First I want to apologize to my mom and dad. Ha they really really wanted to talk to us on skype last night but the internet connection was so bad and we couldn't hear them! I was also pretty much falling over because I was so so so dead tired from a long day and my jet lag. I felt bad because they wanted to hear about everything! Hopefully they read this soon so they can know that their daughters are doing great! Love you mom and dad!!!!
India is about the most foreign place you could go in my eyes. I saw plenty of crazy things in China, but I think that India has already beaten the craziness of China. Yesterday morning we had an orientation where we met with the coordinators and found out what it is that we will be doing for the next few weeks. The whole time I was listening to them I was just like, holy freakin cow, this is the coolest thing I have ever heard in my life, no joke. Then we were put into families with the kids who live here at the school. My family is so cute! There are about 15 little girls with a bunch of names that sound like jibberish to me. I hope I can start learning their names, they are so hard to say! So we had lunch with the little girls. They were all laughing at me because I was eating with my left hand and that is extremely offensive in India, I got away with it in China, but I won’t be able to here! After lunch we got on a bus and they took us to one of the more advanced leprosy colonies. It is more advanced here because they have been using micro loans for about 10 years now so many of them have started businesses and it is almost like their own community. It was incredible humbling to see the circumstances that they live in. It is so hot here and humid and pretty much miserable if you don’t have a good place to live. They all used to have leprosy so their fingers are sometimes missing and their feet are also hurt. But they have been helped by the clinic nearby to help stop the progression of the leprosy so they are doing ok now. There is an art therapy school at this colony where the leprosy-affected people spend all morning every day painting beautiful pictures. We spent a lot of time there talking and visiting with them. Some of them spoke a little bit of English. They sell these paintings all over the world it is really incredible.
After the colonies we took the bus back to the Rising Star Outreach campus and prepared for dinner. We spend a lot of time on the roof of our housing, which is really neat! It is spacious and beautiful few of the jungle the surrounds us. In India they eat a lot of their meals on banana leaves because it is the most hygienic thing to eat on. So we ate dinner on our banana leaves. The dinner was really good! Indian food is pretty spicy, but I am doing ok with it so far. After dinner we went to our families and sang songs with them (primary songs) then we told them some stories. We then out the little ones to bed and took the older kids back to the school so we could help them with their homework. By the time we got back it was about 9:30 and I was exhausted!! The kids were making fun of my and a few other volunteers when we were helping them with their homework because we were falling asleep, literally. So I slept very well last night!
This morning a group of us woke up at 5:30 to go for a jog. We probably jogged 2 miles around the village nearby here. Then when we came back some of us did yogo on the roof. I will just say that I have never sweat some much in my entire life. I am usually not sweaty but I was dripping the entire time. It is so humid here! We are constantly drinking water because you just sweat so much.
So today we will go with our group to our separate activities for the morning, then we will meet with the kids this afternoon to tutor them and play games. India is great! I know that this is going to be an incredible wonderful and rewarding experience.
Ok I have to go, but more updates to come so keep checking my blog! Tara also has a blog too and she will be updating it often as well. Here address is www.taraelizabethporter.blogspot.com