Dear ones,

We've left behind the crowded urban life for something like Holden Village in South India. At least it is a place a part and the electricity tends to go down unexpectedly. Because Thomas is with us, we three are living in a house rather than in the same building with the students. Wrick and my room even has its own room for bathing in. Notice how that is described: it is not what most would call a bath room. There is a running cold water and two new plastic buckets. One is for teaching hot water from another room. It is quite possible to get clean, even one's hair, with less than two full buckets of water.

We were greeted royally yesterday morning in a formal ceremony that began with a procession led by three horn-players, two drummers, and a boy playing tiny cymbals. Each of us received a rose and had our forehead marked for blessing. Wrick and I were given sandalwood leis. A seven wicked lamp was lit. The director made a fine speech and I did not embarrass anyone with my ad lib remarks about ecumenical meaning household and our joy in joining this one.

Wrick and I made a trip into the closest hamlet, Whitefield about 3 km away. There we saw a monkey eating a banana on the street. (On the way from the airport I saw two cows with blue painted horns tipped by jewelery.) We also bought a birthday cake for the two who turned 21 yesterday. In the evening, we were the judges as the students played pictionary drawing things we've seen in the past weeks. Now I'm organizing a cribbage tournament.

Today the classes started. While here we have many, many hours in class as well as excursions outside the compound. The first of the later is tomorrow a.m. when we go to Bangalore for worship at a Mar Thoma church. This is one of the Indian churches that traces its origins to the ministry of the apostle Thomas.

Since the line to use the computers is long, I'll close for now. Know that even when you don't hear from us, we are remembering you and holding you close to our hearts.