21 October 2009

"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good."
Vaclav Havel

01 April 2009

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.”
—John Gall

30 March 2009

"The study of history always implies a study of its alternative."
-James Carroll

28 August 2008

Three Years After Katrina

Moss Point
Ocean Springs
Long Beach
Pass Christian
Bay St. Louis
St. Bernard Parish
New Orleans

I have not forgotten. I cannot forget. You are in my heart and prayers. May God continue to give you strength and hope...

24 August 2008

Wrapping up the loose ends...

Well, I’ve finished filling out all the feedback forms and I think I’ve managed to fit most everything back in my bag (plus a few goodies of course). So that pretty much winds down the background part of finishing and all that jazz. I’m not really sure how much I will be posting over the next two weeks as I traipse around the countryside. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a bunch of stuff and throwing it all up when I get back and I’ve also contemplated taking a break from all the writing. So I guess we will both just have to wait and see. Tomorrow I will spend a good part of the day at the Home and will hit the trail sometime late afternoon and head into Delhi.

Real briefly, here’s how things are panning out for the travels:
Monday-Wednesday: Kickin’ in New Delhi
Thursday: Traveling to Jaipur
Friday-Saturday: Hangin’ in and around Jaipur
Sunday: Traveling to Agra
Monday-Tuesday: Rockin’ the Agra (Taj Mahal at sunrise is the main attraction)
After Agra is when things get a little fuzzy... Depending on mood, ambition, etc it’ll either be in the direction of Nanital or Hardiwar/Mussoorie. Either way, the plan is to head for the hills (literally) and find a great spot in the foothills of the Himalayas for some R&R and time away from crazy tourist stuff. Either way, the plan is to head back to Delhi on the 5th or 6th of September and see the boys one more time before flying out early on the 7th. The layover in Mumbai is a long one (17 hours or so) and that means the chance to spend a day there (minus luggage, almost like it was planned that way) before continuing on for the States touching down in Chicago early afternoon on the 8th (i hope).


23 August 2008

Some things I have learned...

  1. As people, we are far more alike than we are different

  2. 11 boys have a lot of energy

  3. One can survive on a diet that consists of very little meat

  4. I am actually pretty functional on my own in a foreign culture

  5. About 18 words in Hindi

  6. Touching stones that were laid centuries ago is pretty surreal

  7. I am better at thinking than doing

  8. Most of India has not learned the secret of peanut butter

  9. I can make it through a day (and a few weeks) without coffee

  10. How to divide big numbers by 40 (roughly the number of Rupees in an American Dollar)

  11. Sometimes life is about showing up and seeing what happens

  12. I tend to overpack

  13. Some people are pretty good at being supportive from afar

  14. Consistent electrical power is a luxury

  15. I don’t think I like being landlocked in a hot climate

  16. Part of my heart is still in New Orleans

  17. My multiplication tables all over again

  18. I have virtually zero aptitude for learning things audibly

  19. Democracy without togetherness makes for very ineffective government

  20. 21 months on the Coast followed by 2 in India makes for one very worn out Kerry

22 August 2008

Spaghetti Strikes Again

I got to cook for the boys again tonight. We had spaghetti with mushroom sauce, bread with jam and mangos all to be washed down with old faithful, Hawaiian Punch. They picked the menu and were ever so helpful in the kitchen (read, I’m impressed the pasta made it in the pot, etc.).

It actually worked out pretty well. Rita has been visiting her mother the past few days and it is definitely a lot of work for Birendra to keep up on his own. Friday night is also the big market night and this gave him a chance to get away for a bit and do some socializing and shopping for the home. It also meant that I got some really quality time in with the boys and we sure enjoyed the evening.

I keep feeling pretty grateful for the way things continue to work themselves out the past few weeks. As far as endings go, I really couldn’t ask for much more. Now if I can just talk ‘em into doing my laundry and packing for me...

21 August 2008

Winding down...

Things continue to move right along here. It’s pretty hard to believe that August is already 3 weeks long and that the summer really is winding down. We have been having some pretty good weather lately with temps being in the low 90s and humidity has fallen some too. So for the most part, it’s been business as usual.

We have been talking quite a bit about my leaving. I currently have outstanding offers of a daily cup of tea, three slightly chewed erasers (tempting), room cleaning service and jelabis (a local sweet treat) should I choose to extend my stay. A few of the boys have wondered if I’m going to be living on the streets after I leave home or why exactly I would want to leave India for America.

For the most part, there has been a volunteer here at the home since it opened due to the fact that the boys were not in school and needed quite a bit of attention. So next week will really be the first time that there is nobody else living here at the Home. They have also found quite a bit of comfort here in the Home and assume that I as well have found this to be the best place that I have ever lived as well.

The truth is that I am ready to leave. It has been amazing being here and quite the way to spend a few weeks, but I am ready for more than just being a big brother. It has definitely become apparent how much the last few years have worn me out and sapped quite a bit out of me and I’m pretty sure that 11 boys don’t necessarily fill the tank back up.

And so I am preparing to leave. Ready to leave. Grateful for the chance to spend a few weeks just being me and living in the ups and downs that these boys have in their lives. It sure didn’t have to be this good...