Tuesday, July 28, 2009

what wonders...

back from nepal. it was such a relief to be back in calcutta. i have made this place my home and its odd the things that you miss when your away for just a few days. the sounds of the honking of cars that never actually stops. the smells of curries, chai, and trash that surround every one of your senses. the smiles of the the man selling bags who shakes your hand every time you step in and out of the gate of our hotel. the never ceasing asking, "would you like to stay and have some chai?" from the young men in the alley who have a store full of the most colorful clothes. i missed very single second of it...and i am not even gone yet...tomorrow morning i will wake up, rush a early breakfast of mixed juice (which is to die for) and porridge with bananas, grab a taxi and head to the airport to begin my flight home.
last night i lay in bed and reminisced every detail of the children's faces and personalities at shishu bhavan with one of the other volunteers who served with me at shishu bhavan. it was so good having that last friend at my hostel who would not get tired of the stories and feel the same aches of love for the people here. this place is beautiful. go to india. it will change your life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

saying goodbyes

today was my last day at shishu bhavan. so that means i got to take pictures of the kids. they are so wonderfully perfect. we stared off the morning watching the solar eclipse and walked to the mother house. i am so sad today.

Monday, July 20, 2009


itchy. itchy. itchy bed bugs.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

all is well. (from yesterday)

it is still quiet since the strike. i almost wish i there was always a strike. i feel like a lot happened today...so here were the highlights...in order....
-we saw a baboon on the roof of the hostel next to us. it was so close and so cool. it escaped the jungle and came to say hello early in the morning. almost peed myself,we have been wanting a monkey to drop out of every tree.
-we sang happy birthday to one of the sister's who turned 93 today! can you believe it?!! they also sang amazing grace to her and it was beautiful...she had a feather boa on over her sari. the cutest thing.
-when we arrived to shishu bhavan, all the kids were looking extra adorable in fancy dresses and play-clothes. they were celebrating some birthdays. so we had a birthday party and dance party with all the children. half of them were asleep with party hats...but it was just the sweetest thing to celebrate with kids who don't even understand and still recognize how special they are.
-we went to mcdonalds. i hate that pplace...but it was the best meal ever. nd we had a very COLD ice creamcone there! and then it made my tummy hurt but so worth it.
-we went to a very historical indian cemetary that was breathtaking and so peaceful.
-and again...we saw a monkey!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


thursdays are the day of prayer for the sisters at the mother house so they give all the volunteers a day off. since some of us are nerds and love harry potter, we decided to go see it at the cinema here. after a good traffic jam we arrived to the taj mahal of malls, it just comes out of the nowhere and we felt so under-dressed walking in...you have to walk through security to go in and it was 4 floors. the higher caste of people are the only ones who are allowed to go in so it was a bit mellow. however, they had toilets and a/c...so we were pretty giddy about that. before the movie they have everyone stand up in their assigned seating and do the national anthem. it was quite the experience...your locked in the the cinema..all but for the intermission when people come in and sell you popcorn. we thought it would be quite the memory to say we saw harry potter in india and only paid like 3 bucks in american dollars.
we asked people what was going on, and they said it was a protest...we heard stories of past protests from or friend that is here so we made sure to get out of the way and hurry home. when we walked into our hostel, the manager was watching the television and the news was on showing the street we were on and all these buses on fire. a total of 15 buses were set ablaze yesterday, we were told that today is the other side of the party's turn to protest and that meant that everything would be shut down, buses, taxi, metro, food, stores...however, this one restaraunt would stay open on our street so we could eat. when i woke up this morning, it was so quiet and calm, we are hoping it remains this way the rest of the day...and hopefully all will e peaceful and settled. since metros and buses were closed down, volunteers couldn't make it to their destinations to work at.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

and it rains...

there have been some changes. the rains are pouring down now...we have quite a walk home from the mother house and we basically looked as though we stepped in a shower with all of our clothes on. the puddles are starting to get deeper to step in and our clothes are becoming so heavy to walk in...i managed to rip my pants open and had to tie an apron around the back and my scarf around the front to hold up my pants in the rain. as crazy as the downpour is, we are all just giggling at the pleasure of getting wet and feeling cooled down.
we said goodbyes to some new friends at our hostel last night and goodbye to some volunteers at shushu bhavan. we have met some of the most beautifully amazing people and i want to be selfish and have the stay til it is time for us to leave. so many different people with different backgrounds and yet all wanting to serve.
there is no longer a hesitaion in not knowing what to do at shishu bhavan. and if there is the volunteers are really good at hiding it (haha). we are all becoming so familiar with each of the kids needs and history and are able to care for them at our best and not be told what to do as much. the children really are little angels. we learned the history of one of the children today. he has hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and they found him abandoned on the street and he was oly 1 month old. the doctors gave him only a month to live so everyone took extra amounts of time holding him and cradling before his time. during the christmas play, they had him play baby jesus...a month later he was still okay...then months and now at 2 years old he is feisty and learning to walk...they named him angelo because he was their little angel who they didn't think would make it. we found out that the longest these kids make it is til age 18...when the sister told us this i looked over at my friend elyse and we both just lost it, it breaks me knowing these kids will spend most of their lives suffering and yet it makes me so joyful to look around the room and see people just loving these kids to heaven.
pray for strength (physically and emotionally). we all seem to be coming down with some symptons of sickness.

Monday, July 13, 2009

shishu bhavan

the sun came out today and a couple of us were able to do laundry. at shishu bhavan (the house we volunteer at) the women use the whole roftoop to spread out cloth diapers and the children's clothing. it is funny how the most simple thing can look so beautiful. there is so much work to be done behind the scenes at these houses and i am in awe at the organization and schedules with the kids. the time and care in making sure the kids are getting loved on and cared for. it has been so hard to watch the kids screaming because they just don't want food and yet knowing that they need it to get better and grow. i have nver seen such tiny legs and arms, i have never seen more love in a room before then when a room is full of volunteers doing whatever they can to make these children feel comfortable and loved.

we have all felt a bit beat lately, the tiredness is kicking in, the sore muscles, injuries, just spent lately...but it has been so worth it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

being humbled...

do not wear flip-flops during monsoon season. all the dodging of puddles, people, and trash have led to some foot injuries...luckily i have a friend who is willing to do the dirty work that i couldn't do on my own foot. i never thought that such a thing could be so annoying to deal with here....
monsoon season does have its perks....it is quite possibly one of the most refreshing things when the heavens open and just spill drops of coolness on your sweaty face. i don't think i have ever appreciated rain more!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


we spent our first day volunteering at the mother house today. we all are spread out at different houses so it is wonderful to hear stories through out the community here. we spent this morning at mass with the sisters (beautiful !!)...its at 6am and from there they feed us a banana, chai, and a piece of bread and we are off to our houses. i am sorry i am not putting much pictures up, we are not allowed to take pictures at the mother house until it is our last day, and even then it would be hard to do since we are working. i am still working up the courage to pull my camera out on the street...mostly i take pics of the people i know or just where we are staying. we have had quite the day and all are fully clothed in our colorful indian attire and alladin pants (which are soo comfortable!). i woke up this morning and didn't want to leave to come back home...even though we still have so much time and a shower, toilet, and a bed without bed bugs would be nice.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


we are here. hotel maria has become our new home for the next couple of weeks. i think almost every day somebody points out that we feel like we are in the jungle book. i will write more tonight...the lord is so good.....