A month in a hotel.

“He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13

Two weeks. We thought it would only be two weeks. It is now one month, living out of a hotel. We have equated this to the days of Disney. When we lived in Orlando and had annual Disney passes, we would often be able to identify the families who were at the end of their “magical vacation.” And now, it was us. We were cheering our kids on if they ate all of their McDonalds. And Traveler’s sickness was taking its toll.

I went down for a solid 24 hours, Garrett did as well and Jackson was starting to see the impact from drinking the water. Yes, he drank the water. Let me clarify. He drank the water from a decorative fountain in the airport at customs immediately upon arrival in country. That is how fast it took for one of my children to do the very thing you are not supposed to do in India…. immediately.

So we took our kids to their very first doctor in India. And following the appointment we walked over to the chemist to get our prescriptions. All stocked up, we returned to the hotel and hoped for better days to come. I also broke into my Young Living stash and found Digize to be a lifesaver!

Unfortunately, we found out the house we were looking for was not an option. In fact, we began to realize that what we were looking for in a home was simply not available in where we looking in town.

So we decided to extend our search to C-Scheme. We likened the first area we househunted to be like Mclean, Va and the second area, C-scheme to be like Arlington. More city, but lots of perks.

I also did lots of furniture shopping so that I would be prepared when the time came that we found a home.

AND WE DID! C-Scheme. Royal Saket Apartments. Near to Central Park, the Camel Park, Deer Park and several coffee joints.

It was bittersweet that we also had to move out of our beloved Hotel Gtanjali two days before our flat was ready and also the day before Easter. Moving our 15+ suitcases up two flights of stairs into an AirBNB is not easy nor ideal, but it was what it was. I hung my Kurtas on the curtain rod of the bedroom to keep them from wrinkling. And I felt weary from hotel living. However weary, on Easter morning, as I got ready, I could not hold back the tears as I realized I would be celebrating that Jesus defeated death FOR US.

Dressing up for Easter this year looked a lot different than the days of Easter dresses and bonnets. Easter has also looked like pajamas all day and eating easter candy. This Year, I wanted to wear my Sunday best, but wearing your Sunday best in a Kurta is just different. But I must say I have never worn palazzo pants with so much beautiful handiwork! I learned from a veteran expat here that if someone invites you over to their house, that is the time to break out your fancier Kurta. The one with embellishments and sparkles. So I did!

To add to the excitement, also the day before move-in, Gracelyn gouged her finger and we were concerned she needed to go to the hospital for stitches. We also knew that she has intense PTSD from the car accident in 2017 and getting her to let a doctor treat her these days is fairly traumatic. So we treated the cut diligently at home and thank the Lord it healed on its own!

Praising God for His incredible Love and grace. And Looking forward to next week to move into our home!

Losing it’s luster. Week 3.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

“We have to go look at another house?”

“Garrett, guess what? I made maggi! You’re favorite!” “No thanks mom, I’m tired of having Maggi.”

“I just want to wear my normal clothes! I am SOOOO hot.”

“This milkshake tastes bad.”

“If I have to say ‘NO’ one more time!”

“Mom, all you do is say no!”

“Did you just say a bottle of wine is $20!!!”

“Kids, no cookies unless you eat your burger king.”

These are just a few of the headlines of week 3. Can you guess who said what?And a milkshake tasting bad? That is about as bad as a bottle of wine being $20. Rough week on the whole living in a hotel, house-hunting front. Everything and everyone got tired and cranky. The novelty of fast food was over and dehydration was settling in. Even the taste of the hotel’s coffee and eggs that was made for us daily, became an aversion.

But, when the coffee gets old, you break out your pour-over and buy your own coffee, am i right? And you head to the nearest import store to find some comforts from your home country. Well, at least we were going to until we found out honey bunches of oats was $10.

But week 3 was not all bad. One of my biggest fears of moving to India, was the fear of going out on my own. And this week, I took an uber to a store all by myself, as well as walked home and hit up some more shops and grabbed an iced latte! When in doubt, shop it out. Just kidding. Kind of.

But for real, this brings me back to the Kurta. This was my first solo shopping trip and I went into about 4 different stores as I walked down the street. In each store, immediately the employees greet me with a “Hello, mam.” And then proceeded to follow me around the store. Some are silent, while others take every article of clothing I even glance at and set it up in the dressing room while also suggesting others.

Yeesh. Shopping in America for me looked like 45 minutes of solitude walking through TJ maxx looking for the $10 and under section.

So I am still getting use to this, and I am finding my voice to be able to say, “I will let you know if I need anything,” or “No thank you, I do not want the three piece summer suit.”

But at the end of my outing, I felt like I had gained confidence to take a car and/or walk on my own in town, and also gained a BEAUTIFUL KURTA! And these ones were different. Talk about finding my niche in the Kurta world. In the world of Indian dress, there is many different forms for different occasions. I am still learning as I have stuck only to the Kurta. But give me a flowy, airy Bohemian Kurta with leggings anyday, and I am in my glory!

This anecdote may sound simple. A girl shopping. However, our journey to India has been years in the making. Some of you know, and others may not, but this journey has been a story of ‘perfect love that casts out fear’, 1 John4:18.

A few other highlights were watching the cows herd themself down the road for their daily loop around the neighborhood. Finding out Jackson is a natural at posing for the locals. The indoor play area where the kids got to climb and play and beat the heat. Garrett lost his first tooth! And we hiked a park called Smrtri Van where the peacocks owned the land and catching a glimpse of a Neil Guy was an honor.

Our week ends with hope that we will find out soon if we can move in to the house we have found and start settling into a routine and out of hotel life.

People, places and things.

“I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

Week 2 in review ya’ll. WEEK TWO! We are alive and it is week two. Praise the Lord for every day, am I right? You never know. You have met our children right? Yea, with these three strong-willed knuckleheads… you never know.

I would like to call this week, Amrapali. Because that is where we spent most of our time. We also truly believed we would end up finding a home, right on the outside of Amrapali Park, where we frequented around 530pm each day. This is where we met our first local friends, this is where brought our badminton racquets and cricket bats and soccer balls, in hopes of keeping the kids entertained and making some new friends.

The Road in front of this park holds a host of shops where we purchased our sports equipment, purchased some toys for the kids, since we only brought a little, found a Burger King!! And also the infamous National Handloom, where Americans go to get lost and confused! Well, for certain if you arrive after 5pm. But I will share more about that place later.

Some highlights from this week were:

FabIndia, an incredible shop across from our hotel, where I got the kids their first Indian dress.

Brown Sugar, a restaurant walking distance from the hotel that served amazing indian and continental food that included quite the nutella waffle menu.

Jacobs Road, where a friend took me to some shops and a quaint dessert place where i discovered that Jaipur has hidden gems all over the city. One can never guess what is inside the buildings when driving. My friend wanted to help me acquire some Indian dress, so I was so excited when I found a Kurta that made me feel like a princess.

However, this kurta began an interesting dialogue at Amrapali Park. As our kids were playing, I was able to get to know a couple of other mothers in the park. One mom asked me, “Do you like wearing Indian dress?” My reply was an emphatic, “Yes!” “I love to wear Indian Kurtas because they are so beautiful, and they are so light and airy in this heat!” Which then she asked, “How do you do with all this attention?” (referring to the fact that as a foreigner with fair skin, everyone is watching.) I replied, “The Kurta makes me feel more comfortable, like I can blend in.”

A wonderful highlight from this week was seeing the movie Dumbo. We had family movie night at a movie theater where there is an actual slide inside for the kids to play on during previews as well as during the intermission. Indian movies have intermissions because they are known to be very long.

We saw a Ladhha, aka a camel pulling a trailer down the road and we visited the guy who sells water down the street wayyyyy too much. 4 2L bottles a day. We also frequented Easy Day, the local market to restock on crackers, Biscuits and noodles. Parle, Digestive, Marie Gold, Nice, Maggi became well known food items in our hotel and FYI, they are the opposite of gluten free, but great to dip in your chai tea.

Adam got to go to an IPL game! Future cricket strength coach??

And, the kids got cricket bats and had an incredible time playing at the park with the locals.

The house hunt began, and the we thought we found THE one.

Inside was enough space for 3 bedrooms and a school room, and a rooftop to enjoy as well! The location was perfect, near parks for the kids to play and in the town we had been getting to know so well during our stay in Hotel Gitanjili.

So we put in our interest, and then we wait. Will this house be where we set up home?

We are actually here.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

It took me a minute to believe we made it to India. Actually, several, frozen minutes in time. After years of preparation, months of recalibration and many, many, many moments of “I’ll believe it when I see it…”, we are here.

We even made it with all except one bag! Which came later to our surprise.

I have been so eager to share our memories from each week. In fact, as I write this, we are 6 weeks in so here it goes.

Week 1 in Review:

Plane rides for kids were epic-unlimited tv and snacks!

Fresh Lime Soda- a drink I had when we visited here in October 2017 and could not wait to have again. I think this was the moment I felt, yesss we made it.

Playground hopping and outdoor exercise parks: USA, INDIA, it does not matter what country….. our kids are still outdoor kids.

Elephant Ride to Amer Fort- not as glorious as it looks. About one minute after you sit in the reality you are riding an elephant, the “hawkers” start offering this and that souvenir. And when you have a 5 year old who they are enticing…..you end up with…..Garrett the Maharaja. This was one of many hats he tried on.

City Palace was the treasure at the top. A place to visit again for sure to learn more about the history.

Tuk Tuk Rides- our main mode of transportation. UberAuto it is called. Yes, you can uber a tuk tuk…..

Hotel Gtanjali- our first home here in Jaipur. We imagined it would be only a couple weeks, but 5 weeks later…..

And of Course…. My first Kurta

Purchasing my first Kurta was quite the experience. I felt like the queen of England. So many employees stepping forward to offer their assistance. I thought the female employee might try to dress me inside the dressing room! I understand now that service by the hands of many is a cultural norm here.

I also understand now that Indians may have more narrow upper bodies. They size me up, but every time I try on the Kurta they give me, I get stuck in it in the dressing room. I have not ripped one yet though, so phewf.



Adam is getting a good deal here though! In the states it was always messy bun, leggings, big tee shirt and no makeup (which I am still a fan of). Here I am adorned with beautiful clothing, nails painted and makeup for the day! I guess you could say I am “keeping up with the (Indian) Joneses.”

Kurtas have helped my transition greatly. For several reasons.

  • They are light and airy in this Indian heat
  • I feel more comfortable in public and draw less attention than I would in western clothes
  • Upon arrival I was given several opportunities to get Indian attire which equates to, “honey, take some time to yourself and go shopping!” Nothing like retail therapy when you are feeling all the feels of moving to another country.
  • Each Kurta also has a story. Hence the title of my blog. Each Kurta can tell a lot about where I was at that point of time, physically, emotionally and the like and also how much has changed or how much I have grown.

I am excited to share my journey with you and the journey of our children. The kids have been doing amazing, praise the Lord. It might be because their first days in country have been epic. Ice cream, playgrounds, new toys, Nutella on everything and lots of attention from the locals (which at first was exciting).

I am grateful we made it and I am grateful we have been able to make our arrival an adventure of exploration with our children. Next week we will continue to get to know the area and surrounding areas to identify where we want to begin our house hunting.

The Journey Deepens

 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

How it began.

April 12, 2019

 

I am so excited to share with you about our little Braucher bunch and our time here in India. Our journey here has a backstory of almost a decade. To be here is an honor and a privilege. To be here is a testimony of God and His great majesty.

My hope is to share highlights of our weeks but also struggles and joys weaved into stories told by my Kurtas. Each post will be sprinkled with thoughts about the Lord, cultural revelations and victories using Young Living essential oils. My thoughts are in no way the be all, said all for ways of life in India. They are simply my thoughts and speculations. I hope that the joys and benefits I have received from writing my thoughts will be a blessing to you also.

Thank you for joining me!

Heather

SINCE THEN…

May 14, 2021

I felt it necessary to update this introductory post. It has been 2 years since I started this blog and after you read the posts, you will understand the need for this update!

The title of this blog started as “Kurta Daily: Life in India and all the feels.”

Upon returning to the USA with the realization that we were not going back, the subtitle became “Life AFTER India and all the feels.”

Now the title is “Yesterday’s Kurta.”

I considered changing it to something regarding motherhood, but I couldn’t. When I started this blog, I was transitioning to a new life overseas. Writing about our experiences was like therapy. The Kurtas that I inherited while living there were more than just a garment to help me “blend in.” Every day overseas felt like one hundred days in one. When all of your senses are stimulated at the same time with experiences so new, so different, so challenging and so exciting- each day establishes itself as a memory imprinted at the forefront of your brain forever. And each Kurta was a symbol of all that happened in that day.

After returning to the U.S, the intensity of life did not slow down. Maybe it was because of all that happened. Maybe my senses were turned on in such a way, that life would never be the same. But every day still feels like one hundred days in one. Every day is filled with so much incredible joy and heartache. And the Lord has made good on HIS promise. Not one day has HE forsaken me. This life continues to delight and dishearten, but HIS presence is constant, enduring and full of incredible love. So yesterday’s kurta, or leggings or teeshirt or business suit or pjs tells a story worth telling. I hope mine inspire in you ALL the feelings. I’d love to hear yours!

Love,

Heather

And Now…

August 17, 2022

A little over a year later, I have decided to change the title. So much life has happened since I began this blog and I recently spent some time in reflection, and re-read every post. I found each one, layered with laughter, heartbreak and hope. It has become ever so clear that the majority of my writing describes what life has been like as a mother of children with special needs. Narrating in the midst of this constantly moving, never simple life has become a practice in mindfulness. Every time I write, it is therapy for my soul. And every time I write, I imagine with great hope that there is a woman or a mama sitting on the other side of the screen feeling heard, seen and known through the ability to connect with my stories.

If that is you, I’d be honored to know!

Love,

Heather