This time change is throwing me for a loop. I went to sleep at 11pm and was wide awake at 2am. I stared at the wall and then finally decided to read. I was able to doze back to sleep at 6am but at 7 Faith decided she was done sleeping so we got up. We showered and packed and had a fun time skyping the family.
Then we enjoyed another authentic Indian breakfast at the Marriott compliments of our host, Piklu, and headed out at 10am for Rising Star.
We were met by 3 long term volunteers from the states and it felt nice to converse in fluid English again. The drive was another 2 heart wrenching hours of scenery.
Stopping for gas was more or less like getting gas in the states, minus the dirt roads.
And stopping at the supermarket for goodies was pretty fun, all except for the part when I got in trouble for taking pictures. Why are people here so scared of my camera?!
And finally, the moment we had been waiting for had arrived. The gates to Rising Star Outreach were opened and we were welcomed in.
We were shown to our room and given a tour but really only had one thing on our minds - meeting the children!
|Our toilet and shower. Oh yes it's true.|
|Our dressing room with required attire|
The children were in class at the moment so we were able to take a peek inside one of their hostels. It's amazing that 20 or so kids live in here, along with everything they own. They roll out little sleeping mats at night, and during the day things are kept tidy and neat. Think of all the housework we could save ourselves by paring down like this.
They have a little store where they can shop with the stars they've earned. I love the rules posted.
Let me introduce you to some of God's most precious children:
|Almost the entire kindergarten class had red mustaches drawn on them! We never could get the straight story about who the artist was, the kids just giggled and pointed to their upper lips.|
The kids loved a few things I had...my water bottle, my camera and my sunglasses. They loved to grab the camera and take pictures all by themselves and then admire their work! (samples below)
It was absolutely amazing to watch their imaginations at work with so very little in the way of "things" to keep them entertained.
The kids love playing "kitchen", grinding flour and serving delicious meals.
Monkey bars become basketball goals
A dried palm leaf becomes a boat
Stacked rocks become the target in a game
Jumping off a wall with the new volunteer watching becomes an Olympic sport
|(I love how he is plugging his nose like he's diving into a pool!)|
"Auntie" Tara's back becomes a trampoline and a donkey
They work hard
They play hard
And they are loved.
The most beautiful thing I saw today:
While we were settling in our room, Faith heard the laughter of the kids for the first time and ran to the window to watch them play. Since they were still on school time we weren't allowed to be with them, but just seeing the kids filled her with a joy you could almost touch.