This is my last piece of writing for now, as I reach back in England on the 18th August for wedding mania. This blog only has only skimmed the surface of my experience and work here in India. And I look forward to telling you much more in person.
The last week has been full of emotions, as I have said many goodbyes to incredible, inspiring, vulnerable, sensitive, happy and funny children. My little brothers and sisters. And adults too, who have had a big impact on my time here in India. And there are still many whom I haven't parted with yet! :(
My mission last week was to complete what seemed like millions of certificates. You know you spend too long in the Xerox print shop, when the man buys you morning samosa and then evening coffee. I would close my eyes and all I would see is certificates. Ahhh!!
My hours spent printing and laminating these certificates, will mean lifelong memories for these kiddies. And when they tell you that the certificates are so nice and so beautiful, the certificate headaches were worth it.
For the 7 girls at Arni, I organised and put together a little sewing and craft box for each of them. In return they brought me a sugar pink teddy bear and a teeny tiny little chocolate bar. The teddies in India don't seem to have fur and come in plastic zip bags. It is the best teddy that I have ever been given. See my teddy in the background?
These kids climb over walls to see me!!!
On the bus back from the penultimate trip to Arni, after another busy crown session, I was extremely exhausted. I thought I would close my eyes and fell into the deepest sleep, nearly falling off the seat, so it's a good job no one decided to sit next to me.
Cow or bus?
My last day at Arni, the boys took pleasure in playing some brass band music, so I scooped up the kids and we danced around the banyan tree, as much as one can to marching music. The teacher had just made them sit quietly, so I don't know what he was thinking when he turned round and they were all going wild to dance with me! I am going to miss these kids so much!
One little boy gave me a lovely little ring and the headmaster presented me with a new umbrella, as apparently whenever he sees me, I am holding an umbrella!
One morning when I reached back from yoga and was drinking my morning cup of tea. Murali, the house father, brought some scales next to where I was sitting. He demonstrated that I should weigh myself. I never weigh myself. I told him, No thanks, but he insisted... so we both now know how many kilos I weigh.
I have been having very busy and very long days, so when I reach back, the tea the maid has put in the flask for me has turned cool. So I head over to the microwave to heat it. Maid love follows me and frowns at me typing in 40seconds. She clears the screen and enters 75seconds. “Woah!“. She tells in in Tamil it's OK! Both distracted I head over to the microwave with 13seconds to spare, to find the tea has transformed into a bubble teacano! We both laugh!!
Rainy season is here, which is cool... just cool! It also results in walking back from the beauty parlour and sliding into a puddle, good job I didn't get a pedicure yet!
I love my local acquaintances here in Gandi Nagar. From my neighbours, to the banana man, to the badly crippled tailor, to the phone recharge family, to the lady with the exotic fruit, to the ironing men, to the ladies in the stationary shop, to the regular bus conductors, to the long haired and long bearded old man who shouts Good Morning so enthusiastically, I burst into the biggest smile even if I am tired or stressed! These people complete my day, and I too complete theirs I'm sure.
Thankyou so much for reading! Vanakkam!