Dubai is the most incredible place I have ever been too! This place looked spotless compared to India. We were so happy to be there! We had 24-hours to discover this neat little place, and we did not waste any time! Dubai is a gorgeous new city built in the middle of a huge desert right on the ocean. If any of you have seen Sex and The City 2, picture that haha. It is very plush and ritzy. We knew we had to go to the famous indoor ski park we’ve heard so much about. We were in shorts, t-shirts, and dresses in 120-degree weather and could not imagine skiing in the middle of the desert! This was the coolest experience of my life. We got full jump suites on, rented our skis, and went skiing for the day! I will never forget that memory. It was so much fun to be with Matt, Kourt, Chris, Jess, and Craig skiing inside with music blasting and seeing woman in full burkas zooming down the mountain. After skiing we did some shopping and went to the tallest building in the entire world, it was unreal. That night we ended our 10 day trip together with a delicious dinner at a gorgeous hotel that looked like a sail boat, right on the water. We had so much with everyone and could not have asked for a more memorable trip. We’ve done some crazy things over the past 10 days but the thing I loved the most was how close us 6 became and how grateful I feel for such an incredible family who are also my best friends. We’re going to miss being all together but Craig and I are excited for our adventures ahead!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
After being at Rising Star Outreach for a week, we left on a high full of gratitude and love. We took a 2 hour flight from Chennai to Delhi where it was even hotter, dirtier, and more crowded. We came here to see the beautiful Taj Mahal, which we were told was an easy 3 hour drive away…well we were wrong. It was not an easy trip and it certainly did not take 3 hours. We drove on dirt roads with potholes, boulders, cows, monkeys, camels, and swarms of people and beggars in the middle of the streets. The 3-hour trip took 10 hours because of the constant obstacles we had to avoid. We were definitely scared at times, especially when beggars holding monkeys with full makeup and dresses on came up to our car tapping on our windows asking for money, and then wild camels came running by haha It was an unforgettable experience. We finally made it to Agra where the Taj Mahal was. The Taj was stunning, and was most definitely a 7 wonder of the world. The Taj was worth our quick trip to Delhi but we are definitely ready to leave India, now off to Dubai for a day!
Posted by Craig & Kim Ballard at 5:01 PM
India has been quite an adventure! The past 10 days have flown by and we have completely lost ourselves in the work here. This country is definitely overwhelming at times. There is an overwhelming amount of poverty, filth, people, and culture. We spent a week at Rising Star Outreach where we lived at the school for the children of the leprosy affected. We spent the majority of our time with these beautiful children who we came to love and cherish. These kids are incredible and have seen more grief and sadness in their lives than we can imagine but remain so happy and have such a bright light in their eyes. Each day we either tutored the kids at the school, or served in the leprosy colonies. In the colonies we did a medical day and a construction day. We gave medical services to the leprosy-affected people where we actually washed their wounds, took their blood, wrapped their ulcers, and gave them medicine. This experience alone changed my life forever. These people who have been such outcasts in their society and have been deemed as untouchables but they are so grateful for our simple services. They remained so happy even though they have been dealt such a heavy load to bear. We have met so many amazing people here, felt so much love, been so exhausted yet happy all at once, felt helpless and sad wishing there was more we could do to help, and have been overwhelmed with such a great amount of joy that only can come from service alone. Our time here has left a life long impression on us. I wish that there was more we could do to help these people, and hope that we can keep these feelings with us forever and stay focused on the important things in life.
Posted by Craig & Kim Ballard at 3:30 PM