On May 18th, Joelle and I will board a plane and set off for an adventure of a lifetime as we move to India. Living in an orphanage, teaching English, and acclimating to a different culture. As our departure date is fast approaching, there is a lot going through my mind. Here are just some of those thoughts:
1. Taking Care of Things Back Home
There are so many people to say goodbye to, projects to finish, items to pack up and/or store, possessions (like my car) to find a home for, and places (like my bank) to contact.
India is not the safest place on the planet. Being aware of that is probably the first step to remaining safe once there. I know that I will not be using public transportation, venturing out by myself, or walking around at night.
It is going to be hot! With the winter we are in the middle of, 110 degree weather sounds pretty good. But I have a feeling I’ll wish for snow a few times when I can’t escape the heat. Thankfully, we will have an air conditioner in our room!
To avoid more kidney stones and torn Achilles’, I will be drinking A TON of water (especially because it will be so hot) and doing my physical therapy exercise daily.
Malaria is not a big threat in the area where we will be living. However, Dengue Fever and other diseases mosquitoes carry are. Currently, there is no vaccine for Dengue Fever, but we will be sleeping under nets, soaking our clothes in mosquito repellent, and have a very strong mosquito spray with us.
6. Language Barrier
Not many people living in the Children’s Home or who work in the school know English. Learning as much of their language as possible will be a goal of ours, but I foresee this language barrier being one of our biggest hurdles to jump.
7. Food and Water
To avoid parasites and other illnesses, we will have to be cautious about the food we eat and make sure that our water is filtered – even when we brush our teeth.
8. Communicating Back Home
Skype, Email, and Social Media are wonderful tools to stay in touch with loved ones far away. However, our internet might be spotty and this could prove to be a difficult task.
9. What Do I Pack?
Definitely a lot of light-weight clothing! Other than that, we aren’t positive about what will be available once we arrive. I’ll pack an abundance of some things (like contact solution) and hope to find other items in India (like soap). Packing is always stressful for me. Recently, I just purchased shampoos and sprays that will fend off lice and other nasty bugs…gotta prepare for everything!
10. Re-learning the Basics of and Learning how to Teach English
Compound Nouns. Relative Pronouns. Future-Perfect-Continuous Verbs. Past-Perfect-Progressive Participles. I don’t even remember learning some of this in school! Thankfully, I have some friends who have been trained in teaching English as a second language and have offered to help me. Right now, I’m reading through several books and doing research on where to begin and how to design lesson plans.
Living off of support is always humbling, but it can also be nerve-racking and uncomfortable. Regardless, I remain amazed at how God has used His people to provide “daily bread.”
12. Is it Time Yet?!
I saved my best and foremost thought for last. There is a lot to think about and, if I let myself, to worry about. But, ultimately I’m excited! This is something I’ve been pursuing for close to five years. God is miraculously opening doors and I’m trusting that He will lead and direct our path. The journey ahead probably won’t be an easy one, but it will be an adventure and I’m excited.