Tag Archives: orphanage

a spot of dusting…

Posted similar photos in previous years, but will continue to do so, for obvious reasons… children of all ages must help to keep their homes clean and tidy here in the orphanage, the kids don’t mind or complain, they see it as normal (…well until they become teenagers and then the behave like most teenagers…), it’s a given that they should help and they see it as their duty. This is an early morning dusting ritual that goes on the home where i live for 2 months of the year…I always think they look like characters from Peter Pan silhouetted in the early morning light…

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crib wars…

So every house in the orphanage has a crib/nativity scene that they construct themselves and they take it all very seriously, in a previous post you can see the boys going into the forest for materials.

I am a little anxious as myself and one other guest are supposed to award a prize for the best one, but they are all so good we don’t want to choose…so everyone who took part gets a prize…phew…

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My 2 personal favourites however…this one by the small boys in the Lake House who made everything out of plasticine (including dinosaurs)

…and the 10th class boys who built a human scale grotto!

christmas day…

Each home has it’s ritual for Christmas day. Here the stockings are hung along with final decorations at the last minute on the 24th, on Christmas morning the girls get fresh flowers for their hair… In the morning there is also one gift each for the kids. It’s really very nice to be here at this time…no TV, NO advertising…NO pre and post Christmas sales…

mother teresa home for abandoned children…

I went to Vijayawada with some Italian paediatricians who are currently working here, they wanted to visit an orphanage they knew in Vijayawada run by the Mother Teresa of Calcutta order. All that i knew before hand was that this was truly the last stop for the children there and they take on all the children that the other orphanages don’t want or can’t cope with, so mainly children who are severely mentally and or physically handicapped.

For sure i felt nervous about going, the doctors had found things in a very poor state the previous year, but i wanted to go…anything to add to my understanding of this place. Things are much improved this year, we walk into a clean quiet courtyard, there is a big notice giving visiting hours and also stating very clearly that no photographs are allowed. Am relieved, i already had an inner monologue going on about whether i should or should not document this visit…but the decision was made for me and i was glad. The place was clean but basic. There were 9 nuns there (last year there were only 3) and around 40 children, the nuns told me a doctor visits every day and also a physiotherapist…but there was so much work for one or 2 doctors. There was one room with children (or maybe adolescents it was hard to tell) that were so handicapped that they sit in a near catatonic state all day…an existence rather than a life. But anyone who is able to attends school in a corner of the courtyard where a teacher visits daily. Have been learning deaf signing so i was able to talk a little with some of the deaf kids and have been trying to force some Telugu into my brain (not easy) so was able to have basic conversations with some of the others. I admit i was a little freaked out by all that i saw at first but that lasts about a minute and then you just snap out of it and muck in and it felt really nice to sit and play and spend some time with these kids. But i think it’s such a precarious existence for entities like these, they rely solely on donations to survive and in an ongoing global crisis…

Before we left the Mother Superior gave us a small card of mother Teresa containing a tiny piece of her robe. I suspect that Mother Teresa’s robe (the swatch is laminated into the bottom left of the photo) may be a bit like the Berlin wall…more pieces than the object itself, but it seems churlish to quibble…Am not religious, i don’t like it at all, but for sure i have tremendous respect for these women. They are dealing with the bottom rung of society here, taking on responsibilities that no one else wants to deal with. I feel grateful to them while i am there.  These kids are actually lucky…

welcome back to butterfly…

This year am teaching Monday-Wednesday in Daddy’s Home and Thurs-Friday in Butterfly Hill, a more remote orphanage but still part of the Care and Share Charity.

…had almost forgotten the bone crunchingly bumpy ride to Butterfly Hill on the school bus, which is even more packed than ever…

Inside is always entertaining…but the views outside are wonderful. Everyday is a movable visual feast…only photo’s are hard to take as the bus is always JUDDERING violently!!

It is where most of the boys go so it is full of my students from the past 2 years. I love coming here, but i would go a little crazy if i had to live here, it feels very, very far away…

Lessons begin…we are still on the floor and i am bringing in most of the material in from Daddy’s Home myself…Will post some of the boys work next…