More, From Laurie

1 March 2008

I actually started writing this three weeks ago. The illness I referred to above is not even the one that knocked me out for two weeks. As you know, I went to Delhi for a few days to recuperate from the most recent bout of illness, which turned out to be gnarly virus that apparently targeted all my body systems. I have been back in Jaipur since Tuesday but have spent most of the week sleeping. I still have a lot of gunk in my lungs, but at least I have been able to sleep.

It also amazes me that three weeks ago the weather was really cold. Not any longer. Fan season has begun. I am sad that I missed the two weeks of spring being sick. At least it is still comfortable at nights and in the mornings. Sadly, that will probably no longer be true in another two weeks.

The biggest news is that I moved out of my flat and in with a family. I moved today, and I already feel so much better about being in India. When I got sick and first came back to Jaipur I really wanted to and thought I would go home. When I prayed about it, however, it did not seem like it was God’s will for me to leave early. That was really not the answer I wanted, but now that I have moved I am feeling better about everything.

I moved in with the same family with whom my Hindi tutor lives. He is only here for two more weeks – just enough time for him to tell me everything I want to know about the neighborhood. The family also doesn’t really speak English, so my Hindi should get much better.

Let me extol the virtues of my new location. First, I get all my meals, laundry and room cleaned as part of my rent (which is cheap)! Yeah! This will give me so much more time to visit Chris and to study my Hindi. There is also a really nice park around which I can run that is less than half a block a way. I am also still directly on the Bodh bus route to work. I do not think I could have found a better place if I looked for months. I think it is going to change my experience here. What else? I actually have a bed off the floor and a desk with a chair! Yes, a real chair. You see I don’t actually get to sit in chairs to often here, so having a chair in my room is a big deal. I don’t think I would have made this move without getting sick, so I guess my illness was a blessing in disguise.

On a separate note, this past week has been a challenging one for my family. I don’t really want to go into the details, since this will be posted on the AIF blog, but their troubles and being sick has reminded me how blessed I am to have the family that I have. I think being in India has made me realize this more strongly than I ever have before. When I was so sick, everyone in my family made attempts to call me on a daily basis to see how I was doing even though many of them were going through really hard things. I love them!

Ann and Alissa (two other AIF fellows) have also both been in Jaipur, and it has been great to see them. Chris and I got to meet Ann’s family. They took us out to dinner, which I appreciate more than I think Ann’s family would believe. When you are alone in a foreign country anything thing that reminds you of home, like having a family, is a nice gift.

Only four more months until it is time to go home!

By Laurie Mason

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