Sunday, June 17, 2012

It was SO Comedy!

Tonight is  Sunday night and I am sitting here on my bed thinking about how fast my time in India has already flown by.  Granted I still have 5 months left, but this past month seriously FLEW by so quickly.  Not only that, but in just over a month I have fallen in love with the people here.  The staff here at Rising Star Outreach ( are so fun and always willing to help, with a smile on their faces and the infamous head bobble.  I love the head bobble, and find myself doing it sometimes too.  I've heard the bobble means that someone has acknowledged your comment, but that it doesn't necessarily mean "yes" or "no".  This was confusing at first, but now if I see a head bobble when I ask a question, I just assume that they said yes and then I keep on talking.  And the kids...if you've read any of my blog posts before this then you know I am obsessed with them!  I am not exaggerating, they are amazing.  Every night we get to go into the hostels (where the kids sleep and the best part of my day) and read with and hang out with the kids.  The kids are divided into 8 "homes" in the hostels.  Each hostel home has a house mother, who watches over about 20 kids each.  This gives the kids a sense of family, which is really important since they are away from their families for most of the year.  Anyway, when I first went to the hostels at night, I would float around from hostel to hostel, seeing all of the kids.  This was fun for a while because I got to see a lot of them.  Now I am trying a different approach which I like much better.  I have been going into 1 - 2 hostels each night and have been spending time just getting to know the kids 1 on 1.  Every night I find myself smitten with another beautiful child, and since I've been sticking around the same hostels I have had the chance to meet and get to know them.

Tonight I went to Vannila Mary's hostel (she is one of the house mothers).  Hari, the little boy I sponsor is in this house, and is one of the funniest kids I know.  When something is funny, like a funny movie, he always says "it was so comedy", instead of "it was so funny".  We've adapted this way a talking and now instead of saying something is funny, I say "That was SO COMEDY!". 

Hari and his buddies like to play with WWE cards. They have a game with them using the wrestlers biceps circumference, and other stats.  Tonight he told me about one of the fighters biceps is 32", and then I asked him what his was and he said 5", and proceeded to tell me he had "small bicep" he was flexing. Gosh he is so cute. 

I am still learning the names of all the boys, but in this pic is Vishva, Madhavan, Harikrishnan, and David.  One night in the hostel David just snuggled up next to me and read me an entire book.  He's such a smart kid! He's a lot quieter than the other boys.  I love how each of these kids have distinctly different personalities.  The time I get to spend with them is so special to me.

A few nights ago over in Vannila Mary's hostel I met another sweet kid name VimalKanth (Vimal).  I was sitting on Vimal's bed watching some of the boys play a card game, when he came up and sat right next to me.  He told me the rules of Cricket, and I tried to explain American Baseball to him (he knew about most of it).  We talked about our families and he knew that I had lost my mom a few years back because I gave Hari a book in which I wrote in the cover a little letter to Hari with some pictures of me and my family.  He must have borrowed the book I gave Hari and read it.  He told me he lost his dad, and just the whole conversation with him was so genuine and heartfelt.  Vimal also told me that he likes to play the piano...and then a light went on in my head!  I had remembered an email I got from one of the last long term volunteers that was here, Sam, that left a few months ago. He mentioned that Vimalkanth was taking piano lessons from him, and he wanted me to try and find someone that could continue teaching him.  I tried to find a new long term volunteer to continue teaching him piano, but sadly none of us play piano!  That night talking to Vimal, I told him that I would do whatever I could to find him a teacher. Since we just got a new group of short term volunteers that are here for a few weeks, I decided to ask one of them to teach him piano while they are here for a few weeks.  I told Vimal I had found him a teacher and he was so happy! Ellie, a session coordinator that is here for a couple weeks is teaching him piano now till she leaves.  Not only is Vimal happy about this, but Ellie loves it!  I am kinda jealous... I wish I didn't stop my piano lessons in 8th grade because I want to teach him! haha.  I hope there is someone that plays piano in each of our volunteer sessions because Vimal is so driven and talented, I don't want to see that go away.  That kid wakes up every morning at 7:30am to practice!

This Saturday we went to Pondicherry (Puducherry) again, and this time I got a blessing from Lakshmi the Elephant!  It took a few tries to get a picture of it happening, so I got lots of blessings, and paid Lakshmi more rupees than I probably should have just to get this shot. Maybe that's why I am feeling particularly blessed today.

*Most of these great pics were courtesy of Callie!

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