Voices: Diana

What was Christmas time like when you were a missionary in India?

Diana: “The girls in the hospital, they really made a wonderful time. When the Tibetan girls were with us after 1963, we had to take them away for any holidays. Most of the girls went home at Christmas and in the summer (meaning May and June).

There was a bungalow that belonged to WMS Presbyterian Church out in the country, and it wasn’t being used. We used it on those holiday times – it was great. It was fun – we slept on the porch, and there were 4 rooms. I was in India for 37 years – which counts the years I was home on furlough.

I was always in the same place. The first years there were difficult. I didn’t get homesick, but I had trouble getting along with one of the older missionaries. When we were at seminary, that was one of the things that they told us would be hard. Well, I didn’t really believe them because I never had trouble before. You learn a lot about yourself too, when you go to a place like that.

I learned that I was proud and that I liked to do things my way. I thought I would fit in easily, but I didn’t. When they asked me to be manager, I said I couldn’t, but she said “you have to be manager!” I had never taken any courses in management, I didn’t know anything about managing – it’s very different from here. Anyway, I did it. Even the way some of the teachers there expected to lead; they expected everyone to look up to them. I didn’t expect that, I expected to have some give and take. I remember one of the teachers was rude to the principal, and she was furious. She told me I had to write her a letter because the manager did things like that; write a disciplinary letter warning her, and it was to go into her file – in other words, she would never get rid of that. I didn’t – I mean, I wrote a letter, but it wasn’t that kind of a letter. I asked her to apologize and finally she did.”

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