This last week has gone by very quickly, and it feels like we have just begun to learn about life here in Shamshabad, India, about each other, and even about ourselves. My husband Austin and I have been blessed to have growing relationships here on the MBCB campus and we know that when the time comes for us all to leave the campus it will be difficult.
We have had an amazing woman, who is around 68 years of age and might as well be called our Indian grandmother serving us food and true Indian hospitality since day one. Her name is Shandralayla, (that is by pronunciation not spelling). She kept the food spice mild as we adjusted, always encouraged us to eat a lot of food (Ken Friesen can attest to this), made us soup if we felt sick, learned how to make peanut butter for us (we eat it up before the day is over), and she even took me aside to fix the sari I attempted to wrap.
She has been with us the whole time and has kept us going. Some of us have gotten the chance to help with the dishes and experience how the “Indian dishwasher” works, there is no machine. Each time we have helped she thanks us with great sincerity and appreciation. She has been a person for some of us to talk to, even though the English is not clear, she understands a lot and she is welcoming to conversation. She has shown us a lot of love and I am sure she has a reputation doing this since she began working here which has been an astonishing FORTY YEARS. We will miss her laughing, smiles, her care, her loving eyes, her humble heart, and her cooking when we leave here.