I started off my first week back at the Home very exhausted. We got back to the Home just before 5:00 on Tuesday. I don’t know how Danny did it but he managed to get the driver to stop almost right in front of the Home (the route between Yavatmal and Pune takes you right past the Children’s Home). He said he noticed a restaurant just down the road. He woke me up and we got out, I had no idea where we were since it still dark. I thought we were in the middle of nowhere. But as the bus pulled away I figured it out. We were at the center of the Universe. Danny had called Mommy to tell her where we were and she sent two boys to meet us. As we were walking down the street in the dark we see Prakash and Ishwar running towards us. They help us with our bags and carry them to the guesthouse for us. The kids were still sleeping when got back so we went straight inside to say hi to Mommy and Daddy. They asked about our trip and we told them all about it. Well, almost everything. We then unpacked and Danny went into Mommy and Daddy’s room and slept. I was so jacked from being home, and by this time the kids were up, that I ran into the boys’ hall and yelled, “Papa’s home!” All the boys screamed and jumped on me. I then joked around with them for a while and then I was off to see my girls. I quickly found some of them doing their chores. They too were excited to see me. Lil’, lil’ Rupali Dongre said to me, “You go to Agra. Go home, no.” I told her yes. Then I went into the kitchen were most the other girls were. They all looked at me like I was a ghost. Most of them said they missed me a lot while I was gone and I told them never again shall I leave them. I told them the new words I learned on my trip and they laughed, it was great to be back home. In the afternoon I went to the city with Daddy to e-mail my mom. She had sent me three e-mails with I was gone. The first one saying, “Please e-mail me when you get back to the Home.” And the other two, “Are you back yet?” Once we got back to the home I had lunch and then was walking outside when I saw to lizards on the wall above the door going at it like two lizards on a wall above a door. I showed Mommy and she laughed and said, “Leave them alone. They’re busy.” Another encounter I had with animals this week was on Friday when I believe a monkey threw poop at me “in a festive manner. Like he was at a celebration of Monkey poopin’.” Later that day was able to show the kids the photos from our trip with a couple surprises for Daddy.
For the next three days I worked on two projects for the kids. I pretty much remained locked in my room while I was working because I wanted to get it done before the kids go home on the 30th. The first one took me all three days. I made another video for the kids and was able to show them on Friday. This video summed up the 4 ½ months of memories into one, 45 minute video. The second project was an impossible one and the fact that it only took me 1.5 hours to complete doesn’t mean it was possible. Daddy had put the kibosh on my idea of making a CD for every family with pictures of the kids. Daddy said it would be a bad idea for the safety of the kids and of the Home. That actually lead to a good talk about how Indians don’t like Christians because they are giving hope to poor people. They also don’t like things that come from outside India’s borders like cars, electricity, TVs, phones and especially religion, just to name a few. Except that they love cars, electricity, TV and phones. The Indian culture is a strange one. But anyways, I decided to make prints for each kid. So had to go through all 4,281 of my photos and narrow it down to two per kid. But I managed to pick two per kid and I hope they like my decision.
Another highlight of this week was when I found out exactly why Mommy wanted to have a children’s home. I was talking with her over breakfast on Tuesday about our trip and the family I saw. I started talking about all the family I met and we began talking about how some of the kids I met called me “Mahma.” Mahma means, mother’s maternal brother, or uncle. She then told me her story and I realized exactly why she wanted to start a children’s home. She told me she has no mahma, no sister, no brother, no anybody. She was an orphan. She told me that when she was just a baby some missionaries came to India from America. They had come to work at a mission here and I forgot the name of the organization. But at this mission there were two Indian workers, a married couple. The man was a gardener and the woman was a cook and they had no kids. So the people from America wanted to get them a child. They were able to get an orphaned baby girl from a nearby hospital and the married couple adopted it. And that baby was Mommy. She told me about the rough upbringing she had, not with her family but with being an orphan, because kids can be mean. She said that’s why she wanted to start a children’s home, to help poor children and teach them the gospel. It was an emotional talk and I actually got a little teary eyed.
The kids have Saturday school everyday now. And even though they are home by 11:30, I still don’t really get to spend any more time with them than before because it is so hot during the afternoon. I do get to play more games with them since they are able to get their evening chores done earlier. I played a new game with the kids the other day that is very fun, and very tiring. One team runs around and tries to stack up some blocks while the other team tries to throw a ball at you. I got to watch the kids play another game called kho-kho. All the high schoolers wrote that they like to play kho-kho in their writing assignment I gave them a while ago, but I’ve never seen them play it. The other day I told Daddy this and he said that before I go they will have to play it so I can experience it. I can see why I’ve never seen them play it before. It took the big boys at least 45 minutes to set up the field. It is a very fun looking game and trying to explain it without the field dimensions would be very difficult. It’s a tag style game played with two teams and is very fun to watch, and I’m sure it’s fun to play. I think I’ll play next time. All the kids came to play because they really only get to play this game at school so they all wanted to play it today.