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Earth Day Happenings

by:Rachel

John drivingJohn driving the crazy streets of Hyderabad

Friday night rolled around and found John and I talking about different holidays and days in general that we celebrate. Having just passed Easter, I think we felt the loneliness of having something big to celebrate and having no family or friends to celebrate with. We talked about the different holidays that we celebrate and how we want to incorporate more into our lives—possible a couple of Jewish ones even, such as Passover and the Festival of Tents. We’ll have to do some research for those though! Suddenly, I jumped up saying, “I have to check the calendar.” Then I ran out to the computer desk and looked for which day announced Earth Day. “Oh, good–I didn’t miss it.” I didn’t miss it by the skin of my teeth. It was the very next day. I told John I wanted to do something to celebrate.

ExhaustionExhausted Aria catches a few zees.

Ideally, for Earth Day, I would love to make a cake (I’m craving baked goods!) and decorate it with earthy things, like trees and flowers. Then, I’d want to take a picnic lunch to some park and spend a nice portion of the day outdoors. Our day didn’t exactly go that way.
John has recently acquired his Andhra Pradesh driver’s license and has been eager to take to the roads. Yesterday was his big opportunity as we had to go some ways away to pick up the bridesmaids dresses for my sister’s wedding that were with a dress tailor. We borrowed a small, somewhat beat-up van from CBN and off we went. I confess I was feeling much trepidation to have John driving in the crazy Hydrabadi traffic. He’s a good driver, but isn’t used to driving on the left side and the traffic here is INSANE. The white lines that form the regular lanes are just suggestions: rather, everyone crowds as close to each other as possible to get as close to the front of the pack as they can. We picked up Prathap, John’s friend and co-worker from the office, and then embarked on “the scariest experience of my life on this earth so far”. The van we were driving had two bench seats in the back: one faced forward and one faced behind. John suggested that I sit in the one facing behind as it was “safer”. I think that this may have been why my experience was so frightening. I kept seeing near accidents over and over again and actually yelled out at some points (I know; I was a horrible passenger to have in the backseat). I was sure we could not avoid getting in some sort of accident before arriving at our destination. Finally, we made it—in one piece no less—and I climbed shakily from the back, never wanting to climb into a vehicle with John driving in India again. However, I was in a much better mood when we came back to the van as the dresses looked wonderful (my first experience having the bridesmaids dresses made with a different tailor was a NIGHTMARE!). So, I climbed back into the van and faced forward this time. It was amazing how much less stressful this journey turned out to be! John was getting the hang of things by now too with some helpful tips from his friend, so the whole combination kept me from a heart attack.

Aria in the parkAria chilling in the park.

So far my Earth Day was far from ideal. But, though we were adding to the pollution in the air by driving around in a beater van, we did have some nice experiences: we saw some new places, visited Prathap’s church situated on a flat rooftop and covered with a canopy, ate some wonderful Indian food in a dark, cool restaurant called Bawarchi, and survived the crazy traffic (definitely a plus!).
On the way home, after dropping off Prathap, I asked John to stop at a park and we let Aria experience grass for the first time since October—she was only two months old then. Her reaction was, hmmm, frightened. I was so sad to see my wee babe afraid of such a delightful thing as grass. Hopefully she’ll warm up to it. To see more photos from Earth Day click here.

Frightened AriaAria doesn’t know what to think about the green stuff underneath her feet.

Did anyone else celebrate Earth Day, or am I just some crazy environmental freak? What did you do?

7 Responses to “Earth Day Happenings”

  1. Jessica
    April 24th, 2006 14:28
    1

    love the photos… hilarious and sad about aria being frightened of the grass. i never thought about celebrating earth day before… something to consider… sounds like you had fun…

  2. Kellie
    April 28th, 2006 09:55
    2

    rachel, when we first got back from nepal asher(13 months) was terrified of the grass. it took a few good weeks, and then he couldn’t get enough of it. remember, this is something aria probably doesn’t remember, and is a very strange thing for her. give her some time. it took asher being in it day after day to get use to it. i was worried that he would never want to play outside, except on the cement. but… you know asher, now he can’t get enough of it.

    ~kellie

  3. Rachel
    April 28th, 2006 22:14
    3

    I’m so glad it isn’t a permanent thing (at least, we’ll do all we can to make sure it isn’t). Asher’s a great example! I’ll make sure Aria interacts with grass while we’re in England and slowly inculturate her with that wonderful green substance!

  4. Rebeca
    April 28th, 2006 22:54
    4

    Peregrine was that way with sand when we went to the beach. He was about 14 months and wouldn’t get off the blanket! Now, of course, he loves mud and dirt and sand and grass. Aria is precious!
    We didn’t do anything special to celebrate Earth Day. But I like the idea of making a “day” of it. It’s fun to get to think about what kind of traditions you want to have in your family, and the things you celebrate. We did a little Passover this year and I definitely want to do that- there’s so much meaning in it.
    I liked your post about environmentalism a while back. It seems like a lot of Christians overlook it, but we are to be stewards of this earth. When I was in India it killed me to throw my trash out on the street and not to recycle. The vendors always thought I was weird becuase I’d bring my own bags back or take things without a bag- you know how they like to overpackage everything!
    Unfortunately I had a bad time using cloth diapers- went through so many outfits because of the leaks, so I use disposables now.
    Have a great time in England!
    Rebeca

  5. Rachel
    April 29th, 2006 06:13
    5

    I know cloth diapers doesn’t work for everyone… hey, at least you know because you tried them! I love that you’re a part of an organic co-op from your home–I sadly don’t have a green thumb:-( Not yet, at least.
    Your kids are so precious as well… I love it when you post pics of them!

  6. Tara Hills
    April 29th, 2006 13:53
    6

    Organic co-ops!!! Oh how I miss them!!! And yes, you are a freak. Just kidding!! You are wonderful, inspiring and simply gorgeous (inside and out). I totally want to make more of a point to welcome traditions and celebrations into our new family. Simply having our own Christmas in Spain this year without the run-around madness we’ve had for years and years was a beautifully beginning. Earth Day…remind me again next year!

  7. Rachel
    April 30th, 2006 10:19
    7

    I agree… it’s fun having your own family and creating new traditions as well as incorporating a few of the old. Since being married, we’ve only spent Christmas with the extended Clancy clan, so haven’t really done any new stuff on our own. Undoubtedly, this year will be different…sad, yet happy, too. I’ll try to remember to remind you a bit in advance on Earth Day next year. Ideally, I’d like to plant a tree…:-)

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