One of the things we are learning about India has been taught to us by several gracious Indian families in Hyderabad who have extended their hearts and homes and welcomed us to their city. They are eager to hear about the US and Calvin College and we are happy to tell them about that. But what we find most fascinating is listening while they share their stories with us. Four families in particular welcomed us to Hyderabad.
Michael and Archana have been working for more than a year to set up internships for Calvin students through Business Seva and Partners Worldwide. Without Michael’s hard work and willingness to volunteer a lot of his time and energy this interim could not have happened. Archana also spent a Saturday with a group of students helping us bargain in the Laad Bazaar for bangles, taking us to her favorite sari shop, getting us a great discount on pearl necklaces, giving a lot of great restaurant suggestions and teaching us about Indian cooking. They were also our hosts for a wonderful meal at the Chiraan Fort Club for our last night in Hyderabad. Both Michael and Archana have lived in Hyderabad for most of their lives and have a wonderful thirteen year old daughter, Janice, who might think about coming to Calvin College some day.
Usha and Devikaran invited all of us to their home to eat a delicious meal cooked for us by Usha. One of their sons, Anand, is currently studying at Calvin College. They shared their story with us of the Christian ministry they are involved in that is helping resettle Christian refugee families from the Indian state of Orissa who have lost their homes due to religious persecution.
Sudesh and his family hosted a group of us to their home for an evening meal. Sudesh owns and operates an IT business in Hyderabard and has taken Ross and Matthew on as student interns. They also joined the meal. We enjoyed the delicious Indian food prepared for us including homemade roti bread made for us by Sudesh’s mother.
Samson and Christina and their college-aged daughter Gabriella also opened their home to Professor Van Drunen and I for an evening. Samson and Christina have two sons, Michael and Jasper, both of whom are 2009 graduates of Calvin College with majors in mechanical engineering. Both are now employed in the US by engineering companies. With parental pride, Christina showed us the pictures she has in an album of their graduation day and it’s clear she feels God gave her sons a tremendous blessing and opportunity through their education at Calvin College even though it means that they live on the other side of the world. Samson provided a place for another student intern at his counseling and training business.
We feel blessed to be the recipients of all of this wonderful hospitality from the people of Hyderabad!