Monday, February 19, 2007

Not that I am usurping Jess, but she is in bed sleeping so she can't stop me. Here is the run-down on what happened, what is happening, and what will happen (or at least we hope so).

1. What happened:
So the Delhi Government branch that deals with snatching and destroying other people's land (Delhi Development Authority) issued orders that will acquire this whole neighborhood, level it, and turn it into a strip mall, high rise apartments, and other such nonsense. The truth is, we are loosing this land. This haven will be a parking lot. Now the question is when. The reason we were in such a state of panic the past few weeks is that we thought the bulldozers were going to be rolling through our front door any day. That was not totally unfounded, but it was based on some less than perfect information. (Requests for security help posted in the police office, bulldozers wrecking walls directly behind our Ashram, on and on...).

2. What is happening:
All kinds of things are buzzing now. A local tabloid ran this AWESOME little inflammatory story on us here in Delhi, making Jessica 2nd page news in India's capital city. (Not bad for a Michigan girl who had never been overseas before, huh?)

In other news (laugh), a Delhi branch of CNN is looking into doing a story on us as well. Not too shabby.

UNAIDS, with whom we are working on some case studies, got us a great meeting with the right people to help us fix our problems with the land. At this point, God willing, we have a 1 year stay to keep the bulldozers at bay until we can come up with a solution to get out of here.

What is that solution you might be asking you self, well the solution is actually #3 on the list, in chronological order, of course.

3. What will happen:
We don't know.

But we have an idea of what we would like to have happen. We need, in the next week, about $250,000 USD to put a down payment on the land. Now about $150,000 of that is already raised for that down payment, so we need just $100k more in one week.

After we have that, we need the rest of the $750,000 to purchase the land pretty soon, probably within a few months. Then we will need another huge sum to start putting buildings on the land. A clinic, Tuberculosis wards, living quarters, meeting hall, vocational training area, physical rehabilitation area, etc... But all of that can come with time.


But in the mean time, people are still dying. On the way to an important meeting on Saturday Ton spotted, in the high rise and high life part of town, a 16 year old boy laying on the sidewalk next to the road. Naked, totally emaciated, sick with TB, had drug himself across the pavement to come to rest at that spot to wait to die or be rescued. They picked him up, rushed him to the hospital, and today he died.

A 16 year old boy died because thousands of people who passed him on the sidewalk looked the other way.

A 16 year old boy died.

But death is commonplace here. We respect its limited power, choose life instead, make a face like this and say...
Boogeda! Boogeda!

Life goes on. Some make it to tomorrow, others don't. But today is what counts.

My main area of stretching these past few weeks: how do I make today count more. That's it. Today, the moment, right now, what can I do (or not do) to make this moment have real value.

Just thoughts...


Anonymous said...

That's great news, guys! We'll continue to ask God to provide the funds Sewa Ashram needs to stay open.
Gil and Sarah

Jake - When I was overseas I had a whiteboard in my room on which I wrote "Today" to help remind me to live each day to its fullest and not think about tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone. I'll pray you are better able to focus and live in the moment.

Anonymous said...

Ah I need to talk to you soon Jess.