May 2020

Hello everyone from my kitchen sink!

I say ‘hello from my kitchen sink’ because I’ve actually got my computer where, if I was living in a place with a kitchen sink, it would go. With the shotgun wedding, due to COVID, and then as newlyweds, Pete and I didn’t have too many options of where to live and still be able to work. Pete’s mate offered us his bungalow (or as we call it, ‘the shoebox’) to live through this isolation period. The one room is our dining room, loungeroom, bedroom, study, & makeshift kitchen. It’s small & we wash our dishes in a bucket (which isn’t so new for me), but we are making the most of this adventure, also fortunate to be living on acreage with plenty of room to roam and great iso neighbours.

This small living arrangement is not uncommon in India; although there would probably be 5-10 more people living in the same space…if not smaller. On March 25th, India went into lockdown making it the largest lockdown in the world, restricting 1.3 billion people. And this full lockdown is still continuing today. Unfortunately, the situation in India isn’t looking as stable as ours is in Australia. The number of cases and deaths to COVID-19 are still rising each day.

As of mid-April, face masks are mandatory across the country. With limited supplies available, we have teamed up with International Justice Mission and will begin (when it is safe to) making face masks to help vulnerable communities across Kolkata. Not having a mask means not being able to go outside (or risk of being fined). And not going outside means no work…you can see where this downward slope is going. So something as small as a mask is going to make a big difference. We’re humbled, and at the same time proud, to be supporting our neighbours in this way.

As I continue to hear the struggles my friends in India are facing, and will face, my shoebox and kitchen sink situation, my work situation and my restrictions on seeing friends and family, don’t really compare to what many around the world (and Australia) are facing today. It’s not to say that our situations aren’t challenging also (I have respect for the many parents home schooling at the moment) but it’s a reminder to keep our brothers and sisters in our thoughts and prayers as we brace for what is still to come. Let’s keep reaching out, as best we can, to support those individuals, businesses and organisations around us.