Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Exhausted!

In the hills with my mom. Who would have thought that could happen?...Today we did a tourist tour - Who would have thought that could HAPPEN? I hate being a real tourist - but it was fun being with my mom and some other cool people.

Quick fun moments:

Having a one on one scotch with the kid that I use to/currently mentoring [again?] in the mountains in India. He's been on three short contracts with me and this is his 2nd time in India with me. So I take his feedback seriously.
He said "This has been your best trip ever! - I don't understand how you did it?" + "You have definitely been the influence that has changed my life" It gave me the warm fuzzies.

India Video:Made by Karl - he's got skillz...


Debriefing at the Windamere Hotel for a nite with the team.

Working with my assistant leader Rachel - she's 21, a former CWY participant and she kicked ass! Everyone on my team fell in love with her and her leadership style.

Singing at the Hotel on the last nite AND closure encourager's! Damn powerful.

Travelling with my mom in the Indian Himalayans [it's sooo peacefully here] Currently showing her some small villages that I stayed/visited when I spent a couple weeks here last year. I still can't believe my mom is here...it's damn awesome.
She understands a bit about my life know and I soooo wish I did this like 5 billion years ago - the drama I would have saved in my life.

Okay - tired - I just want to sleep.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Trip 1 is over...

It kicked ass - like really kicked ass...
However I am a bit baked/emotionally drained and found myself looking at a plate of food for 2 mins figuring out what to do...
Now I have budget fixing and some report writing to figure out after a VERY long nap.

nite nite
jam

Friday, May 18, 2007

my mom is here...

yeah...she's with me right now. It's fun actually - except for the India heat she is adjusting very well, she even worked today at Kalighat which is quite hard and unique in itself. I think after this she would finally come to terms with what I do here in India and why I love this type of service.

So it's excited to have the Mom here!  The outsider.  I can't wait to show her around to my local friends and nuns.

Then I am travelling with her for a couple weeks - just in time to pick up the 2nd team. Which means my summer checklist in India is:

:: April 22nd

1 week pre and serving - re-establishing contacts. - DONE
Pre-trip with 3 people across India and do massive logistical prep. - DONE
3 week trip with 18 people - HALF DONE - I love this job!!!
3 weeks travelling with mom around India- going straight from the airport to ---
5 days of trip logistics/training with assistant leader from Alberta - with massive amount of beer and hopefully a camel trek
3-4 week trip [I am thinking of extending it!] with 8 possible India members

:: July 12th - not a day off.

This means I hit Delhi about 4 times? Varanasi 4 times? Darjeeling twice? and Kolkata - 1 BILLIZION TIMES. I love networking with people and I have a shit load of really cool friends everywhere in each city.

Can anyone say fun!

Hopefully after all this crazy work - I can hopefully find a fun filled job like this in Toronto.

peace+
jam

Monday, May 14, 2007

the dust is settling...

I realized yesterday that this is going to be my life - this is the life that I have chosen and it's quite sad?

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow morning for 3 weeks and I am ridiculously excited for her visit. I wanted to put her up in a semi-decent hotel for the 1st nite and then move her with the team to our humble rooftop home. I went to check my bank account to realize that I only have $4.
After 7 months working on India - more expenses have arrived and I sucked them up with my own money to let the trip run smoother.
It's turned out for the better and I am glad about it.

However it hit me hard yesterday. If this is the life that I have chosen - why I can't simple pay for a $25 hotel room for my mom?
Especially at this age. Seriously what can I REALLY do?
I can't get married, or support kids, pay for school in the fall or buy anything really....this is really it.

Wow. At times like these I wish I just I had taken that job in the surburbs, loved that girl I was "supposedly in love with", eat dinner and drink wine with friends and had a permanent job with one of those McNGO's - but Faith has this plan for me right now [to lay seeds in people who question me] and I love it - but their are those moments of insecurity and doubt that creep in.

It hit me hard and yesterday on the way to network with an NGO. I found myself stopping and crying on someone's else steps for 10 mins. After I quickly picked myself up, dusted my feet and just kept doing the lonely walk...

My life is never boring.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A different trip

At the risk of sounding cocky - I am just going to say it...

This trip is totally different than any other "sponsored" church trip that I have ever done and it's REALLY REALLY awesome.
Some members of the team aren't Christian i.e. my 2nd in charge is a Jewish girl from Calgary [and the team loves her :>], and hopefully our "future" worship leader isn't either - but he loves what we do.

It's really unique and amazing - our small group discussions, dinners, worship, meditation and chill time is sooo honest and real. Our team is really meshing together and they really do love each other. The "honeymoon phase" [sorry trip lingo] is over and yet I spent 3 hrs on the roof of our hotel till 1.30am having a great chat with some team members.

And last nite we had a great community dinner on the roof - [with some artsy decor - too windy for candles :<], amazing worship and again ridiculously honest group talk.

Plus on top of this we are doing ethical travel and while it's a very hard thing to do with 18+ people.... we are surprisingly 90% on track.

I am still in shock, it's alot of hard work but soon - other NGO's and churches will copy this model. I know it.

Tired and off to the hospital with some dehryrdated team mates!

peace+
jam

Thursday, May 10, 2007

=

18 people - 3 trains rides, 4 hotels, 4 cities and 1 billion autorickshaw rides in 5 days.
And less than 24 hrs sleep in 5 days.

= I amazing excited Jam who LOVES IT ALL!!!!

No money in the world can buy this amount of logistical/stress fun.

Will write more soon.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I have the worst India leader luck...

It's true - let's go through the list...

2004:: Trip 1 - Christine > India female leader- left our church community moved to Hunstville, Ont and she's got a thing called a "baby"??

2005:: Trip 2a - Ryan co-leader > a year of mentoring in India trips and logistics. He moved away from our community right after trip 2, got married [meet her in India] and is now coordinating trips for those big wigs at the airport.

2005:: Trip 2b - Andrew and Jen - trip leaders > all I did was set up some of the main logistics, and had a couple show and tells - but they grabbed the vision and with their amazing leadership skills and partnership - really rocked the boat!
Andrew moved away from the community and on to really crazy amazing things and his blog is a good read.
Jen ACTUALLY stayed at freedomize?? Bizarre - fought through the pain [respect] and is fully involved in our community.

Flash forward
2007:: Trip 3 - LTK - she can knit and perform math surgery on cupcakes. She really has it all... and ideally is the perfect India leader, but because of the big bad thesis can't make this trip. It kinda broke my heart and after an unrepeated amount of double checks emails, a glass of wine in Kensington and an awkward sudder street phone conversation [I am a dumb male and need several hints] She really isn't coming...
To top it off - she is leaving Toronto in July and our community - moving to the Amsterdam [ to do more math surgery on cupcakes] and so after a 7 month insanely fun working partnership she's off... Hopefully I can make it over to see her in the fall.

Well 1 out of 5 isn't bad. Sad.

So in lieu of that - Lisa and I chatted about having a potential replacement. She's been with me in India for the past week and she's an old participant on CWY - which is fun. I really don't know any Project Supervisors that can hire there old participants a year after the program for an overseas contract!
She's not Christian [neither am I really], doesn't go to a church, never been to India and is completely new to this scene, but is someone I completely trust and we spent the last week travelling with a couple of us fi folks and she is embracing it all....

My secret goal is that she joins our community and moves to Toronto - it would be the complete opposite of the my India luck.

My phone bill came...


It's $414.00 - and it's 2 months of India work. I heart Kolkata.
BUT why are our Canadian prices SOOOO high?

I have a phone in India that cost me $80 for 2 years with NO montly charges - local calls are .01Cents CDN a minure and calls to Canada are 0.2Cents a minute.
Incredible.
So today I came across this from onedegree.ca
Us Canadians are wimps - we need to act up on this one.
We are the consumers and guess what...I actually have a choice in this materialistic endeavour.
I am tempted to get Skype when I get home and ditch the mobile.