JULY 18th - Although I did not have to teach today, I did get to meet the students and give them a brief introduction of myself. Chris came for the morning to do a workshop on Church Music for the students and Abraham and I sat in on the class. The team from Vinton Baptist (Chris’ church) joined us after the workshop and got a tour of the school and we headed out together to have lunch. When you are a group of 10 Americans walking around India you tend to draw attention to yourself.
We had a great meal and I enjoyed an oriental noodle chicken dish. Yes, Tami and kids you might get me to a Chinese restaurant yet. And we topped it off with a little ice cream. The Vinton team wanted to do a little shopping so we headed to a nice mall and took a look around. It was 5 or 6 stories tall and had anything you might need. As we waited outside a local stopped and asked if I was an American. He struck up a conversation and then asked to take a selfie with me. I thought that would be all but he kept hanging around and as I moved closer to the group he followed me. He asked a few more questions about where I was staying and why I was in India. It was a very pleasant conversation but I could not figure out why he was so interested. I found myself feeling suspicious and constantly had my had in my pocket to insure that my wallet, camera and iPhone remained in my possession. He also talked to Abraham and asked how he found me to come and teach at the college. When we left the man shook my hand and then hugged me and wished me well.
After we parted I felt bad I had assumed the worst about him, although I think Abraham wondered as well since he kept hanging around. I have included a picture outside the main entrance of the mall, mainly for the percussionists in my family!
We headed back to house and made one last stop for “slippers.” Abraham has been concerned that I might fall on the wet floor in the bathroom in the mornings where I shower and wanted to make sure I would be safe. The “slippers” were rubber flip-flops to give me traction. He and his wife, Feba, have been SO gracious and are really taking wonderful care of me. I feel very comfortable and safe because they are always on the look out for me. I leave you with a picture you can not resist!! This is Feba and their 2-year old son, Ryan outside their home. I think Ryan and I are becoming friends. He let me unwrap his candy for him and I let him conduct with one of my batons.
This blog will journal my experiences as I prepare to go overseas this July and teach at the Asian Christian College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in India.