Here we are in Calcutta. A warm day, no clouds, no rain, a little humid, hazyjust nice.
We left the BMS hostel about 8.30am to walk to the metro some 15 mins away. Weleft three of the guys behind as they were not well enought to come with us. (When we got back this evening – about 5.30pm they were all up and about, rearing to go. )
Daylight revealed a city somewhat like Dhaka – little shops all along the road with the shopkeepers getting their shops ready for the day – getting soups and food prepared for the rest of the day.
Then to dogs – again they were sleeping along the footpath. At one place I saw 3 or 4 dogs asleep on the road itself!!!! They are very pasive, hardly moving for anybody. They do not seem to belong to anyone.
The metro reminded me of the metro in Paris. The steps down, the noise, air presure, ticket-collectors, overhead hand rails – a little tricky for Wendy and the others who are short. However, as the metro was quite empty some of the men gave up their seats for the ladies in the team. Then there was 10mins walk at theother end to Freeset.
Freeset is founf down a short alley then in through a nondescript doorway – just as they want it to be. To be able to blend in with all the other buildings in the narrow street.
There is a :no photos: policy there so we took none – except of the sky directly above to small courtyard, showing all the saris drying.
What did I feel like while there? I felt peaceful, like it was a welcoming place. Somewhere thatyou could find acceptance and encouragement. A place where you could be restored to wha the Lord wanted you to be. A safe place in the midst of a city that semms never to sleep. It was cleanand tidy, even though the floor was messy with offcuts of materiel, and piles of fabric ready to be sewn in to bags or t-shirts, or whatever else was on the agenda that day.
The women where I work in Christchurch would be amazed at the tight working conditions and the small size of the cutting room
The kiwis working there were ordinary people and families, seeking to know the presence og God in all they were doing. Touching the women’s lives in deep and profound ways. Often it took time, rather always takes time to gain trust before the women begin to be restored from some of the deep wounds due to their backgrounds on the street.
The women were all chearful and laughed with each other. Communication was nigh impossible as my Bengali is no -exsitant.
After lunch, at 2.00pm, we went to visit some long term kiwis who gave us some history of Calcutta and its Christian heritage. THen home to BMS, tEa and sleep before gEtting uP very early to cAtch a tRain just before 7.00am tomorrow morning. MY keyboard is going wierd, sO I’Ll finish. PEter