Friday, August 10, 2007


Question, you are out and about in India and would like a little something to drink, what do you ask for?

Answer: Chai tea, tea and milk boiled together and placed into a small flimsy cup that you are unable to hold without crushing. I do not drink tea regularly but I like hot chocolate, and this is a good close resemblance.

There are so many new things here in India, it is so hard to describe them without it sounding like the USA is much better than India. We have a year to post of the many sights, sounds and smells.
Sadly it is much more difficult to whip out the camera and get that great shot than I thought it would be. I have placed a number of pictures and descriptions at our picture site. Please go take a look, leave comments, ask questions.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Welcome to Chennai!

What a whirlwind of change in our lives this week. From living with parents in south bend to now in our own little hotel room in Chennai India.

So many new sights, smells, and sounds it is surreal.

How to describe Chennai. More later but for now I want to compare to Pune, in central India, they may both be India but the differences... Pune is Hindi speaking, Chennai is Tamil. Chennai has gas stations, Pune has mini-vans on the side of the road with 2 litre bottles of fuel. The roads are wider in Chennai, but smaller sidewalks. At least in Pune we could walk a block or two without being in traffic.

The Auto rickshaws (our primary means of transportation in both places) goes by rate (actually 6x plus 2 rupees the rate) in Pune but Chennai is bargaining, and being at a tourist hotel you do not I mean DO NOT want to take one sitting out front. They want 100 rupees to take you to a friends little shop (where they get 25% of what we buy or some other kick back.) Just walk down the block a little and pay double the regular rate because of being a new American and pray they know where you want to go.

Some pictures from a Auto ride:

Pune had Debbie and Rupa, two wonderful people to ease us into the Indian culture. (we stayed with them and Debbie lead the training) Chennai has Annamarie, another GO Finance volunteer who is running us through a nice slow immersion. I could go on...

We arrived in Chennai late on Friday night, Annemarie met us at the airport and rode with us in the SUV to The New Woodlands, our home until we find a home. Saturday Annemarie picked us up shortly before noon, and brought us to a restaurant (Amethyst) where we met Bungi and Peter and Biju. Then a quick jaunt over to look at a potential apartment then back to the hotel and at 6pm (nothing happens quick in India) we laid down for a nap... I asked Nancy if she wanted to go out for dinner or breakfast...

Annemarie and Anna

A picture from our hotel. Bungi and Peter

Breakfast in the morning was same as Saturday the buffet at the hotel restaurant (Indian veg menu. pancakes with onions on top, peas and carrots, and a couple curries, plus watermelon-pineapple-mango fruit cups.) Then our first rickshaw bargaining to get to church.

The church was very much like Granger or Mars Hill, about 300 attenders series title is Pure Sex, today's topic is the 4 loves and how they all interrelate.

Then to Sparkies for lunch (Tim S. last day in India so very busy party), home by Auto (overpaid by 10), and out to Little Italy for dinner with Dave and Kim and the boys.
Now you are caught up.

This morning I (Ryan) woke up at 4am with the need to empty my GI track... feeling better now about noon but if it continues much longer I will begin to take Cipro.

We did make it to the office at 9am for devotion time, as it is Monday that is songs in English and Tamil, and prayer time. (I will upload a short movie to our picture site.)

We ask that you also take the time to pray for us, both our health, getting settled, plus lastly support.

A quick financial update: We had about 80% of our needed funding pledged when we left, we can live OK w/o additional support. But the dollar has recently become much weaker to the rupee 40.45 to the dollar (was at 45 for the longest time), draining out another 10% of our income. Please, we implore you to support us, we can not do this without you, please pray about supporting us, and follow through if you can! We are trusting the Lord to provide exactly what we need, and we are humble that that is what is happening so far.