Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 4 – Saturday, June 14th

We had a great 8 hours of sleep and awoke to find that, once again, we didn’t have any water. Fortunately, the upstairs apartment did not have water either, so the man came down and started the pump again. We were able to have a quick shower before starting our day.

We walked back to our hosts home and were served a breakfast of Curried Potatoes and fried Chipatti bread……fantastic as usual.

Each morning I have heard bells ringing and was wondering about it. Shirley told us that it is part of a Hindu ritual where you clean your house, sweep your front porch and walk, draw the design on the ground outside your house, place an offering of flowers, pray, and then ring the bells. The designs are not drawn, but the chalk-like powder is poured out from the persons hand.

Since all animals are considered sacred in the Hindu religion, there are tons of dogs roaming the streets. We have started taking photos of some of them and calling them “Study in Dog”…..at this rate, we will have hundred’s of pictures.

Last night while we were driving, we stopped in front of a shop called a “Mutton and Chicken Stall”. There were several dead and plucked chickens hanging outside of the shop. There was a boarded up area in the back that I assumed held the mutton.

Today was a fairly quiet day because Paul Billy needed to get his sermon ready for Sunday. He did need to go to the bank which was in downtown Bangalore so we ventured out with him. Just before we got to the bank we saw a government run Arts and Crafts store, so we got out of the car and shopped while he did his banking. It was an amazing store, with each type of craft in a different area. We started picking up items in the Sandalwood section and were handed a small basket to put them in. When we started to leave that section and move to another one, they stopped us and told us that they would write up our purchases before we left and send them to the front desk. As we bought things, we received more and more individual invoices and then paid for them all at the end of the shopping trip. There were several areas of woodwork, metal work (brass covered with steel), jewelry, pashminas, saris, leather purses, rugs, and incense.

We returned to the house and Shirley had lunch ready…… rice with curried vegetables, beets (chopped and spiced) and another type of fried bread.

After our late lunch, we returned to the guest house and relaxed, did some reading and had a short nap. I got up first and had gone across the street to buy a drink from one of the shops. As I was walking back, I thought that I saw a monkey go across the street!!! As I watched another one crossed as well and then I realized that there was a large group of children following them. I went back in to get the camera and wake Michael up and we spent the next 15 minutes watching and photographing the monkeys as they jumped from balcony to balcony. There were about 5 or 6 females, all with baby’s in tow and about 4 or 5 males. It was funny to watch them posture and threaten the children below. Paul Billy told us that they come thru the neighborhood about twice a month, normally when certain fruits are ripening. He said that they are a menace and will even come into the house when the doors are open. Shirley once found one rifling thru their food!!! He shoots them with an air rifle so that they will be scared of his property. While we were at their house, the kids yelled that there were more monkeys and we walked out of the door (on the second floor) to find one sitting on the roof next to us….right at eye level and about 20 feet away.

We had a chance to meet Milton who works for the church in the street kids ministry. He runs a house for boys where they can stay during the day. They cant yet keep them overnight, but are working toward that. The boys come in by 9:00, have a shower, leave their old clothes to be washed and put on new clothes. They then do exercises and have a hot breakfast about 9:30. The rest of the day is spent in studies, Bible Study, crafts and other activities. They are trying to teach the boys (ages 6 – 13) that this is a safe and good place to be. Most of these boys have been left homeless because of parent’s drug use, poverty or death, or because of natural disaster.

Paul Billy apologetically told us that we were having Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, as a treat for the kids. When KFC first came into India, it was THE place to be!!! We drove for about 25 minutes to get to the store. It was in the middle of a large city type area and was absolutely covered with vehicles and people. We were met by several beggars, including a small girl about 3 years old……so very sad!!! Afterwards we asked about what you should do with beggars and he said that his policy is to only give to the elderly. He said that many people can earn as much begging as they could working an 8 hour day as a laborer. He also said that there is a Mafia system that rules many of them and they have to give their money back to the Mafia. I would never have thought of that.

As we were finishing dinner, all of the lights went out. PB said that there are often rolling outages but that they don’t last long. Sure enough, the lights came back on about 20 minutes later. We apparently lost power again sometime in the night, because I woke up just as everything started coming back on.

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