A small, tropical toad jumps across the uneven, crudely laid stones that mark our path through a small canopy of tropical fruit trees. We can reach up and grab a pomegranate as we walk to our temporary home in the valley of Manipur, India.
No ac and humidity giving me curls I had forgotten in Arizona I ever had, I grab the local sweeping broom and bend over with one hand behind my back and the other diligently sweeping Ina long arcing motion across the shiny cream, marble floor. These brooms made of palm grass work better than our tall brooms but are tough on my weakened back.
Our kitchen is tiny, with and base sink and a metal dish and pout rack on the wall above it. the Black marble counters I first thought of as lovey has proven to be difficult to keep clean. Our frig is a 4foot version of our one back home but that isn’t a problem because most of our food is not prepacked and used quickly.
The city we are in is busy and mostly made of multiple stories of cement buildings and many of the side streets are what once may have been asphalt but now are just extremely rough dirt roads. So, the overall feeling is dusty and the color is a light grey and this matches the air as well. The only color found is on the women. In contrast to their dull backdrop, they stand out like colorful gems. From the orange stripe down the nose line of the Meitei Hindi women to the Bright red and green tribal skirts of the Kuki women, it’s a feast for the eyes. The people here are beautiful! Exotic and earthy yet refined in an Asian traditional way.
Oh, sad day, because I have been so desperately ill. I long to get to the hills. just a few kilometers outside this old-fashioned city are the most breathtakingly green mountains and views to be had on earth. We have planned a trip there next weekend to visit friends and help them out, hope I am well enough to go. (you must be able to eat what is offered to you; to refuse an offereing is a huge insult to them)
Sweet Yuna and MayLa seem to do well here. The different types of fruit trees outside our doors being a favorite of theirs. And the humidity doesn’t phase them, so the moderate climate suits them well. They are not excited about school starting Monday after having such a long break and living so unrestrained during the days here. Yuna loves it here and just wants to find a permanent home and settle down Visiting USA for a few months a year, while MayLa is not in the same boat. She thinks it was a nice visit here and can’t wait to get home as the harshness of life here is unfamiliar to her American ways. While Yuna sees many opportunities to help people here and try new things being a seasoned world traveler.
I am in between, not as young as I used to be, the harshness is harder for me, and my body made delicate over the years from health issues, is not handling this very well. I am more introverted now and being married so long has made me less of a leader. So, I have days I want to save the world and others where I long to go back to comfy, easy America.
Bryan took a while to adjust and relax but he is doing well here now. Learning the local shops and the maps and trying to find food for his limited tastes is still a work in progress but one he continues to press on. His work is doing fine but it is hard for him to work at night when he is tired.
But, all in all we are doing well. Seeing Sega again was a highlight. He is coming again Monday night, and we are making his favorite, Mexican food. He is a man now and my mind still remembers him as a silly teen boy. He is quiet and contemplative but laughs easily and cracks jokes if he feel comfortable with you. He is testing to get a government job right now. But, we heard it’s so corrupted that even if you pass the 2 tests required for an interview that you must bribe your way in or know someone to get the job. And even if you pay the bribe, they may never call you back, taking the bribe and hiring someone else right after you. I am not excited about this, but he is 23 years old now and must make his own way.
We met with Rahabs Rope people. They are very nice. But, they want us to go 2 hours north of here to a remote place that doesn’t have good wifi and would be far from Sega. So, I am not going to probably work with them much here.
The three goals I had were to Visit and help our friends and family here, Look into Rahabs Rope and see if that would be a good fit for me and see if God leads us to live here. So, we will finish our goals and pray for guidance, we should know soon.
We have met very nice people here so far. A couple through Rahabs Rope lives in Imphal and has a 2-year-old daughter. They are very nice and it has been a blessing to attend church with them and befriend them. And a dentist that filled MayLas cavity for 13 bucks; a Hindu woman that we got to preach the gospel to, has asked to have us do her website for her.
Even if we don’t stay here we have 2 other places we may visit on this side of the continent. We will keep you posted as the Lord leads us. Please pray for the healing of my stomach, and for the Lords, grace, power, and wisdom to lead us as we interact with the locals here. And pray for our Hindu dentist friend that she may come to know the saving love of Christ.