Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Typical Day?

I’m sure that many of you are wondering what a typical day looks like for me. It’s hard to answer because there isn’t really a “typicalness” to any day

But I’ll try.

The day usually begins with me waking up due to some car horn honking or music playing eaaarly in the morning. I go back to sleep. The second time I wake up I eat breakfast and usually discover some new bug bite that appeared during the night. But no worries, I think most are just the work of mosquitoes. During breakfast I usually skim through the local newspapers. Usually the front page is full of the latest militant separatist group conflict in the NorthEast. Just this week 12 villagers were killed in Assam, the state next door to Meghalaya. Don’t worry mom & dad, Meghalaya’s stable! But for many other states it is not the case. If you think of it, pray for peace in the NorthEast.

After breakfast I leave for the office. I hike up the hill nicknamed “Jacob’s Ladder” by the locals. It’s a steep climb but a refreshing start to the day. At the top of the hill I make my way through the traffic and people to the office.

Work begins with office devotions. We sing a few songs, someone shares a reflection on a passage and then we share prayer requests and pray together. I love it

Then I settle in at my desk, shooing away ants or other bugs who insist on sharing it with me.

A few minutes later it’s tea time.

And then I start my work. But yesterday, for example, the power was shut off for maintenance in our part of the city and I had about 20 minutes of battery power left on my laptop. We discovered that the power would be off until 4pm. What to do…I ended up joining some staff on a trip to the Block Development Office to discuss the registration of the Self Help Groups in the Urban project. The conversation was conducted in Khasi so I just sipped my cup of tea and ate the sweet potato that was so generously offered to me.

We returned to the office and I chatted with my coworkers while we waited for the power to come back on. I enjoyed getting to know the staff a bit better.

The power came back on and we went back to work for an hour. And then it was time to go.

On my walk back home I’ve taken to trying out a new shop every night.  Yesterday I stopped in a bookstore that I found out was run by Catholic Sisters. It had the most random book collection ever. But I saw Jean Vanier’s Becoming  Human for only 60 rupees so I will most definitely be back.

I get home and shortly after I join the girls in the hostel for the evening Vespers, a time of worship, sharing and prayer.

Then it’s dinner time, which is early for here as many eat dinner as late as 9:30-10:30pm.

But like I said, typical doesn’t really exist. Beginning next Monday I’ll be spending the next 2 weeks working with the urban project here in Shillong which will include evening site visits. Then I’ll be in Patharkhamah, a village in northern Meghalaya for a week followed by a little detour to Guwahati to visit the Priscilla Centre ( November will be a bit more office time but there’s talk of a trip to Kolkata (crossing my fingers!).

But I hope that gives you a tiny taste of my days here

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