Rule Number One (While in Asia): When women wear matching toe rings it means that they are married.
I was not aware of the meaning of this “fashion trend” when I bought my toe rings in India. When I put them on, I got a few strange looks from the people traveling with me (who know I am not married), and then someone finally explained to me the symbolism. I chose to continue wearing them in Mumbai to ward off the shameless Indian male paparazzi that kept insisting that I be in their photos.
“Welcome to Nepal!” This is what the red and yellow arch greeting me at the border read. After two solid days in moving vehicles, I have finally arrived back at the safe house! I must say, the journey across India by train will go down as one of my fondest memories to date. One of my favorite movies is Slumdog Millionaire, and the Indian train scenes in that film made me a bit nervous to get onboard with this mode of transportation; I half expected all of my belongings to be gone by the end of the trip. While the train ride, thankfully, did not live up to this expectation, it came through on all the others I had: the bathrooms were a hole in the floor (and on a moving train, need I say more), the bunk beds we slept on were stacked three high (being 5’ 8,’’ my feet stuck out the end) and I danced and sang the hours away with my Nepalese friends to their cultural songs (I taught them a few Justin Bieber songs too; they had never heard of him). I am now convinced that the only way to travel is by rail.
I just moved into the safe house tonight! It was the sweetest welcome; on my way in, I was greeted in the street by two of the girls I had previously met in January. I was so excited to see them again, and I am so blessed to spend the next month with all of these beautiful girls. Stepping into the safe house truly felt like coming home; it is such a place of joy and warmth.