Hi, I am Asha. My best friend Nikita and I have just had a wonderful adventure and we would like to take you along with us.
Thankfully we escaped to an air-conditioned meal at Pizza Hut which was scrumptious. Then we travelled the 3 long hours by jeep to Behrampur. On the way Cat Auntie told us all about "Love the One" - the organisation we had come to volunteer with. Love the One helps and cares for children - especially those which special health needs.
Arts and Crafts is next. The children were given attractive drawings to colour in which they did with much enthusiasm.
And of course there are the games. The paddling pool is by far the children's favourite. With the average temperature of 40 degrees celsius the tiny tots jump in and splash around with glee. They love it so much that is is hard for the teachers to take them out. They enjoyed it so much (and so loudly) that I was tempted to jump in as well!
At the end of the 2 fun-filled hours of play and learning the happy children were taken back to their homes. When Nikita and I went along with them home we got to see the sad condition of their lives in the slums.
One day we heard that one of the cousins of a boy in the locality had a brain tumour and was in a very critical situation. The family requested us to go and pray for him. After a scenic 30 kms drive by jeep through the open countryside, we reached the small village where they were living.
The boy was lying the only cot in the room. His eyes were half-closed and he was breathing loudly and unsteadily. Nothing could be done for him. He was at the last stage. After talking with the sad parents we prayed with our hands outstretched and some of us even cried. It was a very distressing time and the journey back was very quiet and subdued. A few days later, though, we heard that he had passed away. It was sad to see a boy as young as 14 years old die.
The clinic was held in the first floor (an empty hall) of a local Muslim association.
... their mothers had a discussion meeting.
The next Tuesday we went to the other clinic. This was also in a Muslim locality, though much poorer.
The shack in which the clinic was held was really tiny. It was the hottest time that I have ever experienced in my life. We had brought two standing fans only to find that there was no electricity there. The weather forecast read: "41 degrees Celsius - feels like 48" but under the tin roof we felt like it was 60! I was literally melting.
Despite the heat both the Doctors Cat and Catherine (another volunteer doctor who was there for 3 months) poured themselves into the work. They patiently explained and cared for all the children and mothers who came.
Even though they did not fully know the language, they were able to communicate in a very nice way - by lovingly touching the kids and respecting their mothers.
Halfway through our visit Mary Auntie arrived from Vellore along with her son Soma and another boy called Deepu.
That same evening after freshening up we were all invited to a nearby hotel for a fare-well dinner as Dr. Catherine was leaving.
We could see that Auntie Mary loves being with children! Here she is with Soma and two other staff children.
Soon it was time to return back to Thane. Daddy came early on the 19th of May to pick us up - but there was still time for a final mini-project - to paint Deepu and Soma's casts. Deepu wanted a Spiderman on his cast - which we did...
... and Soma wanted a Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. So we got a picture on a mobile and drew it on Soma's cast. This is a picture of it just before we put on the finishing touches.
But not before a final picture with Soma!
Soma doesn't like saying 'good-bye' - neither do we! We are so thankful to Auntie Cat and Auntie Mary (and our mothers!) for making this amazing time possible! Next year?