Sunday, August 7, 2011

Parents day

This is going to be a super short post because I'm just on a break! While all the volunteers flew to New Delhi I stayed back at the compound because I went last year. This weekend was parents weekend and all the kids were SO excited!! Parents day is once every 5 months, I think. Rising star goes to all the Leprosy colonies to pick the parents up and then they bring them to the compound. When the parents come they bring candies for them, jasmine for the girls to put in their hair, a new outfit and sometimes even money! You can imagine how excited some kids were to see their parents after not seeing them for 5 months. They would all wait by the gates of Rising Star waiting for the buses to pull up to see if their parents were on the bus or not. Some kids don't have parents though so you can also imagine how hard they were taking it. I came out of my room in the morning and came to the school and where the kids live and there was a little boy sitting in the dirt crying and looking at all the kids with their parents. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he had no family and that no one ever comes for him or loves him. OUCHIE. That completely broke my heart. I sat in the dirt with him and kept trying to stress how much I love him and I kept trying to get him to play with me but he was so upset he wouldn't move. A little back round on this kid, he is four years old his name is Avrin and he has a little 3 yr old sister. This little boy watched his dad light his mom on fire and murder her just recently. This would be DEVASTATING for anyone to see but can you imagine a four year old? Soon after his dad passed away. His little sister is not aware that either of her parents have died and on parent's day she changed into her best outfit, picked flowers and put them in her hair and waited by the Rising Star gates for her parents all day long. When I saw her she ran up to me and jumped on me and said Guess what Auntie!!!? I said what and she said my mommy and daddy are coming to see me today!! Ugh that was like a stab to the heart to hear that. I tried to get her to leave the gate and come play with me so she did. We were holding hands and walking through the trees and I was trying to round up all the other kids who don't have parents to take them to the play ground to go play. Multiple times through out the day she kept asking me Auntie why aren't my parents here? When are my parents coming Auntie? Of course I put on a strong face in front of her but when I went back to my room I just cried. WHY CAN'T I TAKE THEM ALL HOME WITH ME?!?!?

There won't be alot of pictures anymore because I am so dumb and plugged my camera charger into this wall without a converter and it fried it!! Then I tried to make my own converter cause it was a three pronged American one so I put a two prong Indian converter onto my American one and plugged it in and that's just not a good idea hahaha so no one ever try that even though I'm sure you won't cause your smarter than that!! A huge orange spark came out and the whole outlets started smoking and it smelled like bad, bad chemicals hahaha. When my roomies came back from Delhi they asked why the wall outlets weren't working....my bad!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Salama

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I believe God loves broken things.

Let me just start off by saying PROPS TO TEACHERS!! Oh my goodness this week at education I swear I'm getting payback for being a Satan child when I was in elementary school! It was impossible for me to get these kids to focus haha and I'm not exactly the disciplining kind so when they don't focus I just kind of get ADD with them...probably not the best idea! How can you make a cute little whining face read boring English stories about boring birds!?!? I couldn't bring myself to do it!! When we get to the older standards like fourth standard, which is 4th grade in America, they were doing long division and multiplication. I totally forgot how to do long division and I am not so great at multiplication anymore!! One boy would work really well if I did the problems on a seperate piece of paper and we would see who could do them faster and he won 99% of the time and one time I was like no your answer is wrong this is the right one, and I point to mine and he goes No!!! Auntie!! Your answer is wrong mine is right!! And sure enough his was right and mine was wrong. Hahah not embarrassing at all!!! These kids were owning me at math and they would make fun of me and say, Auntie you don't know your tables?!?! One kid named Dihlip that I was working with was so bored and didn't want to write anymore so he literally ate his pencil!!! Full on ate the led and everything! I was laughing soooo hard! I don't know if I already shared this in a previous post but one kid just did not want to read in English so he went to the Tamil section of the library and was climbing all over the shelves and standing on them and I had to pick him up and I'm not tall at all as you all know so he was more than half of me and i was holding his legs and he was holding onto the shelf with his hands for dear life. Hahahaha too funny!! I love kids!

The next day we went into the Leprosy colony and it was AMAZING!!!! As always!! Ahh these people are so incredible!! I love them! So before we started working I walked around the village and this lady had just had twin babies!! A boy and a girl. She was in their little straw hut and she put both the babies in a baby swing tied to the roof outside and the swing was a scarf and the babies were just hanging out in there swinging back and forth! It was pretty awesome but I would never let my new born babies out of my site. It's pretty funny in India no little kids are ever in diapers so basically they just pee and poo all over themselves and everything hahaha pretty nasty! But they are just so cute!! The dad came to the hut and the babies started crying and hes like you take with you, you take with you!! And his wife smacked him with a straw broom hahaha. I wish I could have taken them!! They were so sweet! So right when I walked over to where we were about to start working this little old lady was sitting by herself and she was probably like 4'8. She was blind, had no fingers, no feet and one tooth. I sat with her and kissed her hands and said Vanakum which is Hello! In Tamil. And she just lit up and started rambling in Tamil. I hate the language barrier. I wanted SO bad to understand what she was saying and to hear her life story. But we were able to get our names out and her name was Sagiyamari and she called me Ash. She was the cutest little thing and you could tell she was just sooooo happy that someone was just touching her and sitting with her keeping her company. Little simple things like that mean the world to these beautiful people. I then began to wash feet which I LOVE!!! Except for when I hurt them : / With Leprosy they are either completely numb and cant feel anything or the Leprosy goes to the bone and they are sensitive just to touch. I made sure to constantly watch their faces to see if they were in pain or doing okay. One little old lady just cried and cried the whole time and I just wanted to hold her hand sooo bad but thats impossible to wash someones feet and hold their hand at the same time! The bottom of her foot had no skin and it was completely bloody and so were her toes. I tried so hard to be gentle but the Leprosy was already in her bones so she was so sensitive and I don't think I have ever felt so bad!! Another man whos feet I washed had no skin over his ankle it was completely exposed just all bone and he was cringing just sticking his feet in the water and he was silent but the tears were streaming down his face. I hate Leprosy. And the stigma. Its not fair. Why do the worst things happen to the best people?

Yesterday I did construction. I think I felt more in the way if anything! The Indian construction men were so mean! They would push me and shove me out of the way cause they think girls can't do anything!! WRONG!!! Then when we were lowering huge cement rings and the construction man wasn't paying attention and hit me with a giant rope in the leg and in the face at least 3 times!! Hahaha I wanted to tell him whats up but I refrained. Gotta be lady like right?! As we were walking through the village leaving construction somebody died and I saw the body. So sad!!!! And scary!

Today I went to the old folks home in one of the Leprosy colonies. I LOVE the old folks home!!!! SO MUCH!!!! They are so adorable and bubbly and just all around happy! The old folks home was able to be built because all the people in the colony put their micro business loans together so that the older generation would have a place to go! So awesome! My job today was to wash hands and feet. It was bitter sweet. I LOVE to wash but then again I don't because that is usually the most painful thing for them. One man when I was setting up the washing station he came up and started blessing me and praising Allah and saying hes blessing all my family and friends as well. It was so sweet he kept going on and on about how thankful he was for us. Which is ironic because I am SO thankful for THEM!!! They are incredible people. One women who came up to my washing station was in so much pain. She kept touching her forehead over and over again and she looked like she was about to start crying so I touched her neck and forehead and she was literally ice cold. So we got the Dr. and the Dr. said because her ulcers under her feet were so large it was starting to change her body temperature and make her feel sick. Let me say that the weather was already 115 degrees and she was freezing. So sad! As we started to cut off her bandages she started balling uncontrollably. I then lifted up her feet to wash and she had no skin underneath her feet and just huge holes in her feet everywhere..and when i say hole I mean hole. So big you could stick your hand in a few of them. I started to cry while washing her feet a lot because I felt so horrible that I couldn't do anything for her or help her. By the end of the washing my mask was sopping wet from crying so hard. A man came for me to wash his feet and someone was clipping his bandages off and I was down the line washing someone elses feet but I smelt a really strong bad smell and I turn and look at the bandage station and his feet have hardly any skin on them they are completely bloody and all bone and he had no toes. I was so nervous to wash his feet and for a second I thought I wouldn't be able to because I was so scared I was going to hurt him. The entire time there were flies just completely matted to his ulcers just eating away at them so with one hand I would wash and with the other hand I swat away all the flies. So sad. As I got to the ulcers I saw literally a wad of hair in the ulcer that I had to dig out and a few dead flies in some of the bone. He was such a champ!!!! He was so sweet to. I was able to talk with him a little bit and he is just incredible! I am so thankful I got to meet him. Such an example. While I was washing someone elses feet I heard this lady yelling and yelling and just cracking up but I couldn't turn around yet cause I was washing but I started to crack up cause every time I hear someones laugh I start laughing. How can you not?! Such a happy sound. When I was done I turn around and its this tiny little old lady I met last year named Salama. She is so tiny and just ADORABLE!! She has one tooth shes probably like 4'6 or something I mean TINY and she wears her glasses upside down!! Hello coolest lady ever! These people, just I don't even know, its impossible to be in bad moods around them. By the end of the day we were dancing with them and doing the moceranuh...and I have no idea how to spell that, sorry! One man came up to us and was crying and the Dr. translated and said that he said none of his kids come to see him or talk to him and they don't want to because of his disease, but we come to see him and have fun with him and he was so touched it made me so touched!!!

Looking at these sweet people made me wonder some things...

1. How can you outcast these people from society?
2. How can their families disown them for a disease they have no control over?
3. How are the most beautiful people in the world completely invisible here?
4. Why are they not treated like humans?
5. How is it legal to beat people with leprosy in India if their shadow touches yours?
6. How can people be so cruel?

Here are some quotes I love. Some I've shared before.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
— Mother Teresa



Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
Mother Teresa


I am SO blessed to be here in India and meet these incredible people that have brightened my life. They are true angels. Thank you SO much to everyone who got me here!!!!!!! I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!!! I love you all!!! You're all amazing even if you didn't donate and your reading this and supporting me...I couldn't ask for anything more!!! I am the luckiest girl in the world to be able to be here and learn from these beautiful people. When I'm with them they make me the person I want to be. I know this is where I'm supposed to be, what I'm supposed to be doing and it's what God sent us to earth to do!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Washing














The weekend!






First of all I’m sorry I have only blogged twice! The internet here is so sporadic!! As I am typing this I still have no internet I am just waiting for it to come!! So this weekend has been awesome!! As I mentioned before my luggage got lost in the Mumbai airport and I have not had any luggage this past week. On Friday a driver took me to the airport which is 3 hours away, to report my missing luggage. My mom tried to do it but because I’m over 18 they wouldn’t let her. I hate being an adult!! Haha. I brought one of the nurses with me named Daphi because she speaks awesome Tamil and English!! She was so sweet to come so far with me. It was so fun to talk with her on the car ride. We talked a lot about marriage. Daphi is 25 and not married yet and for India that is old to not be married. But to me she is still so young!! She was so bummed out because she said that her parents are in no rush to look for a boy for her. I asked her if she wanted a love marriage or arranged and she said she wanted arranged. I am always so shocked when they all tell me they want arranged! So about my luggage we went back today after church to get it because they flew it in from Mumbai and my airline decided to be closed even though all the other airlines were opened today!! Hahahahah “TII”. Worst things have happened but I’m not going to lie, I cannot wait to have food, CLEAN clothes, face wash, a tooth brush, deoderant and shower stuff!!! Wooohooo one more day!!! ☺ Hopefully hahaha.
So here in India all the volunteers are assigned a “house”. At Rising Star all the kids live at the school and have a house mother who is either a widow or not married yet. In each house there is about 20-30 kids. I got assigned to an all girls house. The same house I had last year! I’ll call it Sarahswati’s house because she is the house mother! I was assigned her house last year as well ☺ As I was putting the girls to bed we started talking about marriage because here if you wear two toe rings on each second toe that means that you are married and all the volunteers and I got those toe rings last year just because they look pretty haha and all the Indian girls tease me and say MARRIAGE AUNTIE?!?!?! Well I was asking them which they want love marriages or arranged. Every single girl had the same answer. Arranged. I was so shocked!! I asked them why they wanted arranged instead of love. They told me if you have a love marriage with a guy that he will beat you and no one will help you. They were saying that your parents know better than you do and that we make bad choices for ourselves haha. But they said if you have arranged marriage and your husband beats you then you can go to your parent’s house but if you have a love marriage and your husband beats you then you can’t go to your mom’s house. One of the little girls Satija had two older sisters who had love marriages and they both get abused by their husbands and she said she doesn’t feel sorry for them at all and that no family will help them . It’s so sad!!! I understand that it is just how the other side of the world works and stuff but ugh my heart breaks for these girls!! I asked isn’t it scary to have to marry a guy you’ve never met and they say no! I guess it depends on the situation though and where they are on the cast system. I know they say the cast system is now “illegal” in India but everyone still lives by it. I’ve met two house mothers that have had to get married and were so upset about their marriages. As I said before Saraswati marrying her first cousin (I thought her uncle) who is 50ish years old and she is in her early thirties. She gets a worst match because she is a widow and people in India have no respect for widows. It really is a blessing for her to be working at Rising Star as a house mother because in India if you are a widow you have to have your head shaved so that everyone knows and you are basically cast out from society. It is traditional at the funeral when they burn the widows husbands bodies for the widows to jump on the fire and kill themselves so they don’t live without their husband. It’s a type of respect thing. In my opinion it’s a LUDACRIS thing. The other house mother I met was 18 and had never met the guy and was not allowed to meet him until her wedding. She had never even seen a picture of him and she was SO nervous! I feel so horrible for these girls ☹
So on Saturday we went to a place called Mamalapurum. Totally spelled that wrong I’m sure. In Mamamlapurum there is a bunch of little shacks that are shops and they have temple ruins and this GINORMOUS rock called the butterball! They tried to have the butterball removed a long time ago with a bunch of elephants but the rock would not budge. I went to take a picture with the butterball and almost rolled down the hill it was on in front of everyone. I’m graceful what can I say? There were so many beggers and so many kids selling things and when I say kids I mean starting at probably the age of three. When the adults and kids come selling things they are RELENTLESS!!!! No matter how many times you say no they still ask you a million times and will follow you everywhere you go and wait by shops for you. I felt so bad for one of the girl volunteers who was soooo sweet hahah like 20 people were following her and she’d just be like oh um, oh wow that is so pretty! She could not say no!! The people selling would make her hold the things they were selling so she would hold it to “look” at it and then they would say okay now you pay me 1,000 rupees hahaha. I usually say no thank you once and then just stop answering them after that. I feel so mean but usually if you ignore them they will stop. In the shops I hate bargaining also and telling them I won’t pay for stuff unless they go to the price I want because they always say you are a rich American, I have no money, no food, no home and you have all, you have money. I feel HORRIBLE when they say this!!!

Today we went to church three hours away in Chennai. I LOVE going to church in India!!! It was SO awesome and the power was out for more then half the time so it was pitch black hahah it was pretty sweet! The church is under ground. When the power went out you could hear all the nursery kids sprinting and screaming to their mommies and it was probably the cutest thing ever! Other than the primary kids singing in sacrament. Oh my goodness. I am the biggest sucker for little kids. Even though it was scorching hot in the building, pitch black and there were mosquitoes and bugs everywhere, you could still feel the spirit so strong! All the Indian people there are converts and they are unbelievable. Their faith and hope is seriously incredible. They live in shacks have no support from extended family for being Mormon, have small jobs like sweeping the streets, don’t always have food for themselves or their families or a place to live but still they keep stressing how blessed they are. When they talk about how blessed they are they say it with tears in their eyes and a real smile on their face. If you were in their situation or are in their situation would or do you consider yourself blessed? I am no genius when it comes to things about church, but while I’ve been here I’ve been thinking about something a lot. Maybe some of you reading this can relate. Sorry I am not to good at explaining myself but I’m going to try my best to explain how I feel so that you guys can understand! So I’ve been thinking about how sometimes in America when things are going very well for us at work or in sports or whatever it may be, we can begin to become vain and think that we are so wise and that because things are going so well is because of our own doing and that at the time when things are good for us we do not need god’s helping hands. But I have noticed when things are not going well or we are having hard times that God is more times then not, the first person we go to. But I feel like people who have literally nothing but the shirt on their back and some family, if that, have all the faith in the world and gratitude for God. Why in India and places like India can they have nothing, but then have so much faith and be so grateful for all the blessings they have that aren’t so apparent, but in America where we are blessed with every opportunity imaginable and incredible freedoms we have little faith sometimes and aren’t as humble or grateful but yet it is so apparent how blessed we are and how God uses his helping hands in our lives and just in America in general. Why is that? I think in America we are given the opportunities to be able to have all the material things in life we want so sometimes we lose sight of and forget so much of what makes life worth living. In America I think that most of our happiness is determined by interest rates and stocks and just money and numbers in general. But we should not be letting numbers determine our happiness. If we stop and remember what’s important in life and what we are on earth for I think we’ll all find a new happiness burning inside of us! Wow that sounded so corny…but it’s true! I don’t know if ANY of that made sense hahah but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot. WE CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Teaching the girls how to ride a broom horse!

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The goodnight song!

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This is home



Today I got to work with the leprosy patients!! WOOHOO!!!! We took them to the hospital today. The hospital was two hours away from where we stay and our bus driver for some odd reason was drive 20 mph!!!! This is unreal for him or any Indian because they are insane and we almost die practically 5,000 times every time we get in a car with them. I got assigned with a man who had no toes. It was so painful for him to walk and I felt so bad for him because we did so much moving around. We took them to the hospital because if we were not with them then they would not have been seen. This hospital was outside and had a million gazillion trillion people in it. In India there is only ONE Dr. for every 10,000 people. Just so everyone knows I only know about 4 or 5 words in Tamil and that is it. So when the Dr. Rising Star works with said okay here is the patients medical folder and 500 rupees go figure everything out, I was a little worried! The man I was with spoke ZERO English as well so at times the language barrier was a little difficult! We first went to optometry to get his cataracs (Sorry totally spelled that wrong) checked. The man I was with tried to hand the nurses his folder on his own but because he had leprosy she wouldn't even look at him or take his folder. So I handed the folder to her and he sat down in the waiting room and I stood next to him. Because he had leprosy they kicked us out of the waiting room so people wouldn't have to look at him and just basically be in his presence. We sat outside for about two hours waiting for his name to be called. I felt so protective over him the whole time I didn't want to leave him alone because I wanted to make sure people were treating him like the human being he is and that they weren't being mean to him. Every time I caught someone giving him a mean look I'd shoot a nasty look back...maybe a little immature of me haha but I can't help it! People are insane to think they are better then anyone. Because he didn't have any toes he needed to use this railing to walk with down this pathway and people were so rude (of course) and would randomly just lean on the railing or sit on it so that he couldn't use it. I would stand in front of them and stare at them till they would move but that little game did not work because Indians are PRO at staring. I got to help him walk back and forth though which is even better for me because it's a way of communicating with him, in my opinion, since we were unable to talk the whole time we were there. He had to have many tests run on him and we had to figure out where all these rooms were and on which levels and no one would help us when we asked because he has leprosy they would hold their hands up to our faces or swat us away. This made me SOOOO angry because he was probably so embarrassed and just sad and I would never ever want him to feel an ounce of either of those. I wish people could see that the worth of every single soul is great!!! At the hospital a boy probably 19 years old and his little sister came and sat by me. I said a few words to them in Tamil and then he automatically started spitting out tons of Tamil to me, which everyone does when I do that so I probably should stop doing that haha. Then he surprised me and started speaking to me in English and his English was awesome!!! He was very talkative and had his 9 year old sister with him who didn't speak any English and she would whisper things to her brother and he'd translate to me and ask me all the questions she had. She was ADORABLE!! Something I love about India is when you come out here you realize how unhappy some Americans are because we are so focused on THINGS and then you come to a place like India and these people have literally nothing and they couldn't be any happier. It amazes me. We have so much and yet we find a million reasons to complain about things, where as they have nothing here and they find so many reasons to be happy every single day. Being happy is definitely a choice no matter the circumstances. It's SO important to make the best of every situation that is put in front of us weather it be a pleasant situation or a bad one! Remember someone always has it worst than you and if God put you to it, he'll get you through it! My favorite part of the day was seeing the mans smile on his face I was with all day. I did basically nothing for him except caused more frustration since I speak practically no Tamil and yet he was so grateful just to have me there supporting him and showing him that I love and care about him. At least I think.. hahah maybe he was just trying to make me feel better about myself! Tonight I went to the girls house and laid with them on their floor mats and tried to help them fall asleep but that just turned into stomach aches from laughing so hard and major tickle fights. Some of them keep calling me mom hahaha. And they made me sing Jingle Bells with my HORRIBLE voice!!! I love those girls. Why can't I just adopt all of them?!

PS The girl in the photo with me her name is Jennifer. Her parents put her in a Dust Bin and told her they didn't want her because she has leprosy. It's cured now but she still doesn't have her parents so she calls me her mom and I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"TII"









TII means, this is India. Which basically means because this is India.... NOTHING goes according to plan. A group of volunteers I was with last year made it up and I think it's perfect!! It was an interesting journey back to India. First of all I had a ginormous backpacking backpack on if you know me you know I'm only 5 ft tall so I looked pretty ridiculous. Walking on to different planes and just around airports I got many laughs and stares. I was supposed to travel all the way from Orange County to Chennai with my friend Savannah. Well TII baby, because our second flight from Chicago to Germany was delayed and we had ten minutes to get off our flight in Germany, take a metro and sprint across the airport and go through security all in this amount of time. My short little legs just could not handle it! And the 500,000 lbs on my back. So we missed our flight to Chennai by like two minutes. Then we had to go down to the ticket counter and get new flights for some reason we couldn't fly together so we ended up going seperate. I flew from Frankfurt to Mumbai to Chennai and Savannah flew from Frankfurt to Dubai to Chennai. Let me start off saying that two ten hour flights with NO TV's, a dead ipod and dead laptop= misery for a girl with ADD. Thank heaven I sat by one kind of English speaker who probably wanted to kill me by the end of the ten hours but I was painfully bored! Anways so, in India for every couple airlines there is a seperate airport basically. So I had to take at 2 in the morning, a 30 minute bus ride from where I landed in Mumbai just to get to the ticket counter for my ticket to Chennai. I've done this bus ride before in Dehli and was pretty much terrified! Doing it again you think I'd be totally cool with it but heck no. I was the only American on this bus ride and the only female on the bus ride with about 40 men. People stare like CRAZY in India!! The whole bus ride they were staring at me and laughing and whistling at me trying to get me to look over at them and I thought my life was just about over haha. Then this guy sits next to me and he is full on rocking out to love songs by Chris Brown. Seriously?? I didn't even know Indians knew who that disgusting women beater was. He was staring at me all up in my business!!! Sometimes I just wanna ask what the freak are you looking at mister? So then I land in Mumbai and I am SO thirsty so I go up to this place to buy a water and I'm already waiting in a long line then it's my turn and this random dude comes out of no where and cuts me and buys his food and drink. FOR REAL?!?! Obviously his mama never taught him any manners.. So then a bunch of guys start cutting me but then I couldn't take it anymore and gave them nasty looks and shoved my way threw. Girl power. After a 6 hour lay over and a 2 hour flight, I finally was HOME!!! As I went to the baggage claim I noticed Hey my bags aren't coming in, then I remembered I forgot to give the ticket lady my baggage stickers to transfer my luggage from Germany to Chennai so as I am typing this my luggage is stranded in Germany. But that is okay with me because I am HERE with these beautiful, grateful faces!!! I never thought I'd say this but I really did miss the smells of India. Burning rubber, throw up, EXCESSIVE body odor and pee and poo. Who would have thought?!I love India.

When I got to the volunteer hostel/ school I darted to see my Indian babies!! They are soooo big I am soooo sad!!! Why can't they stay small forever?! They are crazy blunt and I absolutely love it. More of us should be like them! Some of the ten year old girls said to me, Auntie Ash what are those dots on your face? and I said they are freckles and they made a disgusted face hahaha, I said you don't like them? And they said no no those dots are very ugly on you, you are pretty very white. She pointed to my forehead and chin and said pretty, pretty then pointed to my cheeks and nose and said ugly!! Hahahahah gotta love them!! Today I got to teach Sagiyamary how to ride a bike. Oh my goodness thank heaven for training wheels in the states!! I think she almost fell like 200 times and I almost fell on top of her holding on to the front and the back seat! In India women don't wear wedding rings they wear two toe rings on each of your second toes. All the volunteers and I got them last summer and now when I came today all of them were freaking out saying "YOU GOT MARRIED AUNTIE ASH?!?!?" Hahahah they are so funny. One of the house mothers, Saraswati, is a widow. She is getting married in September and has to leave RSO. Because she is a widow it means she gets a not so great husband. Her parents have arranged her (at 35 years old) to marry her 55 year old uncle. I feel so horrible for her and she is so sad about this. Please pray for her!! Sorry there isn't much to say but today I'm going into the Leprosy colonies to wash hands and feet so I'll have lots of pictures and tons to say later today!! If my posts are really delayed I'm sorry!! Last session the power went out for 5 days straight!