Saturday, January 29, 2011

i sat down to write
and then yawned
i think i'll start doing video updates
typing takes too much energy

until then, please pray i don't have lice.
or that, if i do, Jesus would take them all out
kung fu style. yeah.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

across the river

went across the hugli with V, my roommate, and Kareem
watched the sunset from howrah
shot with the Nikon and am terribly excited to get the roll developed
life keeps taking very interesting turns
more on that later
and more photos later
this computer doesn't seem to like my usb cable

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dum Dum

Orientation took place around 3 pm yesterday
i filled out my card and waited
chatted with some guys until my name was called
i sat down in front of the Sister and collected my thoughts
she asked where i worked before and what sort of work i did back home
then she asked if there was a particular place i'd like to work this time around
i, of course, answered Daya Dan and then said i was open to going elsewhere if need be
so she asked me about Dum Dum
it's a home that was only recently opened to female volunteers
she said most people have a really difficult first day/week
and that she'd honor a decision to go elsewhere
but that she really believed it would be a good fit
so i said i'd do it.

from the moment we arrived there this morning i was overwhelmed by how fitting it all was
overwhelmed by how well He knows me
and how He takes my passions and my dreams and meets them with His perfect will

He knows me
He know my name
and He keeps calling

Monday, January 24, 2011

day three

the wall outside shrashi center

i suppose that's a bit deceptive as i am first going to share with you an excerpt from my journal entry on (the last bit of) day two...
today was, fairly uneventful. i slept in, went to raj's cafe, checked email and facebook, visited sanjay's shop and then returned to my room at shrashi. then things got interesting. my roommate, who incidentally is the same person who told me about the guest house, arrived at some point and mentioned that she was going to the evening service at the ag church. she invited me to join her and so, though i was a bit hesitant at first, i did.
as we were getting ready to leave she asked if i had dinner plans. i had none so she asked if i would like to join her and a friend. i again said yes

i wasn't expecting much out of the service but left feeling so overwhelmed by our Father's goodness and love. and, to boot, the woman who founded, alongside her now deceased husband, the church was there and i got to meet her. She was super sweet. and old. and just plain lovely. From there we went to roommate's friend's guest house where i met 6 delightfully intelligent people, most of them PhD's. i learned so much and i think they enjoyed my youth. following a our meal, roommate and i decided to crash an Indian wedding we stumbled upon and OH MY GOODNESS these people know how to throw a party. colorful, loud, and a most beautiful bride. at one point my roommate mentioned how she could tell the bride and groom were really in love. it made me happy. so that was my sunday evening. unexpected, enlightening and really really fun. i'm looking forward to more days like this.

and now, if i haven't yet bored you to death or sleep, day three...i'll make it short.
roommate and i went out to breakfast at a south indian vegetarian cafe. i ended up throwing my resolution to drink only black coffee this year out and had some with milk and sugar. it's made in chai fashion. very sweet, very creamy. so delicious. our next stop was Oxford. if you've heard me talk about this place then i needn't say more. if not, you'll hear all about it someday.
orientation was today. i met some delightful people and...drum roll ended with me being placed at Green Park. it is much like Daya Dan, only all girls ages 8 to 18, i think. this home was not open to volunteers until recently and they have a greater need for them at the moment so Sister Mercy Maria asked me to try it. i still have the option to switch to Daya Dan if i don't think it's where i should be. needless to say, i'm really excited!

on a random note, i don't remember ever seeing cats during my last visit. i saw about 5 of them today and night before last heard one meowing outside our window.

don't cuddle the cats. don't pet the dogs.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Hello loves!
i arrived in Kolkata 5 hours ago. (i still haven't slept so i apologize for any gramatic error and anything that just plain don't make sense)
somewhere between London and Dehli, everything stopped making sense and i just wanted the comfort of being back in Englewood. in Dehli, i met a girl from Boston who is currently living in Boulder and spending two weeks volunteering with an anti-traffiking NGO here. small world. the flight to Kolkata was spent wondering what had made me think i loved this city and why i'd wanted to return. i recited psalm 51:8 & 12 until i felt a small semblance of peace creep in. and it kept creeping in as i stepped off the plane, walked through the airport, waited for Antonio (he ended up on a different flight due to a mishap in Dehli), and found a taxi. now i can't imagine not being here.

i arrived at the guest house i wanted to stay at only to find that they had no beds available. bummer. i walked (well, more like teetered. a large back pack, a guitar and two bags made me feeli like i might fall over at any moment.) a couple blocks to the next guest house and found that they too had no beds. as i walked out, disheartened and not looking forward to coming up with a new plan, a woman called out to me. she informed me that she was staying at a guest house down the street and was sure they had beds. she gave me the information and sent me off. 15 minutes later as i sat waiting for my room i realized that he was still working things out for me. i may have had better plans this time around but his are perfect.
so here's to the next 5 months of seeing his hands at work.

love you all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

sending snail mail

if anyone were to feel so inclined
the address you can send letters to is

Rachel Rael
c/o Sr. Mercy-Maria MC,
Missionaries of Charity, Motherhouse,
54a A.J.C Bose Road, Kolkata 700016, West Bengal, INDIA

the only thing i can imagine i'd want, other than a handwritten note, is chocolate.
i like dark chocolate. i had a difficult time finding good chocolate the las time i was there.

the address may change once i'm settled but for now this should do.