We are in India.
It is quite surreal. I cannot believe we are actually here.
Surrounded by all these cute kids at Rising Star.
Two-hundred-and-thirty of them to be exact.
We got here on a Sunday afternoon and after us girls changed into our “Indian gear” that girls wear here at Rising Star to fit into the culture better:
…we went right out to greet the kids and hang out with them during their free-play time.
I knew I’d love seeing my kids with them, but I didn’t realize it would actually hurt to feel my heart swell up with so much love for them as they have forgotten themselves and immersed themselves into what we’re doing here.
The kids are super into Elle’s braces…especially since she has big elastics on them right now.
They are pretty into Dave too…especially since he got right in and played cricket with them:
…and our friend told them he is from Hollywood.
They think he is Iron Man.
His “bionic foot” actually helps the cause (I don’t think I have written yet how he broke his foot playing tennis at Bear Lake…)Yeah, they really like Dave.
But back to our journey just for a minute, because not only can I not believe we’re here, I can’t believe all our baggage is actually here too…
(That was just a little part of it with all the Eagle project stuff.)
We had a fun loooooooooonnnnnnnngggg trip to get here.
Aren’t these cool seats? Max drooled a little bit as we walked by them.
We were pretty happy in the ones below though. Man alive, it’s been so fun to be with these kids who are so darn excited. And we’re loving having them all to ourselves.
We had a four hour layover in Hong Kong so we grabbed a train to the city:
…and happened to walk right into the fourth tallest building in the world where we could take in the view of the city. (We were really glad it was inside because it was raining pretty well outside and being on our next leg of the flight wouldn’t have been so fun being totally wet.)
This may be a good time to introduce the Daltons (below). They are our new neighbors (when we finally move into our new house). When we told them we were going to India they asked if maybe they could join us. We told them “you bet,” not thinking there was really a chance in the world that they would really come but here they are.…and we are loving having them along for the ride. They brought their two oldest of five kids too and are super smart and are giving us so much info. and history about India. It’s awesome.
This is the building we were in.
Here are the kids taking it all in.
Poor Dave…. Talk about brave to be here with that darn broken foot…and HOT. (It is almost 100 degrees here with almost 100 percent humidity.)
This sign and all the Indian people swarming the gate area made my heart jump a little bit.
After a delayed flight taking off from Hong Kong we arrived in Chennai at 2:30 in the morning. We were pretty excited to have all of our bags mosey on out of the baggage claim.
We went to our hotel and slept for three hours and then headed to church.
One of my favorite things about church was being surrounded by all these beautiful Indian women dressed to the hilt in their saris and hearing them talk about how much they love God and Jesus Christ. And I loved sitting in Sunday School trying my darnedest to figure out what they were saying through their thick accents and being able to hear the Primary kids on the other side of the wall singing “I Am a Child of God.”
My other favorite part was sending off Elle to Young Women. She had quite an experience in there since no one spoke any English except for the Young Women theme.
From there we got in a van and headed here to Rising Star.
Through streets like this:
Just in time for free-play time and dinner on the floor with these sweet kids, eating with our hands per their instructions.
I won’t ever forget that feeling sitting cross-legged surrounded by those smiling excited kids, a little jet-lagged with ants crawling all around us and noticing the abundance of lice on their heads. (I guess there’s been a little bit of an outbreak since they got home from break back in their leprosy colonies.)
It sounds a little daunting and it was certainly baptism by fire but sitting there by these cute kids and having my family around me interacting with all the enthusiasm and smiles you can imagine, it was the most amazing feeling ever.