Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's to 2015

Happy New Year! I'm sorry I haven't written yet, but things have been kind of crazy here. I was surprised to learn that we would be traveling with a group of seven bishops of the United Methodist Church, along with their spouses and some other acquaintances/prestigious clergy and leaders. These special circumstances have both pros and cons. Pros being that bishops are the leaders of the church, giving us an opportunity to get to know them and learn from them. Also, it is a really great honor to have just one bishop visit your church or organization- imagine the ruckus 7 cause! So we are getting to do many unique things that we wouldn't do otherwise. 

That said, there is one drawback that affects not just me but you as well. Because of the status of Mission of Peace this year, we have been asked to follow some safety regulations. One of these security measures is that we are not allowed to publicly share information with our friends and family in the US about where exactly we are, what specifically we have done, and who in particular we have met. That includes photos, so I'm sorry I don't have many to share with you tonight. Hopefully, once we move on to our next location we will be able to share what we did these first two days, but for now I can't say much. 

I can say that I am having a wonderful  time and meeting amazing people. I have really enjoyed getting to know my fellow MOPers, who come from Maine to West Virginia, the bishops, and the beautiful people of India. Everything here, from language to food to religion to architecture is constantly changing and different. There may be a Hindu right next to a colonial-looking house and on the other side, a 10-story modern building. Traffic is insane and I'm so glad I'm in a bus... If the vehicle was any smaller I would be scared for my life! I have included the photos I can and hope I can tell you more later. In the meantime, have an amazing start to 2015! Namaste. 

A funny water bottle:

Flowers given to me and my roomieby some lovely people we have visited:

Fire buckets with a sign that says DO NOT SPIT HERE:

My new friend and roommate, Riley, from Rochester NY:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ready to go!

Good morning everyone! I'm sitting in the airport in Burlington and have got about an hour before my flight to JFK boards. I've checked my bag and gone through security, so now I'm just sitting. Yay. I'm so excited for this and cannot wait to a) get on the plane b) meet all the other MOPers! and c) see what India has in store for me. It's going to be a great trip, I can already tell! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Feeling Grateful

I just want to say how grateful I am for the wonderful sending-off that I received in church today.  I felt so blessed and grateful.  The scarf that Pastor Kevin gave me is beautiful and I will wear it with pride, being constantly reminded of the love and support that my church family is sending with it.  I am so thankful for the support and prayers that I have received from my church.  I was overwhelmed by the financial donations, yes, but also the number of people who promised to pray for me and the whole group.  

Through me, a little part of all of them will be journeying to India with Mission of Peace, and this is not a responsibility that I take lightly.  I understand the significance and importance of being an "ambassador of peace" and I will do my best to take it all in while I'm in India so I can share it with my church family when I return.  I am so excited and thrilled and nervous for India, but I'm also unspeakably happy that I will have the opportunity to share this amazing experience that I'm sure I'll have with all of you when I come home in January.  

Thank you for your prayers and support, and please continue praying for me as I prepare to leave, for the whole group as we are in India, and all of us when we make the journey back to the United States.  I will try to update this blog as much as I can while I am in India, but I do not know how often I will have internet access, so no promises.  If I can, I will share pictures as well.  I fly out at around 11:00 am this coming Sunday (one week from today!), as long as the weather cooperates!  I'm including a map that shows my flight schedule.  Thank you again.

Click here to view a map that shows my flight schedule