8 years ago I walked into an interview at a small restaurant in Aurora called Bijoys, with absolutely no waitressing or food prep. experience and walked out with my first non-camp summer job! SCORE!! At that time I had no idea how much that restaurant or the owners- Bijoy and Sujata- would come to mean to me. Bijoy and Sujata have been incredible spiritual and life mentors through the years, challenging me to love people more, to serve better and modelling what living a life surrendered to Jesus Christ looks like (and the JOY that comes along with it). I'm so thankful for their continued presence in my life! I'm also SO thankful for how warmly and intentionally they've included me in and educated me about their Indian culture- the food, the clothes and the sense of community! Sujata and I have had many Indian cooking lessons where Sujata basically throws a million things together while I frantically try to write all the ingredients down (unsuccessfully), and then she ends up delivering an INCREDIBLE feast. She's always sharing new recipes and telling me about great spices! Last year she brought me a batch of Masala that was delicious!
Last year I had the privilege of attending their daughter Amira's wedding. Sujata lent me one of Amira's sari's to wear to the event....and if you haven't worn one...they are AMAZING!! SO COMFORTABLE AND CUTE!! But beware, they are WAY harder to put on than you'd think!
More than the clothes and the food, I've loved getting to experience the intense sense of community that is typical in Indian culture! I remember Bijoy telling me one time "Here in Canada people never say what they actually think. In India, we just say what we think. We're forward." I think that attitude comes from a place of love. When you love someone, you earn the right to speak truth into their lives, without worry of hurting them. At Amira's wedding, I went to the bathroom and bumped into a woman (a stranger to me) who said "WOW! You look beautiful in that Sari. Do you know what would make you look even better? A brighter lip! Actually, I have the perfect colour in my purse!" She went on to apply the lip stick....and when I eventually made it back to David who was still sitting at the table he said "What the heck happened to you?!?!" HA HA.
All of these experiences have fostered a deep love for Indian culture that I just couldn't keep to myself! On Saturday night David and I hosted a Bollywood themed Halloween party and it was AWESOME! Guests came dressed in Indian garb, we ate delicious food, played lots of card games and even had a dance party!
Here are some of the pics from the night:
I hope guests of my party went home feeling inspired to reach out and get to know people from all different cultures! We have so much to learn from and to offer each other!
Life has been crazy recently. With my parents leaving, David and I moving a lot of our stuff into their house, throwing a Halloween party, starting to think about/prep for Christmas (at church and work), making myself hit the gym....all on top of all the normal everyday stuff like cooking, cleaning, laundry etc..... I feel like I haven't had a lot of time of DOWN time! That's why I'm thankful this week for EOM's scattered throughout the business of 'life'. Here are a few recent ones:
1. When I woke up to find that it had SNOWED...and I knew it wouldn't last!! :)
2. When I got to go mid-week BOWLING with my work friends!
....and SOMEHOW my team won (due to NO HELP from me)!!
3. When John texted me about an AWESOME new brand and sale! (MISS YOU JOHN!!!!!!!!)
4. When I stumbled upon an old meme I had screen shotted and laughed JUST as hard as when I 1st saw it!
5. When I got to go to work dressed up like PIKACHU
....and then I got THIS email.....
...and so THIS happened:
WELL.....my parents have officially left to spend the next couple of months in London, ENGLAND!! While I'm VERY excited for them, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't jealous or sad (I'm BOTH!!)!
I'm jealous because I LOVE TRAVELLING and it seems like everyone in my family is travelling tons this year (John has spent the semester in Denmark, Robert is moving to London in November, Madeline just got back from a quick trip to Europe to visit John and is headed back there for her next semester...are you getting the picture!?) ALL while David and I are stuck at home WORKING. ha ha. I'm 1/2 joking....sort of ;).
I'm sad because I love having my parents so close by. Actually, I'm very spoiled because I live just 20 minutes from my parents and I drive past their house on my way to and from work. At least a couple of times a week I pop into my parent's house on my way home from work to say hi, to vent about everything that happened during the day, to get advice or just to have a cup of tea! I love my parents SO much and I'll miss those mini visits for sure!
To keep myself from feeling too 'down' about their move, i'm trying to focus on what a GREAT experience living abroad will be for my mom and dad! The opportunity to live in a different country (for such a short period of time- 4 to 6 months) doesn't present itself everyday. There's something SO cool about starting a life in a totally new city/country, especially when that city is LONDON, England! While I'm sure it will feel overwhelming and perhaps a bit lonely at first, I know from my short trips how quickly unfamiliar people/places can start to feel like home, and I'm confident that my parents will grow to LOVE life in London. I can't wait to hear all about their new routines, running routes, favourite restaurants/coffee shops and friends, ANDDD.... David and I are REALLY looking forward to experiencing those things for ourselves when we visit my parents in London after Christmas! :)
One positive change as a result of their move, is that David and I are doing a mini-move of our own.....into their house! It will mean at least a 20 minute shorter commute to work for both David and I, AND we'll have Robert (and Madeline, when she's home from uni) living with us for a month! I never thought I'd be living with my siblings again and I think that's pretty special!! David and I are looking forward to many morning runs (HA), healthy dinners and great conversations, Robert and Madi (we will miss you, John)!!
LET THE ADVENTURES BEGIN.....
Hi! I'm Mrs. Julia Dawe,