ice coffee!  

4. The history! We loved reading the bible, then walking through the streets, valleys or gardens! It makes everything so much more real, so tangible.

5. The lessons we learned. We were taught so much about grace, patience, the Holy Spirit and so much more! We learned about Gods plan for Israel and the importance of praying for the peace of Jerusalem. 

We will miss (almost) everything about Israel. It was a very important season in our life, and we are grateful for it! 
Now onto the next chapter, India!

Wadi Musa.

I kindasorta skipped sharing pictures of our trip across the border.  Thought Id play catch-up! 
Andrew took this picture of me on our way down south in Israel. The bus was air conditioned (hence, I was wearing a sweater!) but outside was HOT and humid! The camera fogged right up!

I dont look very happy...its because I had taken a gravol (I get car sick) and it makes me super groggy!

Already out of Israel, about to enter "No mans land".

A random guy insisted on taking this picture, then insisted that Andrew crouch so as not to block the "Welcome to Jordan" sign.

We are welcom in Jordan...

Nothing like avoiding road kill..aka camels! 

Wadi Musa, from our rooftop!

We loved watching the sun set every evening, while drinking mate. It was peaceful. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Petra, take 2!

Our trip into Jordan was smooth (long) and went as well as it could have! The border didn't give us a second glance (thats always a good thing around here!) and we were across in 20 minutes! We shared a taxi to Wadi Musa, and we did end up getting ripped off. We weren't too upset about it, we were at our hotel safe, thats good enough for me! 

Today, we spend our second full day in Petra. Its just as beautiful the second day! We took a path which ended up not being a path and resulted in us wandering around in a river bed for a couple of hours! We did have a "guide" though, he was very helpful and cute too! 

Walking through the tunnel.

The colors are so beautiful!

We might have carved our name...

I do heart him! 

 When we finally found our way to the main trail, we hiked on and saw some giant tombs! 

Of course, I jumped!

It doesnt take too long, wandering around in the desert, to understand and appreciate the way these people wrap their heads in scarfs. I gave in and finally got one for myself, what a difference! 

A far way down to the main path!

Beautiful colors!!

We then took another "path' up 400 or so steps (seriously.) We found ourselves accidentally off the "path", stumbling through rocks and finding small dwellings and donkeys! The bedouins that live here are so quiet, you would never be able to find them if they didn't want you too!

We found a little friend!

We were rewarded with this amazing view of the Treasury from above! We were about 350 feet up!

There was a home from where we were looking down, I thought I would share its simplicity with you! 

We had another wonderful day, exploring this amazing place. Tomorrow we take a 3 hour bus ride north, where we will continue this adventure!