Privacy is an interesting concept.  Currently, Americans have court cases deciding how much the government can intrude on our private life, conversations, emails, etc., to protect the nation’s security in this terrorist’s age.

Here it is totally the opposite.  It is acceptable to peer over someone’s shoulder and read personal emails.  Asking your age or income is common.  But discussing intimate topics is private and inappropriate.  I was able to have a candid conversation about Indian sex education and wedding night issues in arranged marriages with Moses’ MD daughter.  She is the exception.

To protect our privacy we lock our suitcases each day in our room.  I am not necessarily afraid of theft, just curious staff.  The cleaning staff always “rearranges” my personal items left sitting out.  They throw away any leftover, unused or saved food and water if I don’t secure it away.  Even my trashcan is a target of curious staff.  I shred all notes, especially if there are any addresses or phone numbers.  Everyone wants American contact information and to be Facebook friends.

Life here is lived outside with no privacy or personal space.  Women prep and cook food outside.  Children wash outside.  People brush their teeth, clean clothes and even socialize outside.  Men often toilet outside.  Many sleep outside.

Business is conducted from small, single garage-size booths sharing walls along busy roadsides.  Church is often an open air building as well.  Again, close quarters.

Inside is for schools, sleeping and eating away from street dust and the continual stream of people, noise and activity.  As the middle class grows, private housing is increasing and privacy is being established.

Americans are private.  Life is inside.  When visiting Pennsylvania, Pastor Moses asked, “Where are all the people?”  I looked outside my front window and realized how quiet the street was compared to India’s cities and communities of any size.  All I could say was, “They are inside.”

So each morning most everything gets packed up and locked.  So far, so good.  But I probably make the cleaning staff giggle when they see “Madam’s” undergarments drying in the closet. (by Nancy Schmoyer)  (January 30, 2018  Hyderabad, India)

Matthew 14:22-23  Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

Even Jesus needed privacy.  Do you have private times of your own?  Do you have private times with Jesus?  We all need them.

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