Posted by: janpierce | January 20, 2008

Sounds of Dayanilayam, becoming known in Jangaon

It is never quiet here. The orphanage sits on a busy highway which will one day go all the way from Hyderabad to Calcutta. It has a lot of truck traffic especially at night. The driving rules here require lots of honking signals because everyone passes the slower pedicabs, wooden carts, bicycles, etc. So driving is a real adventure in guts. My strategy is to close my eyes and if I’m still alive when I open them I praise God. Back to the sounds. Early morning is full of the sounds of awakening. There are parrots in the trees squawking, the sounds of the children who camp out on the nearby grounds, and the Muslim morning call to prayer. Sometimes we hear the squeals of pigs and bleating of goats as they pass through the area. All through the day there are the variety of horns honking, from blaring strident sounds to ah-oogas to musical notes. They are all loud. Often in the afternoons the children are singing or practicing dances to the unique high-pitched music of India. There are the sounds of various Hindu drums since this is a holiday season. Sometimes in the evenings we hear the neighbors arguing loudly. At least it sounds like arguing. We are learning that we can’t really translate much of what we see and hear so we try to be observers and ask appropriate questions. We are becoming known in the neighborhood. Roger’s white hair and our white skin make heads turn wherever we go. We cheerfully wave to everyone who waves to us and are getting used to the stares too. I am getting brave enough to take a pedicab into the town and buy things or use the internet cafe. Once we speak to people they are so friendly and helpful. Without exception the believers are thrilled to see us. It gets a little overwhelming to be “honored” when we have done nothing to deserve it, but it is Indian custom to give visitors great welcomes complete with garlands of flowers. We are trying to be gracious receivers. I am getting used to speaking in front of large groups – short greetings and sometimes a verse or two.
Today we visited a village church that meets on the foundation of a building. Over the cement foundation they lay rice bags and mats and the sides and roof are made of cloth. On the ceiling of the tent-like structure today were pieces of tissue paper cut into pretty shapes with pinking shears. It was touching to me that they wanted to make this place of worship pretty.
Right now I hear the traffic, the noise of the children singing in the courtyard, and the sound of the workers in the kitchen fixing the evening meal. I am used to hearing Telegu all the time. And now I’m hungry so I will go see what is in the stainless steel bowls on the table!

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Responses

  1. I love reading your entries, I can almost see and smell what your are writing about… you are an excellent writer! We are praying for you daily. I wish I could be there, esp. to help with adapting to early childhood curriculum and ideas. Sorry to hear about your sprain ankle, hope it heals fast. And will continue to lift up Roger’s knee. We are exctied to hear that Mike and Sharon arrive there safely. I love you Jan. I can’t wait to retire and be there with you.
    Cheryl


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