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  • Writer's pictureAmber Vanderburg

Hello from the Other Side

Hello from India!

It’s been almost a month since I decided to move to this beautiful country of India. Boy, what an adventure it has been! I am getting accustomed to the new soundtrack of car horns, construction, people, and animals. Slowly my mouth is getting numb to spice and I have become quite the pro at eating rice and dal with my hands. The traffic here is tremendous as I am in the car at least two hours a day, though sometimes it can be closer to four or five. The massive tree canopies that make up about 75% of every drive make this much more enjoyable. My biggest accomplishment everyday above all else is crossing the street. Seriously, it’s the most terrifying thrill of your life. The cars, bikes, motorbikes, rickshaws, buses, tractors, semi trucks, wagons, food carts, and cows that flood the road don’t stop for anything. I also have to remind myself to look right THEN left as the cars drive opposite of America.

The fast pace energy and high tech industry in Bangalore reminds me of New York City, the consistent 75 degree climate and tropical scenery reminds me of Hawaii, and the hospitality and warmth of the people remind me of my dear Oklahoma. It really is the best of many worlds. I am working with a wide variety of people from all over the globe which makes for some interesting tales. Everyone speaks English but the dialect and diction are very different. A Frenchman, a northern Indian friend, and until recently a coach from Sweden lived in our little home. I live in a very nice place in the center of the city with my own room and bathroom and gorgeous window view. We have a cook, a maid, and a driver to which I am still getting accustomed. The maid looked very befuddled when I began to do my own laundry one day and the cook was confused and insisted that I not make my OWN omelette in the morning.

The kids here are great, very eager to learn and coachable. I recently returned from Sweden with our elite group, one team from our Boys 11 and another from our Boys 13 age groups.  Gothenburg, Sweden hosted a youth World Cup called the Gothia Cup. This tournament is for boys and girls ages 11-18. Over 1,700 teams participate from over 80 countries.  There were nine teams representing India and our academy performed the best with our Boys 11 team making it to the quarterfinals. This was the first international competition for our academy and was a big success. I will be working with future tournaments like this moving forward including a tournament in November in Singapore.

Currently, I am working with our grassroots academy in a couple new locations throughout Bangalore and will be building various programs and teams, we are looking to begin a girls soccer program in Bangalore which I am very excited about, and I will continue to travel with our other academy teams in both domestic and abroad tournaments. God has really opened up some great doors for this organization and myself allowing for opportunities to build relationships and friendships with so many different people here. I am very thankful for this past month and look forward to the exciting things to come.

Thank you all for your continued love and support, I will continue to keep you updated as the Lord leads me in this extraordinary journey.

Until next time, boomer!

Amber Vanderburg

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