July 24, 2011

The House Made of Bricks...

What image comes to mind when you hear someone say their house is made of bricks?  A 1960's brick-clad ranch... that's what I get.  Others may immediately see an apartment building in a crowded city with a play yard made of sidewalks and steps.  Admittedly, I'm a bit jaded by the familiarity of my surroundings, so it's hard to grasp the reality of how someone lives elsewhere in the world.

I ran across this photo in the Compassion bloggers photostream.  I have no idea if the brick structure shown below is a house or a business, but the image conveys the essence of typical structures and construction materials in Kolkata, India.  While Kolkata is not the area of India where our Compassion child, Vinay lives, and even if this is a business and not a home, this picture sheds light on the description of the building that Vinay wrote about and drew for me in his recent letter.  

Note the gable end roof... the single window (with bars)... even the "scalloped edges" from the tile roof on the adjacent building to the right... all of these visual details help me connect a little better with the possible realities of Vinay's world.

Compassion International Bloggers in India
This is a picture from the Compassion bloggers 2009 trip to India.  

A picture paints a thousand words.  Enough said.


July 21, 2011

Treasures From India

A six month wait ended last week with the receipt of treasures from India.   Not jewels or precious metals, but a veritable wealth of insights and information!  The first letter from our Compassion child, 11-year old Vinay, finally arrived in the mailbox last Thursday bringing a smile to my face and happiness to my heart.

Consisting of eleven lines and some drawings, the paper was filled with clues and details about his life.  For one thing, he is just now starting 3rd Grade, but doesn't yet write his own letters.  His translator succinctly conveyed Vinay's thoughts yet provided much desired specifics such as the personal names of his father, mother, brother and sister, and that of his very best friend.  I learned that he likes egg curry, the color red and the "sport of running race."  His family is Christian... very exciting news!  Oh… and ...

"Their house is made up of bricks."

Those exact words seemed so random in the middle of his letter.   However, coupled with the pencil drawing he included, the statement sure sparked my curiosity.

What prompted him to mention something about his home's construction materials? Perhaps this caught my attention because of my family's background in the building trades. Or maybe Vinay has a budding interest in architecture or engineering. I'm sure that in my excitement to hear from him I'm reading too much into it.  Or am I?

Vinay's house drawing is just a simple sketch, devoid of color but drawn with precision. A perfect square topped with an equilateral triangle depicts a one-story dwelling with a gabled roof.  Decorative lines accent the upper inside edges of the triangle representing scalloped trim.  He included a single window with 12 smaller squares that could be interpreted as window panes ... or perhaps steel bars.  Maybe there are safety issues in his neighborhood?  Either way, he is obviously detail-oriented.  

The item he drew and labeled "tree"  showed a massively thick trunk with foliage at the top and a tangled swirl on the ground.  Samples I found online show that he did a pretty good job of depicting a banyan tree … the national tree of India.  These trees have great significance in Hindu spiritual and cultural traditions, and are found at the center of every village.

I love getting letters from the kids. What a blessing to be able to go to the nations via the power of pen, paper and prayer.  Are you up for an adventure?  Check out Compassion's child sponsorship program

Already a sponsor ... what interesting insights have you gleaned about your child from that first letter?

July 16, 2011

Watching the Storm Pass

When the storm has swept by, 
the wicked are gone, 
but the righteous stand firm forever.  

Proverbs 10:25

Photos I took of a recent thunderstorm that passed through our area.  

July 4, 2011

Fun on the Fourth

The smell of corn on the cob cooking in the kitchen.  Fresh cut watermelon.  The repetitious pop-pop-pop..... poppity-pop-pop filling the air with a pungent blue-gray haze. The scraping of crushed ice against a metal canister filled with creamy richness has me drooling for shades of vanilla. 

These memories top the list of reasons why I love the 4th of July! But nothing tops off a day of family, fun and fireworks like the explosions that resonate at dusk to the strains of the national anthem.

And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air...


Okay... so I jumped a little on that last boom! Hey, we were only one city block from the detonation point.  Happy 4th everybody.



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