These thoughts are excerpts from my journal from my trip to India:
Today was a relaxing day. Rick, Travis, and Aaron met with a missionary in the area, and Tara took the rest of us shopping. We went to a store that would have been the equivalent of a large department store. I found two saris (the wrap dresses they wear) – a beautiful blue and purple one, and a deep emerald green one. Before I can wear them I will still need to get the petticoats to go under them and have the blouses made. Here is one of the finished products:
We went back to the office for lunch where Isaac had Chinese waiting for us. He feeds us so well! After lunch we went shopping again. Isaac’s friend Matthew went along with us this time, and of course Rohan came with us, too. We went to Cane & Bamboo – a shop where everything is made by people with disabilities. I did some shopping for some Christmas gifts in this store.
On our way back to the office, Ben was saying how much he was craving a Mountain Dew. Somehow Matthew spotted one at a roadside store, so he and Ben hopped out and ran over. Ben bought all that they had, which ended up being about 6 of them. He shared one with me, and I have to admit, it tasted pretty good!
That night we had KFC for dinner again. Isaac had a neighborhood meeting, so we all just hung out at the house. I had a tiny nose bleed, so I went up to Gail and Mike’s bathroom to deal with it. I was startled when a frog, the same color of the tan/yellow tiles, moved on their bathroom wall. I went downstairs and told Tara about it, and sent someone up to deal with it. He looked something like this:
Sadly this was not the end of my creature encounters for the evening.
We headed back to the home for the night, but Ben, Rohan, and I stayed up talking for a bit. I wanted to show them a picture from my phone, so I went into my room to grab it, when I saw it – a rat running across my room. I quickly exited the room and closed the door behind me – the dialogue that followed when something like this:
Me, as calmly as possible: “Rohan, there is a rat in my room. Please go in there and get rid of it.”
Rohan looks, comes back out: “That’s not a rat. That is a bandicoot.”
Me, puzzled: “What is a bandicoot?”
Rohan: “It’s like a rat… but larger.”
Me: “Well, it can’t stay in my room! Go get rid of it!”
Rohan: “No way, I’m afraid of them.”
Me: “Well it can’t stay! Ben just went to get ready for bed, he’s still awake – go get him.”
Rohan went to grab Ben, and we told him about my little visitor. He came out of the guys’ room armed with a towel and a plastic bag… what he had in mind to do, I have no idea. I jumped up on the couch next to the doorway of my room to watch Ben defeat the little vermin, and Rohan joined me on the couch… he wasn’t kidding about being scared of them! As Ben chased it around the room, I discovered something about bandicoots… they can jump. High. But eventually Ben chased it out of the room and we think it went out through a hole in the window screen. It moved so fast, we couldn’t be 100% sure. Not sure what a bandicoot looks like? They look something like this:
Ben, feeling accomplished, went back to bed. Rohan helped me check my room for any other unwelcomed guests. Oh… and sadly to say, he found one. He discovered a cockroach in my bathroom. The biggest cockroach I have ever seen. (I will spare you a picture of a roach, because even the picture is enough to freak me out!) I quickly found myself on the bed, insisting that he kill it. Now, of course, Rohan thought this was pretty funny because he’s not afraid of roaches. Go figure. After playing with it for a few minutes, he finally stepped on it and I insisted that he flush it, so that it could not ‘come back’.
It was safe to say that I went to bed pretty freaked out. To calm myself, I listened to some worship music on my mp3 player and read Psalm 91 a few times over. I particularly liked verses 5-6:
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
I did eventually fall asleep around 2am, while praying that Jesus would keep me safe from anything that could crawl over me.