Sunday, February 6, 2011

#32 China Childhood Memories - India


After evacuating from China over the "hump" to India, we stayed in a large compound on a river bank. It was extremely hot. There was no airconditioning in those days, and the only cooling was the breeze from large ceiling fans.

It was in India that I had my first ice cream. I didn't mind the taste, but was not terribly impressed. In China, we did not get many sweets and I wasn't used to that sweetness. Some of the missionary kids didn't like the ice cream at all. They thought it was too cold. Realize, we only had lukewarm things in China. We had to boil our drinking water, then hang it from the porch rafters in the breeze to cool it down, and drink it lukewarm.

During those early days, I developed a cough that wouldn't go away. My mom and I were sleeping in a large upstairs room with many of the other missionaries. Because my cough was disturbing the others at night, my mom and I were moved into a small room by ourselves. This is such a good example of God making good to come out of a bad situation, as we had our privacy. I ended up with pneumonia and had to stay in bed for the long while it took me to recover.

While I was sick, someone gave me an Indian doll with a beautiful Indian Sari. The Sari was yellow with gold braid. To me, the Indian doll was commonplace. I was used to seeing Chinese gowns and Indian saris. I was more excited to get to America and have something American! One day, while I was up in my room alone, I used a sissors and cut up the beautiful sari to make an American dress for the doll! My mom took the incident very well, and helped me sew the dress for my "American doll". Looking back, my mom was so sweet to help me and not scold me for destroying what, to her, was a special doll. She understood my childhood dream to have something American.

Years later, as a Pediatric nurse in America, I told this story to one of our Indian moms. She was going to India to visit her parents. I asked her to please buy me an Indian sari. When she returned, besides the sari for me, she surprised me with the gift of a beautiful small Indian doll with a red sari. I treasure that today.

3 comments:

Charlotte said...

What a sweet story. We spent 3 weeks in India in 1999. It was really an experience of a lifetime. I'm glad you share your childhood memories. I had pneumonia when I was about 7 years old. My Mom and I were staying with my grandmother in Oklahoma while my Dad was in Canada working on the Alcan highway. The main thing I remember about being sick was the two new pair of flannel pajamas I got. One pink and one blue.
I look forward to more of your childhood memories.
Hugs & blessings,
Charlotte

Shelia said...

Hi Ruthie! OH, how nice to hear from you. What a wonderful story! What a life you've lived! Sounds like your mom was a very special lady and look at this sweet memory you have.
How precious your patient was to bring you back a doll! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Cherdecor said...

Your memory just amazes me! You had to have had such a sweet mother. She cared for you so much.
Your kind and caring heart shined through even as a little child as you comforted the other child's tears by giving her your doll. The apple doesn't fall from the tree! I enjoy reading your stories.