Monthly Archives: October 2009



…again in vijayawada, this time in the care and share offices there. today it was full of sponsored kids in to get their photos taken, a lot of them live at home with parents and the sponsors money helps to pay for their education etc. Here i got many many photo requests…

montagesome people who asked to have their photo taken

Came back home in a car with 16 people in total, its meant to hold 8…good thing some of those kids were quite small…and by the way, this morning there was 99% humidity.

art classes…

Took some art classes today, two with 9 – 12 year olds and another with 12 – 15 year olds.montage_class

The methodology for teaching here normally involves the teacher drawing on the blackboard and the kids copying so i think i flummoxed them a bit when i asked them to draw themselves, a bit pedestrian i know for a first lesson, but i just wanted to gauge what each one can do and their level of interest. Next week will try to get them making things. Did a composition and practical photography class with the older kids, a lot of whom had never taken a photo before. They took to it with unbridled enthusiasm. Here are some of their photos, some of which are brilliant, cant wait to see what they do next.



…them photographing me photographing them, their picture is much better than mine…


…running to take photos, really they were unbelievably keen…

hottest day here so far by the way, 37 degrees with 80 percent humidity…


I like to get up early, especially when i am away from home. Generally if you go out at 6.30 am, no matter how busy the place, the streets are mostly empty and you see things quietly in your own time. Here is not like that. If i go outside the orphanage at 6.30 am, EVERYONE is already up, and its not just that people are up early to work in less heat, there is that of course, but the men who sit and hang out at all the crossroads of the villages ALL day, in the heat and in the cool, from dawn dill dusk are also present. They are just UP. So walks become different fragmented affairs, as you are stopped a lot. Any child you pass wants their photo taken, and also many adults, then they want to see the photo, and everyone laughs. Its very hard to take any natural pictures at this time as people pull themselves up, stand straight and smile for the camera. All the photos below come from direct requests to have a photo taken.


requested photos



the band…

Came across the local village band. They play weddings and functions. They insisted on playing a song. The noise was  spectacular, and for 7am very very loud. Need to carry video camera with me at all times.

And again, everyone calls you “mummy” i thought this was just a thing of the orphanage, but its outside too, and sometimes it comes from adults. It is SO strange and every time it happens it feels odd.

2 kinds of rush hour

to Vijayawada and back…

Been to the babies home today, here in the orphanage, where i saw a baby one week old found abandoned in a bin and brought here. Then there was another one left in a bag filled with food and clothes for the baby. In all there are about a 6 or 7  babies here right now, sometimes there are more, last year there were 20. But the good news is that they pretty much all get adopted by Indian families.

Went to Vijayawada, a proper Indian city. Never saw a single western face never mind a tourist. Did see a statue of Lenin though. P1000527_small

Went to an Indian restaurant, a real one mind, no cutlery and fiery hot pickles, its actually quite liberating trying to eat sauce with your fingers, only use your right hand mind, the left hand is for less sanitary matters…not sure what left handed folks do. So you find yourself thinking in cliches, but people ARE incredibly friendly here and very kind. They will invite you into their home even if they have almost nothing.



Catholicism and communism are very present in the area


A walk in to the village next door shows up just what a little oasis i am living in, in the orphanage, but again, people are always kind and proud of what they have.


Am seeing lots of things am not certain about here but rather than ranting (my usual methodology) am just going to report what i see and what people tell me. Who ever reads the blog can draw their own conclusions…

Today spoke to M the house mother where i am staying, she told me a little about her background, she is an ex-nun, now married. Her husband does not work (he has a bad back), and he lives in the neighbouring city. She sees him on her day off and he visits occasionally. This is a second marriage for him and she also helps to look after the family of the first marriage. Have heard this a lot here, the woman working and the man not, you also see women doing hard labour in the fields and on building sites (at least in the countryside).

Had a meeting with Johnny, an ex orphanage kid who now works in the office. He has been shooting short films and biogs on the children, but needs some help learning to edit, he wants to learn split screen so that he can show life before and after the kids come to the orphanage.

Tried Indian tea today, they like is very very sweet with milk


Went to school to meet the kids who stay on after school to work in the computer lab. All boys, no girls, apparently girls are not interested or have other familial responsibilities that stop them from staying back after school. They are all quite good on photoshop (they make posters for their Bollywood heroes) and they all do small image ready animations. No one uses Illustrator, so i am going to begin there, lesson start after school on Friday.

montage_skipkids really like to skip around here