Wow, so a lot has happened since my last post. On Wednesday I had my first class with the kids at the Pumpkin house. We drew a picture of a Christmas scene using triangles, circles, squares and rectangles. We even went as far as to draw boot shaped stockings. The kids were really cute and pretty smart. Especially the older kids did a great job and were so eager to please that they would hold up their sheets of paper every time they finished their particular shape. One boy in particular was the most bold and he would proudly hold up his picture with a big toothy grin. He was also the boy who let me in the first time I came to the orphanage. I don't know their names yet but they are all so cute. Once we finished our pictures we named each of the objects to learn their names in English and then we spell Christmas and December. I was pretty impressed and all this took only about 30 minutes so I got out all the beanie babies and I was just going to let them play with them as a reward for finishing so early but I could tell that the lady supervising me wanted a little more structure so we went around the circle and said what each animal was in English then all sat with our toys and I red the Hermit Crab finds a home. I think it was a little too complicated for them because they don't speak much English but I got them to say the names of all the animals in the pictures in English and they even handled anemone which lots of Americans cant pronounce so way to go kids! Unfortunately I was so wrapped up in the "lesson" that I forgot to take pictures of them. Oh! I had left my notebook and water bottle there so later when I came by the kids had not let the lady who supervises me get rid of the plastic water bottle and they were all going to hold it for me till today. I was like aww I love you kids. Alas after going to collect my things the internet was not chalo ah heyka (internet chalo ah hey ka? means is the internet working? in Marathi) So no posting afterwards. Then on Thursday me and a bunch of people took two cars the near by city of Pune. (pronounced Poona) All together 10 of us went, 2 "adults" and 8 "young people." During our shopping time I got stuck in the American mall which kinda worked out because I needed to get some more books to read. All I had left was Peace not Aparthied and the Leviathan which I tried to read and it was killing me. So I got glue sticks and color pencils for the kids so that I could expand our resources just a bit, books, and Indian cds which cost bout 100-200 rs (40rs = $1) Then we went and saw all this Baba stuff which cramped my shopping style a bit but it was all pretty cool. Then we went to eat at an Indian restraunt where I asked for my food to be bahoot tikka (very spicy in Hindi) I thought if I asked in Hindi they might actually believe me because most of the time they are like silly white girl you don't know. It also helped to have a friend named Meher Dill ( who is a great nephew to Meher Baba) who spoke Hindi to tell them " yeah she really does want it spicy." It is funny, all the people I am with start to mimic the level of english of the people they are talking to, like when talking to our driver Baloo it would be "Baloo you go to hotel now/" and things like that. Cracking me up. We stayed in a hotel that cost 1500 rs a night split between 2 people so it cost us each 625 rs a night with tax but it was definitely a dinky little place which made it very India. We were going to go clubbing but plans fell through which was a definite bummer. The next day I had breakfast very quickly by myself o I could get some shopping done and refresh my bargaining skills. I got a mask down from 850 rs to 450 rs (I had to walk out 3 times) and a shawl down from 290 rs to 150 rs.Then we went to this temple carve out of a cave where supposedly every "avatar" (Krishna, Jesus, Muhammad, Meher Baba etc) has been in one particular spot there. Then we also went to Grand Prasad which is where Baba would give prasad (like a little blessing) to people. Then the 3 hour trek back to Meherabad. Sorry my camera is at the Pilgram Retreat, pictures soon.
International Relations and human rights minor at Agnes Scott college who is traveled to Meherabad, India for 2 months to volunteer at pumpkin house orphanage. Now she is taking a break in Morelia Mexico with her dear friend Anrea-Paola to relax and brush up on her spanish (which is in a sorry state right now)... full info