Sunday, November 30, 2008

Récapitulatif - 2 mois

Je suis arrivé il y a 8 semaines déja, et les choses sont en place...

Je vous écris à la suite des attentats terroristes dans mon ancienne ville (Mumbai).
Je vais bien, malgré que je sois ébranlé par ça. De savoir qu'un jour, je pourrais reçevoir une balle parce que ma peau est de la mauvaise couleur dans le cadre d'attentats terroristes. Ou bien de voir mon chez-moi calciné par une foule colérique, car je suis de la "mauvaise" religion.
Et c'est à peine alors que les persécutions contre les chrétiens s'étaient calmées... Il est clair qu'il faut continuer à prier pour ce pays, afin que tous et chacun apprennent a s'aimer et à vivre ensemble.
J'ai passé un mois à vivre dans un logement fourni par l'entreprise, avant de me trouver à dormir chez la mêre de l'évangéliste... j'étais presque leur nouveau fils!
Mais maintenant, je vis dans un 4 et demie pour moi tout seul. La décision fut motivée par de la vision que j'aie:
- Rencontres quotidiennes avec des frères
- Avoir de l'espace pour l'hospitalité
- Avoir un frère comme coloc (que voulez-vous? La maisonnée Dornal me manque)
- Avoir de l'espace pour faire des fètes pour les célibataires
- À proximité de la majorité des frêres célibataires
- À proximité de l'évangéliste
Et ça veut dire que je dois voyager environ une heure pour aller au travail à chauque jour.
Et ce fut vraiment dur à avoir... problêmes de prix, de proprios (ils ne veulent pas louer à des célibataires), de quartier, etc.
Ce fut une grande lutte, de renoncer à moi-mème. Je pourrais ètre égoïste et me payer un apartement plus moderne, avec les luxes occidentaux. Mais il fallait faire des choix.
Je ne savais pas qu'une machine à laver ça pouvait se remplir au sceau, ni que l'eau chaude venait en option... Disons qu'une douche chaude me manque...
Il y avait beaucoup de travail à faire, et beaucoup de coquerelles à exterminer. J'ai eu de l'aide ahurissante des frêres, qui ont nettoyé, peinturé, réparé l'appartement. Et c'est sans compter qu'ils m'ont conduit d'une place à l'autre pour faire tous les achats nécessaires.
L'investissement en vallait la peine. Mon ministêre est celui des frêres célibataires, et j'ai été vraiment béni par Dieu. En gros, je vous écris juste aprês avoir fait une petite fète avec une douzaine d'entre eux. Nous avons mangé, prié et joué à des jeux. Oui, vous lisez bien, j'ai trouvé le moyen d'avoir du fun! Pas besoin de vous pincer...
Déja, j'ai des bonnes amitiés avec plusieurs frêres, et je vois déja l'impact que je pourrai faire. En gros, ça faisait quelques mois qu'ils ne se sont pas trop confessés. Donc, les choses commencent à sortir, et c'est des montagnes de confessions. Aussi, ils ont souvent bien des questions de foi avec lesquelles je peux aider.
Présentement, on est à la phase du grand ménage, et puis ensuite on mettra en place un d-group dans quelques semaines.
En parallêle avec ça, les dirigeants de Bangalore m'ont "matché" avec une soeur là-bas qui avait vécu à l'étranger. C'était un peu nouveau pour moi comme situation. Enfin, j'ai fait le voyage pour avoir deux dates avec elle et j'ai pu commencé à bâtir une amitié avec elle. Disons que j'était heureux de pouvoir parler avec un soeur, ça me manquait! Ne grimpez pas sur vos rideau! Je ne marierait pas de sitôt. Je me concentre sur l'impact que je peux avoir ici. Encore une fois, pas besoin de vous pincer...
J'ai été três tempté par le matérialisme, par les mauvaises priorités. Mais, Dieu merci, j'ai pu éviter beaucoup d'éceuils jusqu'à présent.
Il y a eu un baptème il y a deux semaines, un jeune frère qui a étudié la Bible pendant un an et demie. J'étais si heureux de voir que Dieu m'a mis dans une bonne situation spirituelle, moi qui avait vécu un an de désert juste avant.
Le Québec me manque. Pas juste le luxe occidental, mais des choses comme la liberté personnelle, le sentiment de sécurité, la culture, etc. Je me donne des petits traitements de musique Québécoise de temps en temps. "Je reviendrai à Montréal" me fait brailler à chaque fois. L'hiver me manque, et j'espêre avoir assez d'argent pour revenir passer des vacances avant que tout fonde!
Faites-vous des bonhommes de neiges et des randonnées de raquette pour moi. Prenez des photos et envoyez-moi ça!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terrorist Attack in Mumbai

For those who are really out of touch with the news...

DNA, Bloodbath in Mumbai
CBC, Gunmen attacks across Mumbai kill at least 101, others held hostage
Cyberpresse, Photos
Cyberpresse, Nuit d'horreur à l'hôtel Taj Mahal de Bombay

And yes, they were targeting foreigners. Remember, I have the wrong skin color...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

India Calling

This article in the New York Times summarizes well what it means to make the shift...
The World - India Calling, by By ANAND GIRIDHARADAS.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finally, I'm doing something!

This weekend, I went to a National Park in Banjara Hills with some AIESECers. I then when to City Center, also in Banjara Hills and bought some things at the 'dollar store' there. So I have some decoration in my home :)

On Sunday, we had a baptism at church. That one one of the Bible studies in the single brother's group. I was glad to see that! After that, we went deep into a Muslim neighbourhood to get beef biryani to celebrate. Remember, its illegal in India to kill a cow, except at regulated places...

Still, I've been spending lots of time buying stuff for the new home and cleaning up.

As a sidenote, I have updated my registration with the FRO. Legal compliance is done!

Do not discard your brain


Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally Moved In

On this Wednesday, I have started to occupy my new home in Hyderabad.
I did some mopping, some dust-cleaning, and "cooked" dinner for me and a brother helping. It was ramen noodles late in the night. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuummmm...

But its done! Yay!
But no housewarming party just yet. The place still sucks too much to do that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Month Down the Road

Its now a month that I have been here. God willing, I'm moving in my new flat tonight.

I did my HIV test today, as I am legally required to do. I don't need the results, I know it'll be negative, but I have to have done it, just in case someone in the government feels like not liking me.
It would be interesting to find out which % of foreigners who have to do it have done it...
I went to Bangalore last weekend. I had two dates with a sister, and generally enjoyed myself. I spent a few hours with a former colleague and his daughter. We went to a park and to a state aquarium. I always delight in God's creation, and that time in the aquarium was no different.
I really enjoyed the company of this sister too. She's smart, has wide interests, and has lots of conversation. Don't panic yet... she's not my feminine equivalent... she's not a geek :)
The traveling sucked, and I was in Hyderabad in Monday mostly braindead thanks to my train ride. Oh well.
Lately, I have been witness of two historical events: the successful launch of India's first mission to the moon and the election of Barack Obama. Its great to be witness of history in the making. Who would've thought India would have a real space program? And it certainly beats the Canadian one...
And I was sure that Clinton would've won the Democratic candidacy, only to be beat by McCain down the road...
Maybe I'll revise my judgment on the US in a few years, and make it on the list of places I would accept to live in.
Things are more or less settled at work. I have recently upgraded my computer to Ubuntu 8.10. It is working very well, looks sharp, and I don't have to do much Windows :) The problem that I have is that I don't get much work done, having to deal with all the things that aren't well oiled in the company. Let me give you some examples: papers for FRO registration (HR didn't know what to do), bugs in the accounting system that made it so that I didn't get any money, couldn't apply for advance nor for a loan (HR had to switch to a manual process), and problems with my email that essentially locks me away from the whole intranet (I'll spare you the details), and some neverending workflows which may yield some money at some point.
Anyways, its almost all done now.
I'm moving to my new flat now. Its OK located, but not superb. And everybody in the office is worried about me. Its a Muslim neighbourhood. You know that I don't care about that stuff. But, in Hyderabad, those words are synonymous of poverty (and all the ills that come with it) and of risk of communal violence. I'm not so worried, because I live at the periphery of it, and next to a government facility where I can always run away to in the worst case.
To me, these things are so prevalent anywhere in the country that I don't see much of a risk difference. Prayerfully, God will keep things safe for me.
That flat ended up needing a lot more renovating than I thought it would be. To make matters worst, I had to entrust that to someone to do. That brother is very good to do all that. But the loss of control and the constant delays made it difficult.
Let me summarize:
- I don't have control over what is happening
- I have no money, so I have to rely on others' generosity and hospitality
- I never move in when I think I'm about to move in
- There is always something else to be done
- The work is not always done at the quality I could have done it with.
- Cheap furniture hunting is not so easy. Prices go up when people see me.
Meaning that I had episodes of freaking out every now and then...
Anyways, I'll give it a shot for some time, and I think it'll be OK. If not, I'll move in somewhere else, more expensive, and have to slash some other expenses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

3 weeks down the road in India

I'm STILL in transition phase, believe it or not. I should move in to my new apartment soonish, making it a full month of transition.

The good thing: that is making me close to brothers and I'm already having better bonds than in 6 months in Mumbai. That gives you an idea.

Here are the not-so-great things going on, and misc. other things on my mind.

I'm OK. I'm surviving 100% thanks to the church's generosity, since my company has a payroll management that needs a major upgrade.
I should move in my new apartment in a few days. There are a lot of crawling things, and fungus in the water tanks. Once those are thoroughly cleaned (I feel like using the word "sterilized", but I won't go there), I can move in.
That place has running water, but its bore water. City water, that is supposedly treated yet undrinkable has to be carried by hand by the servants who live in the basement of the building. That gives you an idea...
I think you'll agree with me that bottled water is the way to go.
I'm going to Bangalore this weekend. I'll have a date with a sister.
Someone there had the idea of matching us. We'll see how it goes. I already spoke to her on the phone and email, and we definitely get along fine on the conversation side. We'll see how good friends we can be.
I'm considering whether to start a PhD or not... I'm doing a research job right now, so I could be doing this while I'm at it. But the problem is that it forces me to be anchored at a given place for 3+ years.
I'm going through a lot of struggles inside... between selfishness and my career+personal goals vs. what I see that I should do for my brothers and sisters. I'm not sure they are opposites, but I'm not sure how they can be reconciled either.
You can keep me in your prayers, that'd be great!