Kolkata (aka Calcutta) - India

Arrived on Saturday morning the 23rd of November after a very long journey.  I was so glad to be here -- although when I arrived my room was not going to be ready for another 5 hours -- so the thought of immediately taking a shower after not having one for 30 hours was delayed just a bit more.  But what a great introduction into this town.  So many in Kolkata go without -- not just for 30 hours or 5 hours but always.  Much of India is like this -- but there is something about this city that has held an image in my head for some time about its poor.  Perhaps because of Mother Theresa and the Missionaries of Charity -- who are still very famous here and around the world -- that if you say to a Taxi driver -- I need to go to "Mothers House" -- they know exactly what you are talking about.

Baptist Mission Guest House

The Section Where I am Staying

Gardens in back of BPM-Guesthouse
I am staying at the Mission Baptist House which is just about 3 blocks down the street from "Mother House."  Many here are volunteering there.  It is a very peaceful place with a nice garden and common areas and also -- the rooms are clean and simple.  There is a common area for meals and breakfast is included in the cost of your room -- and you can also get lunch and dinner if you like for an extra charge.  It is $16.00 per night.

I am thankful to have this week.  I have a hard time adjusting to the contrast between the United States and India or other countries sometimes.  This week is going to give me a chance to get on the right time zone and get to work!  In fact, today, Monday -- I will go at 3:00pm to Orientation/Registration for volunteering at the Missionaries of Charity.  Then I will work Tuesday & Wednesday and Thursday is a day off because the nuns have a day of prayer -- and then I will work Friday as well and leave Saturday morning.  I figured it would be a great way to transition from the states and to get my head and heart in the right place by serving those who are dying or totally dependent for one reason or another -- and that could be a physically or mentally challenged child or adult -- or just nearing death for some reason.  Yesterday, I went to visit Mother's House and saw the outside of the building and also went inside -- There is a room where her remains lie entombed in marble -- pictures on the walls -- then on the other side there is a small area with about 10 or 12 pews an alter and a simple cross of Jesus that says, "I Thirst."  This is where Mother Theresa and the rest of the sisters had (have) mass everyday. -- Very simple.  Despite the ways things are "displayed" there is a very quite spirit of humility which is fitting -- it honors Jesus.

Here are a few pics from around what I saw -- including a Sister who is pretty close to the height that Mother Theresa was in the same outfit.

Sign out front of "Mother House"

Ally Way to Mother House on Right

Chapel for Sisters of Charity

Iconic Sisters of Charity Habit

I will share more about this experience volunteering this week as I go.

Bathing Area for Those with no bath/shower .
Oh by the way -- just around where I am staying, while I was waiting to shower, I came upon this . . . . I love how the Lord teaches me . . . .



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