Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Short Holiday

I'm at Sam's House this week. Been here since last Wednesday, the day of Teej. The children also had Thursday and Friday off from school which made for an especially nice visit (for me) because there was little else to do but play all day around the house. We went to a movie on Friday afternoon. Made a music video on Saturday and took new annual photos of everyone. There was also ice cream and football and dancing and lots of general goofing around.

Dance class on Saturday afternoon with Shiva (the dance teacher, not our tutor).

Amrit and Sharmila prepping for morning dal bhaat.

Dipa, Sharmila and Parbati.

Ritika organizing the stuffed animal closet during Saturday's cleaning session.

Saturday is shower day. Greeted mostly cheerfully by the little ones. The older children now bathe on their own schedules.

Will you look at this face? Dipika. What a killer! Sweet as sweet can be.

Was walking downstairs in the house the other day thinking about how far Bishal had come in terms of behavior. When he first arrived at the house four years ago, he was, by all accounts, a terror. Poor language, tantrums, combative, etc. Today he is just the sweetest boy with an artist's heart. However, he does lapse on occasion. When I got to the bottom of the stairs Bishal was sitting on the wall, crying, not talking to anyone. He showed me a large bump on the side of his head. The didis informed me that he had rapped Suroj and was running from retaliation when he tripped and knocked his head on a step. The time out would last the rest of the afternoon. Prema doesn't suffer fools gladly.

You may have noticed that we've been referring to Kiran as Sharmila on this blog (and it will be soon changed on the official website). As you may or may not know, "Kiran" was the name given to her by the director of her first children's home, which later closed down due to lack of funding. A couple months ago, Kiran told the didis that she didn't like her name and never had liked it. It's commonly used as a boy's name, for one. At any rate, after consulting with Dinesh and our house psychologist, they agreed it would be okay for Kiran to become Sharmila, which she chose on her own. Here's the other part... you might think, "How can you just change your name one day?" Sharmila was a street child with few papers and even today is not formally recognized as a Nepali citizen (getting her citizenship will become an issue someday). In other words, Sharmila doesn't not formally exist in Nepal, so changing her name is really not a big deal because it will not foul up any sort of records. When she does finally get her citizenship, she will be, officially, Sharmila.

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while... isn't it remarkable how Rina has changed. Still cute as ever, but not the baby of the house at all.

The older boys: Dhiraj, Babit, Bishal and Amrit (getting older now; hard to coax a smile out of these guys).

The younger boys: (back) Suroj, Saran and Santosh, (front) Sandeep and Bibek.

The little ones: (back) Rina, Dipa and Chija, (front) Parbati, Dipika, Jamuna, and Ganga.

The fully "teen" older girls: Mina, Sarita, Sabita and Maya. They are inseparable and in many ways no different than teenage girls anywhere.

The middle girls: (back) Mamata, Manju and Pushpa, (front) Sharmila, Pratima, and Ritika.

The didis: Ramila, Asuna (front), Tara, Prema and Pramila. They are the proverbial five-headed monster... one house mother with five arms. It's amazing how smoothly they run a 27-child house. And each didi has her own personality and strength that they contribute to the whole. Remarkable women.

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