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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

people who like each other

I think we were all in various stages of saying, "Hello" to the camera or we were just being silly as people who like each other are wont to do. I'm back in Delhi now after a wonderful week in the mountains with these peeps. We learned, played, camped, climbed, impersonated, laughed, danced, cooked, shivered, ate, acted, discussed, shared, and hiked together. I got to experience the pain and joy of the group process. If you know me, you know that I struggle with impatience. Once I get the point, I want to move onto the next point. Thanks to my training, I can label myself an Accommodating Learner with a bias towards action. And thanks to this week spent with amazing people of all learning styles, I can sit back and take a deep breath as I enjoy the journey.
Tonight is the first time in 12 days that I have an evening to myself. I miss being surrounded by close friends, deep fellowship, and challenging conversations. A friend's e-mail today reminded me to desire fellowship with my dear LORD before any other kind of fellowship. We are made for community and this deep yearning expresses a divine aspect of our character as humans. It is easier to run into the arms or living room of a close human rather than bow before an unseen God. But from whence cometh the love that I bring to those close humans? And Who is deserving of my very best?

to the mountains i go

i'm in one of those "no need to use caps, happy to abbrev, might as well type in हिन्दी" moods. i've always wondered how my name in Hindi should be spelled so thanks to blogspot's new Hindi application here you go: सराह। though i think this is a more phonetic representation: सेरा।
i've been working in delhi for one month and need a break so i'm heading to the mountains tomorrow night for a week of training with youreka, an educational organization whose offerings include outdoor summer camps for students. i hope to spend a couple weeks with them this summer. for the next week, i'll play games and learn about youreka's educational philosophy and approach.
now, let me share about today's activities. i love the ngo with which i'm working, i love my flexible work arrangement that allows me to work from home on my own schedule, i love my neighborhood, & i love my flat. where else would i get to watch a daily parade from my doorway? my sis was concerned i would be isolated working remotely. little did she know that the maid who lives downstairs, Sapna, would make regular appearances at my door, sometimes accompanied by the gardener. today, the generator repairman returned and commenced sawing or sanding something or other. i was placed on the energy efficiency watchlist for leaving my hot water heater (aka geyser) on for too long AND for leaving my patio light on at night. yes, i accept responsibility for the geyser. i should have taken a shower long before Sapna asked me to turn the heater off. the light, however, is NOT my fault. my friend turned it on as she left to catch an early morning train so it was not on all night. i g-chatted about this experience with a friend, thinking how amusing it would be to align my version of these various conversations with Sapna's version. i fear i've agreed to things in Hindi that i wouldn't knowingly agree to. hand signals work wonders but there's still only so much that can be communicated in this way. pictured here is the infamous patio, the site of laundry washing, gardening, generator sawing, Hindi/English intrigues, and sun soaking when my bedroom turns into an ice box.

to the border and back

Last weekend, Naina, Sukrat, and I traveled to the border city of Amritsar. Though we thoroughly enjoyed our chance meetings with a self-proclaimed saint, Sant, a Frenchman, and a group of proud Indian grad students, each stop was marked by sorrow.
We began at Jallianwala Bagh, a garden that was the site of a 1919 massacre of Indians. British troops fired on the crowd that had gathered to commemorate the religious new year, leading to people throwing themselves into a well to escape the relentless fire of bullets. After a lunchtime intermission at the Langar Canteen at the Golden Temple where meals are offered free of cost to anyone, we continued to the Indo-Pak border crossing known as the Wagah Border. The atmosphere was festive, replete with music, dancing, and cheering. Only after my initial excitement did I realize that the crowd was also jeering at the Pakistanis across the border. Indian soldiers held back the crowd of rowdy boys quickly becoming vengeful men. We left early, sad to see hatred propagated. Our final destination, the Golden Temple, has its own horrid history dating back only to 1984. Then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, ordered Indian troops to invade the Sikh temple where suspected terrorists had been hiding. Gandhi's Sikh bodyguard assassinated the PM shortly thereafter which led to anti-Sikh rioting in Delhi, resulting in the deaths of up to 4,000 innocent Sikhs.
So where does that leave us now? For me, these visits served as a reminder that the world we live in today faces very real threats to peace. Whether religiously-based like the attacks on Sikhs and, more recently, attacks on churches in Orissa, or racially-based like the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and, more recently, Darfur and now Chad, when will it end? How can we enable an end to grievous devastation and heart ache? I pray that we examine our hearts to determine how to promote righteousness.