Monthly Archives: December 2013

christmas muggus in ajjampudi…

Beautiful Christmas muggu in the tiny village of Ajjampudi, which is a small village to about 1 km walk from the orphanage where i am staying. I walked through it early on Christmas morning as i have done for the last few Christmases as i knew the muggu (Telugu word for the Hindu welcome drawings drawn in powder daily on the thresholds of homes, shops, entrances…) would be a bit different on this day.

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prasanna’s drawings…

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As I mentioned in my last post, Prasanna (above on the right) is a talented artist and she is keeping up her drawing even though she has left school. She showed me some of her work:

 P1250796 P1250797  P1250800This (right) is an portrait of Prasanna’s late father…

P1250801 re the drawing on the right, boys and girls here seem to love to draw these really halcyon type western kitsch illustrations of children harking back to earlier times from the 20th Century, even when they get older…

bishop azariah…

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I go to Bishop Azariah school in the nearby city of Vijayawada. They have day kids but also boarders. Some of the kids from the orphanage start off at this school and others go back for further education after school has ended as it also has attached colleges of further education.

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The best thing about coming to India year after year is the network of kids and young people you get to know. I was surprised to find quite a lot of my former students from Buddavaram here…

P1250827Prasanna, one of my most talented students from the past years (and a thoroughly lovely person), seen above on the right, is here so she shows me around. Prasanna has no parents and grew up in the orphanage along with her 3 other sisters all of whom i know. They are a lovely family and it’s very touching to see how much they care about each other…

P1250776girls wait to see the visiting doctor

me getting mobbed during break time!

P1250787 P1250789  this is the main hall where the girls sleep at night on mats, it’s cool, clean and airy

P1250809prasanna takes me to meet her old primary teacher

P1250811a classical dance lesson

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P1250831the games mistress

P1250835a tableau extolling the virtues of physical exercise

the advantages of hanging around doctors…

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The advantages of hanging around doctors here in India are many other than the obvious handy medical advice…. for example I go to Vijayawada with a visiting pediatrician to see her presentation at a high-school/ hostal and on the way we have to buy some medical supplies which takes me to this FANTASTIC place i would never have otherwise gone to, Vijaya Scientific Equipments:

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..houses seem to decay really fast here, don’t know if it’s the materials or the climate or that they are badly built…anyway this kind of Indian/Gothic beauty “Ram Mahal” was built in 1928, guess it was someone’s fancy town house at one point…now it’s a medical supply store…

P1250876P1250879A cabinet full of preserved specimens and they are for sale…am gutted i…want to buy them for my cabinet of curiosities…but no way to get these home in one piece…

P1250867P1250884that’s a baby shark in the middle by the way…

kites on the roof and to hell with heath and safety…

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…so i brave the bone crunching one hour bus journey to butterfly hill for a third time this week going back on Saturday to make kites with some of my kids from class. I learned how to make them this summer and the kids all know how to make them too. All you need are some newspaper, thin sticks, some thin string and some scotch tape, though the kids tell me if there is no scotch tape, they use cooked rice in a little water as a binding agent.

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It’s incredibly effective this method, the kites fly beautifully and the boys pay special attention to making long trailing tails…

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…don’t even get me started on the health and safety issues here…i tired to stop them from going on the roof but there was no way…considering i spend 2 months in vehicles with no doors and no seatbelts or getting lifts on motorbikes with no helmets…well it’s par for the course…


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