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December 18th 2017
Published: December 18th 2017
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Making rotlasMaking rotlasMaking rotlas

One of the staff members preparing rotlas, a special winter treat prepared on Sunday
Where to start... There is so much to say about life in Meu!
It is a little bit like magic. Life is extremely simple here, the schedule is mostly the same every day, and at first I really struggled with the pace. I felt like I had to be busy, doing things all the time and felt bad if I wasn't fully productive, useful. But I am adjusting now, to taking things as they come, to be OK with not always being active, to even take some time to myself when I need it, to not be very creative with activities with the children. I realized that even if I didn't do as much as other volunteers probably did, no one asked me to be someone else, no one criticized me, they take me as I am, they welcome me entirely, even if we can't communicate much, and even if I can't offer much, I realize that to them it is still something to even just have someone there, a little bit of attention maybe, someone to hold their hand when they go to the dining hall, someone to sit next to, someone to say "SISTER!" to...
And every day, we get used to each other more. And everyday I am amazed at how they seem so content, how they look after each other, how they are kind, polite, curious.
Communicating remains a big challenge, but it also produces tons of opportunities to laugh: what would you call a fart if you didn't know the word? "Stomach fire", of course!
This morning I spent half an hour with 2 of the youngest girls who found a piece of thread on my pants: they used it to draw numbers and letters. Everything is an opportunity.
The other morning one older boy who has some kind of ipad asked me to help him with typing. The first sentence he wrote was: "I love my life". I was speechless.
Yesterday I went to Ahmedabad with the superintendent who had to visit the government office. The officer we met with told me that 30% of children in Gujarat are neglected or in need of special protection. He told me about their new online adoption system: that seemed so unreal to me that you could browse a kind of catalogue of children, but it speeds up the adoption process which is so important for the child. Then we stopped at an orphanage for children between 0 and 3 years of age. It seemed so unfair that small children like this were abandoned or lost their parents so early. At least they seem to have good care in that home, but it's hard not to think that we don't all have the same start in life.
So this is it for tonight, I try to keep it short... As I said, there is so much more to say, but I'll keep some for another night. I need some sleep, and the days start early in Meu!

Additional photos below
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My new indian dress!My new indian dress!
My new indian dress!

The superintendent was not impressed with my only 2 sets of clothes so she offered me several dresses! Please note the nail polish... Yes I am transformed by the experience!
Lunch boxesLunch boxes
Lunch boxes

Every one lends a hand when it's time to prepare the 60 tiffin boxes for the kids

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