bicycles at dawn…

Get up at 5.30am for a bicycle ride, by 8 it will be too hot to be pleasant.  Can’t capture the true nature of the sun, it is a giant ball of diffused, fuzzy orange, there is mist in the air and a heavy dew on the ground.

At that time in the village and surrounding countryside folks have been up for a while already, the request for portraits come thick and fast…even as i am speeding by on a bicycle…

We cycle to Tulip Gardens another orphanage 6 or 7 km away. It is a smaller affair, some 60 or so children all with HIV. The kids come here in a horrible state, often unused to any kind of affection due to the huge taboo that still surrounds their illness.

The place is run by a rather remarkable Dutch couple who have been in India since ’76. They show us around…i don’t take photos as yet again i find myself facing the dilemma of whether or not to photograph…it seems a little sensationalist to photograph these HIV kids so i don’t. The kids do well here and their illnesses are managed, a bus brings them every day to school where i teach at Daddy’s Home…

Map from HIV/AIDS charity Avert:

Map of India showing the worst affected states for HIV/AIDS

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