Friday, August 22, 2008

Such a Small World!

These next two stories are really for two specific groups of people, but I think that all of you will be amazed by them.

The first story is for the Curtis/Ackley/McConnell family (sorry if the spelling is wrong - I can never remember if it's 2 n's and 1 or 2 l's). When we the new staff first arrived in Ooty, we went out to dinner with the Weber's, a couple of the single staff, and two college-aged volunteers from Australia. We went to a Chinese Restaurant in Ooty - strange combination, but great food. Anyway, we had been ordered our food, and one of the Ozzies (Australians) got a call from a friend that was going to meet up with us at the restaurant. This friend, also an Ozzie, had been in Ooty for a few weeks studying Tamil (the local language). His name was Russell, and he had been a volunteer at Hebron a few years ago. During dinner as the group was talking I (Angie) overheard him say that he was currently teaching in Yemen. Someone else at the table told the group chimed in and said that not only was he teaching there, but he was teaching the President's children. So, being the well-mannered and civilized person that I am, I yelled across the table, "Hey! Do you know Lonnie and Jeran??!!" Needless to say, he looked quite shocked because he knew them quite well, and had taken over some of their responsibilities when they moved back to the States. So, over a meal in India, I met a guy from Australia who knew a couple in Yemen who we knew from Idaho!

The second story is for Ryan's and my immediate family, and all of our friends in Corvallis. Last week while I was working in Hoz, one of the older students at school sprained his ankle. It was pretty swollen so he had to stay overnight and most of the next day icing and elevating it. This would have been bad enough for both of us on a normal school day, but it was the holiday weekend so there was only one word to describe it, BORING! To pass the time, I let him visit with a few friends, but they eventually took off to do fun things in town. They also were off playing in the soccer (we call it football here) tournament that Jonathan, the injured, was supposed to be playing in as well. After a while, when everyone had left, he asked me where I was from. I told him the US, and he said, "I can tell that, I'm an American too. But what part?" I said Idaho, and he told me that he knew where that was because he pretty much grew up in Oregon. I said, "Oregon! What town?" "Oh," he replied, "You probably won't know it because it's not very's called Corvallis." "Corvallis!!" I said. "That's where my husband and I both grew up!"

So, we spent the next little while talking about the years we lived there, what schools we went to, and how our dads both worked for HP. We reminisced about HP picnics, Papa's Pizza, Willamette Park (I think that's where my friend Mindy and I waded in the river and almost weren't allowed to see the age of 7, because our parents were so mad at us) and all kinds of other stuff. It was so crazy, especially since we lived there around the same time, but he's about 15 years younger than us. I asked him what church he attended, and when he told me the name I told him that I really only knew of one family that went to that church (but that was a really long time ago - a neighbor/friend that I knew when I was like 9 years old). When I told him my friend's name, he said that she used to babysit him!

Such a small world!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Several of my UK friends have told me today that I look "shattered". I think this means the same thing as exhausted, because that is how I feel. Yesterday was my day off, which was really nice, but it wasn't quite enough to make up for the fact that I was the only one at Hoz from 9am on Friday until 9am on Monday (with a 4 hour break on Saturday). Luckily, I didn't have to sleep at the clinic at night because I didn't have any overnight patients. But it was an exhausting weekend.
Today wasn't too bad. I worked on the computer most of the day, and one of the other nurses worked in the clinic. She saw 5 kids all day, and in the last 4 hours I have seen 10! To kick off the evening, I had to send a student to the hospital to get stitches in his eyelid. It went downhill from there.
So, now it's getting late, and I am feeling even worse than I did earlier today. I think I will sleep tomorrow afternoon with Addie - that should help.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Here is a pic of Addie from last night that I thought was really cute. What you can't really tell from the picture is that she has a couple of pairs of Lauren's underwear stuffed down her pajamas. She came down the stairs quite proud of new figure, and when we asked her what she had put down there she lit up and said, "Funnies!"

Independence Day!

Today was holiday, but we still had a special Independence Day flag raising and assembly. It was quite formal with most people in traditional Indian dress (except several Korean students who were wearing Han Bok, in celebration of today being Korea's Independence Day). Ryan played the trumpet in a small orchestra - they played the Indian national anthem, which is quite different than anything I've ever heard before. They also played at the the assembly. I didn't get to stay for the whole thing because I was due to open the clinic (Hoz). Ryan had quite a fun day (not) with the girls who were tired, bored, and very emotional.
Here is a picture of Addie after the flag ceremony. In the background is the principal with the guest of honor and his wife, and the color guard. Oh, I forgot to mention that the flag was already at the top of the flag pole at the beginning of the ceremony, so when the guard when to hoist it (so we thought) he actally just pulled a string and the flag opened up - dropping flower petals on the crowd - Addie thought it was great!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Day of School (and last, for a while)

Today was the first day of school for Lauren, Brenna, and Addie. Both Lauren and Brenna had a great first day. One of the highlights of the day was getting to wear uniforms to school for the first time. Last week the new staff families were able to get second-hand uniforms for free (great), but they had name labels of the previous owners so new ones had to be sewn on. I was able to get that done and get the clothes sent to the washing ladies on Monday (so they would be back by Wednesday), but with the wet weather the clothes were taking longer to dry. On Wednesday afternoon they still hadn't arrived, so I called around and they were brought to our flat that evening. It all worked out fine, as you can see from the picture. The dresses are really cute, so I'll have to post another picture when they aren't wearing the fleeces (or jumpers, as we now call them. Both girls really enjoy their teachers, so that is really great. Also, Lauren went to prep after dinner. That is the designated homework time that takes place in the dining hall.
It is also great to have Addie in pre-school 5 morning a week. One of our friends is the pre-school teacher, and we are able to walk Addie to and from her class every day. The downside of today was that there was a fire drill this morning at around 9:30am. It was quite traumatic for the preschoolers - having to walk to the main playing field ("Big Pitch"), and standing in a silent line with the entire school community. I think it kind of scared Addie, but she'll be fine.
Tomorrow is India's Independence Day, so there will be no school. It also means that the Indian nurses will be off, so I will be in Hoz from Friday morning at 9am until Monday at 9am (except for 4 hours on Saturday). We'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

School Starts Tomorrow!

Well, it has been quite a week! Last Tuesday we began New Staff Orientation. We spent much of the time getting to know our way around town, and familiarizing ourselves with Ooty and Hebron. Orientation went until Friday, and on Saturday we started Staff Retreat with all of the returning staff. We stayed on campus for this retreat, and enjoyed a great speaker, C.B. Samuel. There were several worship services - Ryan lead two on the guitar, and played the djembe at another. He hasn't touched a piano since we arrived in Ooty, which seems kind of strange. I'm sure he will play soon. The girls enjoyed attending Holiday Club (sort of like Vacation Bible School) with all of the other staff children. The only staff kid they haven't met yet is Leah - everyone on campus thinks that she and Lauren look alike, so it will be fun to see them together next week when Leah arrives.
Staff Retreat ended on Monday with school business meetings, and yesterday was my first full day in the school clinic (called Hoz). I have been at Hoz all day today, and I will be spending the night here as well. One little girl is ill, and needs to stay overnight.
Lauren and Brenna start school in the morning at 8:45. It's quite funny that all of the students return today and start school tomorrow, only to have Friday off for India's Independence Day!
I will write more tonight when I am bored. When I get a chance,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pics of the Kitchen

So, I had this great idea to write a few blog entries at home on our laptop, and then copy the text into the blog in the computer lab at the school but it backfired! The problem is that our laptop is a Mac, and the school computer doesn't recognise the format from the laptop. So, I printed off an image of the text, and now I am trying to read it (because it's all fuzzy) and re-type it (Grrrr).
Anyway... Here are a few pics of our kitchen and dining room. Please notice our cute little oven that Ryan bought a couple of days ago, and the red curtain that I purchased in Conoor and hemmed myself (and by hemmed, I mean used the iron-on stuff that I brought from home).
I hope all of you think of us when you go to turn on the hot water in your kitchen. We only have a cold water tap, and we have to heat all of the water for washing dishes on the gas stove (no, I don't have a lady that comes and does my dishes - she only sweeps, mops, and does the laundry!). Also, we can't drink the water from the tap, so that's why we have the stainless steel container on the counter. Drinking water has to be hauled from the dining hall, which for us is just around the corner.
The other two pics are taken from the kitchen, looking into the dining room. The steps in the dining room lead up to the girls' rooms, and the steps that you can see through the brown doorway in the next picture lead in to the closet where we keep tools and firewood.


At the moment, Addie is down for a nap (or a sleep as they call it around here) without a diaper (or a nappie as they call it around here). Getting the "lingo" correct can be quite a challenge, but pretty funny at the same time.
We were having dinner with some Kiwi friends (New Zealanders) a couple of nights ago, and we were talking about some of the different names for clothing here at Hebron. For instance, they call pull-over sweaters and fleeces "jumpers", and they call jumpers "pinafores". The British call pants "trousers", and they call underwear "pants". So confusing!
Our friend was saying that she was on a school camping trip a while back, and it had rained the entire weekend. Her pants (Kiwis have the same definition of pants as we do) were hanging on a clothes line over a fire, and when she thought they were dry she reached up to get them but wasn't tall enough. So, she turned to another teacher, who happens to be an ordained minister with the Church of England, and said in a rather loud voice, "Can you pull down my pants?" She could tell by the look on his face (and by the roar of laughter all around her) that she had said something wrong!
When she told us this story we laughed so hard, we almost wet our pants!