I decided to make a list of things that I am grateful for and truly love about this place. I sometimes forget that I am so blessed to be able to live here, know these people, experience this culture and serve Him in this way. So here it goes...
1. I love that I can easily get the freshest of fruits and vegetables at our favorite outdoor market or from the precious little man that walks around our neighborhood with his cart every day yelling, "Vegetables! You want vegetables?" in the local language. And, it's dirt cheap.
2. I love my neighbors. Even though our doorbell sometimes rings constantly, our neighbors are wonderful. The little girls that come by to play and make us laugh when they fight with each other, the sweet aunty that brings us food on a weekly basis at the least, the family that let us borrow their super huge extra television set because they felt sorry that we didn't have one...
3. I love our security guards. Throughout our time here, we have had the best rotation of security guards! They are always so friendly and helpful. I know that they will take care of us. One of the highlights of my day is when I leave my gate, and the security guard yells out, "Hello! Had your breakfast?"
4. I love the little things about this culture that make it so unique. Like "Had your breakfast?" It is common here to ask this question (or "Had your lunch?") instead of "How are you?" And, if you say "no, I haven't," you might even be fed. I love the head bobble, the way they use the thumbs up as a signal that they are asking a question and the way the ladies wear flowers in their hair everyday.
5. I love the body of believers here, national and international. It's amazing how you can be totally different from someone culturally but still have so much common ground. Sisters and brothers despite race, culture and background.
6. I love auto rickshaws! Now, don't get me wrong. It can be scary since the traffic here is insane, and no one ever follows traffic laws. But, Reba and I feel so comfortable and relaxed in the autos that we could fall asleep. We barely talk when we are in one. It's kinda soothing. I do some of my best thinking in autos.
7. I love the food...man, I love the food. I am going to miss it so much. Sure, I can cook a few dishes, but I don't know if the ingredients will be available (cheaply). And, restaurants in America are expensive compared to prices here. I know there will be days that I crave dal, garlic nan and hariyali kabob!
8. I love how this place calls my mind to God's Word constantly. I mean, I basically live in the Old Testament. I see the verses about idol worship, about the fatherless, etc. come to life. It is very sobering.
9. I love shopping here. Everything is so beautiful and so cheap. I have no idea what it feels like to buy something that costs more than, say, $15. Food, clothing and gift items are very inexpensive. Can you say reverse culture shock when I have to buy a $4 gallon of milk!?! That's 200 stinkin' rupees (I usually buy my milk for 12 rupees)!
10. I love how colorful everything is. From the women's saris to the brightly painted public buses to the colorful way the owners decorated my home, everything bursts with color. It is so fun!
These are just ten of the things I love. But I could name so many more. Even though I am excited to return to the States in 4 months, I am already beginning to feel the sadness that will come when I have to leave this place.