Sunday, July 17
Today has been a very pleasant day. Erika and I both had our own projects to work on - she's helping the pastor's wife with some computer work, and I'm cutting paper for Christmas cards - and we got invited to lunch with the pastor's family. We actually had spaghetti and fresh cucumbers! The food we normally get is delicious, but it's pretty much the same type of things every day, so a little change-up was welcome. We even had ice cream for dessert! And then after lunch the two of us sat and chatter for a while with the wife and daughter over tea/coffee and cake, talking about a range of different things, including the boarding school that she's trying to start up to bring together children of all backgrounds. Her goal is to instill in them strong moral values and foment relationships that will last through the children's adulthood and professional lives. Church is going to start soon, at 4:30, so Erika and I have put aside our work for today and are sitting in the sewing room, where the breeze blows through the open windows, bringing the sounds and smells for the street and shipyard right outside and tossing stray strands of hair that have already been loosened by the ceiling fans spinning at full blast. The staff ladies are sitting in a loose circle on low stools, chatting, laughing, and humming happily as they work on a couple of different embroidery projects they are going to sell (including the Christmas cards). It's a peaceful, restful moment, and I only wish that I spokle Bengali so that I could join in the friendly conversation rather than just sit on the fringe and only pick up the odd word now and again.