Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some call it a strike...

But I call it two days of roomie love.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kolkata had city-wide bonds, or strikes, which basically shut down the city's transportation systems. No buses, no auto-rickshaws, no taxis. And rumors of violent demonstrations between rival political parties. All things considered, Beth advised us to stay close to home on these two days. Sounds boring...and okay...maybe it was a little boring, but the way I see it, there are a few crucial ingredients to making a lock-down at home a success. One, crayons and a coloring book. Two, good music. Three, a roommate like mine.

Consider this post a tribute to my roommate, Sheila Nicole Yoder. Without her, my time in Kolkata would be much lonelier, and I would be stuck processing the theology of pain (among other things) with the bedroom wall.

Sheila and I did many fun things on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Oh boy, this is starting to sound like a grade school report.) We played hopscotch, and we chased boys, and we fell down and scraped our knees, and we also colored. Acutally, I'm lying about all those things except the last. We really did color. See picture below.

JBU buddies Nicole, Robbie, and Sarah sent me a coloring book and crayons a few weeks ago. Turns out I really like coloring. After completing a few masterpieces which I will soon be sending to friends in the States, I wanted to keep going. Then, Sheila and I had the great idea to color a picture for each person on our team. (Um, we had a lot of time on our hands.) This morning, when we ventured out of the house for the first time in over 50 hours, we presented our handiwork to the team. As you can see, the response was overwhelming. We are thinking about launching our own website, and yes, we will be shipping to the continental 48.There was only one tense point in the entire duration of our holiday at home. That would be the point when Sheila beat me at Speed Scrabble for the fifth time in a row. I was an English major for crying out loud! These losses hurt my pride. Those who know me well (aka my family and a few close pals) know that I can respond rather vehemently to losing. Once, at a coffeeshop, I burst into tears when I lost a round of Scumbags and Warlords. I was 18. But, ahem, I'm doing much better now. Sheila and I, like all good conflict resolvers, worked things out and moved onto the next thing. In this case, a little Johnny Cash on the iPod was enough to mend the broken bridges.

In one final accolade of my roomie, I would like to praise her hair-braiding abilities. French braiding is a girl skill that has somehow managed to evade me these 23 years. I just can't do it. But Sheila, she can plait one fine French braid. With her skillz, we were able to enjoy the days off with matching hairdos ...oh yes...I know, the excitement is almost too much. Almost.

I don't know, what do you guys think? Maybe we could open up a hair salon on the side of our art venture. I mean, neither of us quite know what we'll be doing after December. We're open for suggestions...


  1. glad to hear about your gracious gift of time spent relaxing and...coloring:). since your last post was so heavy, it sounds as if the Lord gave you a chance to remember the joy of fellowship.

    uh, i'm a really bad person and haven't mailed your letter yet. i promise to get it in the mail soon. i even went to the post office and bought enough postage to send it to Siberia, but totally forgot your address! darn it! therefore, it will hopefully be in the mail very soon.

    been praying for you, sis. continue to keep us updated!


  2. Yay for coloring!!! I am happy to see that you had some fun time with your roomie. And sorry that you lost scrabble, but you can come home and be assured that you would beat me every time. :)

  3. There is much redemptive in Johnny Cash music. I'm glad to see you're broadening your horizons when it comes to music. In case you haven't seen it, J. L. West Productions made a fine short film on Mr. Cash starring one Peter Casey as the Man in Black. I must say young Mr. Casey did a fine job crooning Rings of Fire. He's a talented young man. Perhaps your post-December plans can include putting together a show of your coloring book art collection set to some Johnny Cash music. I bet that's never been done. You two could be very avant guard with such a concept. Just don't forget us little people.

    Uncle Dave