Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting Oriented to Hebron and Ooty

The past few days have seen the arrival of a whole group of new staff and volunteers to serve at Hebron School.  The school has begun a three-day orientation program for all of us.  Deborah and I had learned some of the stuff here-and-there, but it is nice to have the complete overview into which we can slot all this new information.

We began with cross-cultural orientation and reviewed a lot of differences between our home cultures and the culture in India:
  • No holding hands or public demonstrations of affection between Deborah and me.  I guess she can hold my arm while crossing busy streets in downtown Ooty.
  • In India you often see men holding hands with men, and women with women.  This is normal, and only indicates that they are friends.
  • No crossing of your legs in polite public.  And do NOT point your feet at anyone!
  • In Indian culture you must not use your left hand when touching food or other people.  The right hand is the clean hand, the left hand is used for toilet tasks and must not be used to hand things to anyone, or to eat food.  Deborah and I are both lefties, so learning to eat with our right hand is the challenge before us.
  • Be careful where you buy ice-cream unless you want to enjoy an "amoeba delight!"
Some of new staff and volunteers have joined Hebron for this semester....

Excellent orientation to Indian customs from Indian staff...

A bumpy bus tour of Ooty, narrated by a capable staff member born in Ooty!

I am sorry for the quality of the video, below, but the ride was sooo bumpy!

The tour included a visit to the City Library, founded in the 1858

A highlight of the tour was to St. Steven's Church, founded by Lord Lushington constructed in 1820.


  1. Great pictures. The new staff all look sooo young!
    I didn't know Lord Lushington was the founder of St Stephens? It is a very beautiful church. In a few more years it will be 200 years old. Amazing.

  2. Thank you for the pictures! Once again, its been lovely to see pictures of the people I knew and loved when I worked there.

    I had no clue about the "don't point your feet at anyone!"

  3. Bill, I so well remember being told by Aunt Margaret Chamberlin when I went to church with them at The Centre, I was not to cross my legs, particulary during communion! Sitting on the floor in the services we attended in the village out legs were already crossed. Dorothy Hunt

  4. I remember going to St Stephens on the fist Sunday of each month! Do you remember we seniors could go to a church other than Union on the first Sunday, with our parents permission. I used to go to St Stephens but I think that was because Spud 9 Revd Illiffe) only preached for 12 minutes whereas the Union Church sermons were half an hour!!

  5. Hey Bradypus!

    Ironically I was telling someone at St. Stevens yesterday that we preferred that church as kids because the homily was so much shorter. :-)


  6. I enjoyed your blog very much. The video reminded me quite a bit of small, poor towns I have been in in South America. Praying for you in your adjustments and ministry.

  7. Hi Bill you can still call me charles or Chas as to why I am bradypus....well that is a long story!
    (leaves singing "A bradypus or sloth am I, I live a life of ease......)

  8. No holding of hands or public display of affection, wow, you must thought you were back at Bible college. Are you kidding me about the left hand? Does that mean there are no lefties in India?


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