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Mother India

07 Jan 2009, by elance programmer in Uncategorized

 As I write this it’s Wednesday at 4:27pm. We had a jam packed day yesterday and I ha vent had a chance to go over it yet and then there is today, so this may be long one. 

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me. I attended an IGP (income generation project) meeting with Sarah, the founder of TEN and Becky , the kick ass "guide" we have here from the states. We visited one of their suppliers named Rumesh and he was one of the most pleasant and welcoming people I have ever met. We had a meeting to determine future orders and I was able to give my feedback on styles, colors, and what’s hot.

It was good to actually work a little using my skills as a retailer and I sorta felt like a buyer (which is essentially what we were doing). Rumesh is a kind, thoughtful man that is going out of his way to help TEN from the bottom of his heart. We need more people like him in the world.

After that we went to the Apne Aap shelter. This was my first time here and I was the definition of pure bliss while I was there. I hadnt had that experience yet where the kids freak out and want to play because I had been at places that have recently trafficked kids and they of course had a different demeanor. The kids at Apne Aap are the children of women in the brothels and they live there with them. They come to Apne AAp during the day just to be safe and get a education. I was literally attacked by a bunch of young kinds and just had the best time playing with them and taking pics and videos. I have some of the best pics ever taken of me with them and I will always cherish that experience for as long as I live. It was hard for me as well and I was fighting back tears all day. To look at these big, bright smiling faces and know where they would be going that night and every night ripped my heart out and into a million little pieces. The sad thing is they will be in the next room while their mother "works". I cant even imagine what that must be like not only for the kids but the mothers. It’s just wrong on so many different levels.

After Aapne Aap we went to the touristy part of kolkata to attend a book release/signing for a new book about trafficking (the name escapes me so I apologize). The author and cover artist were there as well as the US consulate general (who I have no respect for by the way…she was your typical politician). It was a beautiful moment. We had dinner afterwards and then just went home. VERY good day.

Today we went back to the shelter I’ve been at all week to finish the painting and cleaning. I so love painting! It has such a zen quality to it. Cant say much more about it due to the situation there, but I’ll be more than happy to tell all of you one on one or at a meeting.

I know some of you have been anxious to see pics/videos but it doesnt look like we will be able to upload until we get home. There are also many restrictions on who you can photo and what you can do with the pic of the ones you can. We may be able to go to the American embassy on Friday morning but to be honest I have no desire to go there. Not feeling it, so we will post when we get home and will post everything. Right now we have well over 1000 pics between all the volunteers so there will be alot. Plus we have a week to go still. Trust me when I say they will be worth the wait!
Were getting ready for a trip to Varanasi this weekend (were going Diane!!!) and I cant wait. There is an NGO there we will be visiting and then we are going to tour the area. This is where Indians cremate the dead on the banks of the Ganges River so It’s very spiritual. Alot of temples and so on. I know it sounds sick but I’m anxious to see a cremation ceremony in person. Should be something I’ll never forget. We are also going to do some yoga on the bank of the Ganges…so cool.
I cant believe how fast this is all going by…the only thing I can say for sure is that this is only my first time visiting Mother India. There are many more to come.

I hope all is well back home. We love getting the posts so please post more. It gives us some comfort :).

Namaste,
DADA (uncle – what the children call me!). :) Love it!

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