These fine fellows didn't miss the eclipse
We had the chance, it slipped from our grasp... to witness an historic event. We slept through the eclipse. I blame our sleepy heads, but I blame you to. You, in the western world, have the news at your fingertips. Radio, iPhones, TV & newspapers (okay, India has these too, but we, the Palm six do not). Yes, I do try to go on the CNN website every day or two, but I must have missed it. Then, yesterday, I woke up, checked my email and saw the email from a friend, “Subject: Did you see it?” See what? Michael Jackson? Once I figured out what “it” was, I checked CNN and saw that India was the start of this serious event. Sorry folks, we had the chance to bring you a first hand account of this historic event, but we let you down. We hang our heads low today.
Last Thursday, I was trying to find Jovie. She’s not hands-and-knees crawling, but more like belly crawling. Our front door does not latch properly. She had pushed open the door and I found her outside, eating dirt - what all 11-month-old children are born to do.
Tonight, Ani lost her second tooth. While we were writing a note to the tooth fairy, she put on the note (it was a long note), “If you are an Indian Tooth Fairy, I hope you can read this...”, and “Please leave the tooth, because my sister lost my first tooth down the drain”, and also, “Could you leave me some Rupees?” Cute.
I am quite proud of my kids and the range of food that they’re eating these days. But the spiciness of food here can deter them. Ani eats Indian (with her hands) at school every day, but she eats it only because she has a “firstborn rule-following thing” and she cannot not follow the clean plate rule at school. Anyway, so as Jovie is diving into all sorts of food, I have been giving her Indian 3-4 times a week, and she takes the spice really well. The other day I pushed the spices too much, though, and she started crying - so sorry Jovie. By the way, if you want Jovie’s favorite Dal (lentils) recipe, let me know, I will send it your way.
Jayson and I have a new crush. His name is Susai. He is the driver for Freedom Firm. Let me say this about the word “driver” - In the States, a driver would be for those who make a substantial amount of money. Here it is different. Susai has a wife and two young kids. He drives the aftercare girls to their appointments and activities, runs errands for the office, fixes everything... This whole description of Susai lead me to something that I have been thinking a lot about this week - well, really since we have been here. Susai lives in a 12 x 12 tin house and makes 1/8th of what Jayson makes. (Susai is paid a very fair wage compared to the average driver.) Susai’s willingness to help us out is incredible and he is like a father to the two young children whose mom’s are new to the aftercare program. I am face to face with a very real tension of how many resources (money, housing, food, clothing, etc.) our family uses compares to his. I am not always sure what to do with this. Every country in the world has poverty, but in this season of our life we just interact with it way more. In the States, Ani wondered why we only had one car and other people had two... Now, Ani wonders why we actually have a car and most people do not. In the midst of struggling with this tension, I am also trying to help Ani navigate this as well. If you have thoughts about this tension, I’d welcome your insight.
Next week, I am going to talk a bunch about how my time with Freedom Firm's aftercare has been. I will have lots of fun pictures. But for now, I want to leave you with some photos that I took today, outside... believe it or not, we saw the sun for the first time in a month. I must say that our summer has not been has painful as I thought it would be. The kids have been lost in their imagination - which I am truly grateful for.
A typical day, when the sun is shining