We're not supposed to give the kids gifts but...I promised Venamallar yesterday I would bring her some 'Boomer'. That's the kind of gum they have so, technically it wasn't Boomer, but she was pretty happy either way.
The kids take my camera and just run with it and sometimes you get the most fun candid photos. Abbi and I really clicked tonight~
RSO has a Star Store where the kids can 'purchase' toys with stars they earn by doing homework and behaving well at school. Tuesdays are Star Store Days.
One of the kids purchased a cricket set and soon we had a miniature game goin'. I would do a super dramatic wind up for my pitch and they would just laugh and laugh! The boy who pitched after me copied me a little and I was so honored. ha.
We had the most beautiful sunset tonight. Most colorful one we've seen from the roof so far.
View from the rooftop of the kids eating dinner in the courtyard. There's a big mess hall under construction for the kids, so soon they'll have a proper place to eat.
~You do the strangest things for fun here~
Earlier today I was with the medical group. This van is like an ambulance inside with benches on the side so you face inward, a sink, cupboards, and med supplies. We drove it two hours to a little colony that's almost totally ulcer free. That's a big deal because, like I explained before, the people lose feeling from the leprosy and develop big sores and ulcers from infections in which they feel no pain. RSO comes into the colonies and gives them self-help kits which, if they are faithful with, can heal their ulcers. Being an ulcer free colony means people are actually using the help RSO is giving them and attending to their own sores. Yeah! So we saw very few patients because of their own diligence. After opening two colonies two weeks ago and seeing 200 patients with ulcers, this is rewarding to see that the self-help kits we gave can really work.
I just liked his glasses that are held on by a string around his head. Resourceful, no?
Stopped at another colony RSO has helped by building an art school and administering micro loans. These were the hundreds of paintings the leprosy affected people have done. Lots of creativity in that little room.
This woman signaled to me she wanted her photo taken at the well.
I thought it was quite pretty, so I'm glad she asked.
My only patient today.
With so few patients, we had time to walk in and around the colony since it had been such a long drive, and we weren't anxious to get right back in the van and travel some more.
Today was just the easiest day so far. I woke up in the best mood and it carried through the whole day. Guess I've adjusted to everything here and know what is expected. The heat isn't as stifling, the work is enjoyable, and I recognize and can name so many of the kids. They played with my hair so much tonight because I didn't wrap it in a bun. Even my house mom, Raji, checked me for lice and then just kept playing with it, as she told me about her family. It eventually ended up in pigtails. She does all her girls' hair each morning. She's only 21 and in charge of like 18 kids, plus whoever else wanders into her hostel house. She is so on top of it all. Lauren and I could just tell from day one that we totally lucked out with our house mom because she's sharp.
The girls were much calmer in the house and we stayed an hour and a half! Longest we've ever been with them in the evenings. Play time was just so easy and fun, then evening time in the house was so easy, calm, happy and fun. They talked, laughed, asked me what my freckles were (totally didn't even think about the fact that they don't have them), put bugs down my shirt and each others, and climbed all over my lap for stories, made me draw "art! art!" saying "oh super Auntie. Super!", braided my hair, etc. We were laughing the whole time.
Durka was just singing to herself and K. Gracie. I guess pretending to read?!
We do this thing at dinner time where we tell our high of the day and our low. My highs were baseball with the boys, laughing with Abbi, evening with Nadia and K. Gracie, and actually having to think about what in the world my low was ganna be.
I guess my low was having to let the day end.
~Today was the best day~