13 May 2016
Hey! Hannah here on the blog today. This week I’ve been working at Shishu Bhavan, the home for the children, and I’m loving every minute of it! The Indian women we work with speak very little English so communication has been a bit of a struggle at times, but as the week has gone on I have become very confident in what to do. I work with a group of kids about 2.5 – 3.5 years old, and we begin each day with a school lesson. Today the teacher was late, so I started class on my own. The kids are learning a little English, so we practice the alphabet and sing English songs and nursery rhymes. I go around to each kid as we’re singing and clap their hands or move their arms along with the motions, and I love how much we’ve connected in such a short time. They all call me “auntie” and fight over who gets to hold my hand when we walk in for lunch- tomorrow is going to be a rough goodbye!
The main room is filled with cribs from end to end, which is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I love how many kids the sisters are helping, but it makes me sad that these kids are even in this position. Some of them are orphans; others their parents bring in because they can’t take care of them with hopes to one day be reunited; still others are rescued from gangs or the streets. The kids are only there short term, until about age 7 maximum, and then they are adopted, returned to their family, or sent to boarding school to continue their education.
One thing that has really hit me is how lucky I am to be born in the United States. These kids were born in India and because of that fact alone they will have less privilege and opportunity than I do, and I should never take that for granted. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll have to hug those cuties goodbye with no way of communicating that I won’t be back again, but as sad as I am I am so thankful for all I have learned in the short week of working with them.
Tomorrow is our last day in Kolkata, but I’m stoked to see what the rest of the country has to offer!
P.S. To all who have supported me on this trip- Mom, Dad, Luke, Seth, Gracie, grandparents, family, and friends- thank you so much for all you have done for me and for continuing to support me as I’m processing everything here! Love you all!