Farewell Party

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February 23rd 2012
Published: February 23rd 2012
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Applying HennaApplying HennaApplying Henna

The beginning of my henna project
Oh, Wow! What a day! First, our "interview" was successful and we were given the documentation that we will need this evening to leave India.

Then, one of the women was enlisted to apply mendhi (henna) to my hands. I decided to go all out and so even my finger tips are covered. I couldn't touch anything for nearly two hours and then could allow the henna to fall off as it dried, but still could not put water to my hands until this morning.

Then, we had our final party. Bill gave a magnificent speech! He named each woman in our project and said something specific about her particpation. Ilaben translated. I could see that each person was waiting with baited breath to hear what he would say, and he did justice to each and every one.

It's been amazing at how comfortable the woman have been with Bill. Apparently a great source of conversation has been how we relate to each other and how we work together ...they felt that we showed respect to each other in word and deed...which, was, you can imagine, something that we were happy to hear. Also, they said that they
Henna DryingHenna DryingHenna Drying

The brown is the henna and I couldn't touch anything for more than 2 hours.
had not known "til now" that foreigners could work so hard! Who knew?

After Bill's speech, our gifts were distributed and then they gave us some gifts and then the dancing began. First, a traditional "garba," a woman's circle dance that we have seen go on and on throughout the night for some holidays.

Then, they put on some Bollywood music, and several women danced individually as well.

Saraben had hired a cook who specializes in chicken biryani. We have been surprised to learn that Hindus do eat meat, mostly Gujaratis who do not eat meat, so our last dinner was a very special treat

Today, we have rested, which is really the first day that we haven't been scheduled to do something since we left the states. My cough has not gotten better, no matter the medicine, but today, Ilaben gave me a concoction of milk, ghee, tumeric, and salt and lo! and behold! I have coughed once!!!!


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