First things first, Happy Birthday Ani! Jayson and I decorated her room last night and served her breakfast in bed with the presents as dessert. All before 7:45 a.m. (They need to be out the door by 8:10 to get to school on time.) She then had a good day at school but mentioned that they didn’t talk about her birthday enough. She did say that she got a present and they sang happy birthday to her. She is 6 now, I am 31, and secretly I want the world to revolve around me on my birthday, so I can’t say that I blame her. We then went out to the house of some friends from Freedom Firm for dinner and she got to ride their horses. It even reared up and she stayed on! What a perfect birthday gift.
In other news. We have found our car. Great cheers are heard from the Palms. Its called an Omni. It's the closest thing to a mini van and is quite common here. Very practical and affordable - two great words when it comes to transportation. The man who sold it to us is Mr. Bunshaw. In Ooty, there are no car lots or Craig’s List for used cars, so Mr. Bunshaw is in the field of helping people find cars. He brought a few vehicles to us in the past 3 weeks, Jayson kicked the tires, gave it a test drive, and here we are...proud owners of a box with wheels. Mind you that we drive on the left, steering wheel is on the right, it starts w/ a choke, and it's a stick shift. Yikes! I have yet to learn how to drive it, and I am sure that I will be sharing that with you when the time comes.
My mom left yesterday. I was a bit overwhelmed the day we said goodbye. My mom was busy buzzing around town, like she owns it, buying last minute things for our house. It was great to have her here for two weeks, for so many reasons, and I am grateful for her. I am not sure that the reality that we won’t see anyone from home for months now has sunk in. That’s probably good, it will hit me soon enough.
I had some great feedback from my last entry about cooking. I appreciate all the suggestions. Thank you Aunt Julie for you Chicken and Dumpling recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I do have good news. I made a beef stew two nights ago and it was great. So, 2 nights out of, umm, 3 1/2 weeks isn’t bad :) Okay, yes it is... but it can’t go anywhere but up.
We went out to Smyrna, the house where Freedom Firm’s aftercare girls spend their days during the week. They have Hindi classes in the mornings (they usually do not know how to read/write) and often work on the their crafts (which they sell for profit) in the afternoons. We went out and had lunch with them. The moment we stepped in, they swept Jovie away and I didn’t see her until we left. They would have done the same w/ Syd and James, but they’re a bit more vocal about being swept away. Mala, the Aftercare Director, said it’s very special for the girls to have little ones around. The girls do not have families anymore, so it makes them feel more “human” when kids are in the room.
I am grateful for the comments that you all have been leaving in the blog. I love and read every one of them. I will be better about responding to them once we have email at home. Maybe tomorrow the modem will come...here’s to hoping.
Grace and Peace,