The first day I arrived to Buchanan, I already had a letter awaiting me. It was from Sarah, Buchanan’s previous volunteer. The letter served as an introduction to Buchanan and the people and daily events I would encounter. Regarding life at the BI Boarding Hostel, she mentioned that each day revolves around two things: prayer and food. I had no idea at the time how true of a statement this was.
Every day, seven days a week, at both 6:30AM and 6:30PM, the girls meet for prayer, led by Gracy Kochamma. ‘Prayer’ isn’t really a sufficiently descriptive word, though. We begin with song—in the morning, only one, and in the evening, three or four—read a passage from Psalms, and a passage from the Old or New Testament, and then pray. The whole thing takes about thirty minutes.
Of course, it’s all in Malayalam. And while I don’t always love the sound of the 6:30AM prayer bell, there’s something nice about the fact that all I have to do is show up and beat the table to the rhythm of the song. It’s not a bad way to wake up, actually.
Let’s talk a little more about this Malayalam thing. Sruthy always helps me follow the words in the songbook, and while I now know most of the alphabet, I’m still not nearly fast enough to read at the pace of a song. But that’s totally fine. It’s actually kind of fun to challenge myself to see how quickly I can read the words. And the best part is that during the course of the past couple of months, I’ve learned the tune of most of the songs.
So no, I can’t sing along. Yet. But for now, gosh darn it, I can hum. And I think God likes that just fine.
Side note: the Indian version of Fritos that I just discovered and have been munching on while writing this post are amazing. I just had my last one. Of course, I said that ten bites ago, too.