The Kite Festival

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January 15th 2018
Published: January 15th 2018
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Today was a day that the children were talking about for weeks: the kite festival. Celebrated throughout India, there is probably no better place to enjoy it than in a home with 60+ children!
Already yesterday, we could feel there was something special in the air. And this morning, the children put some nice clothes and we had a special breakfast of "chikkis", some kind of very sweet bars or balls made with seeds or nuts and a lot of sugar, it was a change from our usual spicy breakfast, closer to my usual peanut butter!
Then each child got a few kites to play with and for the first time, I got the camera out and most children didn't pay attention to it because they were too busy with their kites. That was fantastic as I could take some more natural shots. And there was lots to take (unfortunately I can't download them from my camera to put on the blog...). Imagine the sights, 60 kids, 60 kites, 60 smiles, and some very, very loud Indian music, people dancing and visitors coming and going. It was a busy day!
After one of the best lunches I ever had in India (and this means a lot), and with the help of my sari mentor Poonam, I put on a sari that she had given me at Christmas. It is amazing how comfortable it is to wear, especially a "simple" sari, compared to the amazing but fancier one that she was wearing, the same one that I wore on Christmas Day
The kids and staff were delighted to see "Sister" in a sari, and I was also very happy to be told that I looked "Indian". This is such a compliment because women here look so amazing in their sari!
I was then invited to visit a very big farm in a nearby village with my new friends Poonam and Satyendra. It was such a peaceful place, and even if the owners are doing well financially, they live very simply and the stress level seemed extremely low! I love it that they have these "beds" outside where people sit and chat. Life seems to just slow to a crawl. I was also surprised to see how tall these people were, the men were over 6 feet and even the women were quite tall. We had chai, some fruits that we picked from
With some of the staffWith some of the staffWith some of the staff

I am the tall one, ah ah!
the trees (called "boors") and they offered me to stay with them, but I had to decline...
We went back to the home, were there was more dancing and playing and eating to be had. It was a full day and loads of fun. I am exhausted but happy that I could share this special day with the kids and staff and also get a glimpse of what farm life is like in rural Gujarat.

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