one picture featured in Business Outlook India. please read.I shall forever be fond of my time spent in Hosur, a 30-minute car drive from the rural fields of Shanti Bhavan. As I slide my sandals off to walk into the quaint little Internet cafe, the ceiling fans circulate the smell of dust and Philips PCs, and I think of all of you. Not a day goes by that I don't think of home, dream of home. Each morning my vivid dreams of home are shattered by the amazing reality of my thin mattress, the metal dish underneath my breakfast, and my unruly curls tucked into a plain pony-tail. Each time I visit Hosur, log onto this little machine and read your sweet words (e-mails, comments), I cry. I miss you all. The dirt that covers the tile beneath my feet is comforting, and the Indian men arguing in Tamil are in the background as I muse about what I should tell you. Again, no pictures, but I am promising for next week. Can I do that? I will try my best to keep that promise.
Should I tell you, for instance, about Bharat Kumar, my latest obsession. He is the sweetest little 4th grader and one of 200 reasons I wake up in the morning. He's sweet and funny, popular among the other boys. He is happy one minute kicking the soccer ball, and just as delighted the next moment twirling in the dirt field completely alone. He knows I love him, and he loves me back. I wouldn't think twice about bringing him home with me in 2 months if I could. He is so easy to love. They all are. If there are any doubts out there as to whether "for such is the kingdom of heaven" is true--I can tell you it is. I don't spend much time with kids in America, but I assure you these are true children. And when I come to the city I see so many other children. They are just as beautiful, and I see my kids, Shanti Bhavan kids, in them. And I see them in SB kids. The "problem" of education is so huge and overwhelming.
I am so grateful Melissa is here with me and painfully scorn the day she leaves me forever to go to medical school in Michigan. She is such a comfort and the kids love Miss Melissa. We have a new roommate, Justine. She's sweet and small, her parents are French and British, born in New Zealand, lived her whole life in Chennai (a city on the east coast of the state I'm in), and goes to an arts school in California. She is a true international. And the other volunteers are wonderful, too. I am getting to know what life is like in India with Indians, as well as what life is like outside of Utah, with other Americans.
The kids are so wonderful, and ask about you--my family, friends, old teachers, strangers, anything at home--all the time. They are amazed at my "torch" (flashlight) and want to know "how we should press it?" That gives you an idea of their innocence. Although they all started singing "What time is it?" from HSM 2 to me the other day.
before we left, my mom was reading us an essay by Jane Addams, one of my Progressive Era heroes. It talked about how parents bring up their children to want to help the world, but when they want to go abroad, they are too scared and want them to stay home. (that's like the cheerio version of it) but I just want to say thanks to my dad on Father's Day. I am so grateful that he supports my endeavors. He is such a great dad and I love him.
Until next week.