Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 2- Skin Assessments

I woke up this morning at 5 am and my bladder was about to explode. I don’t know what happened, but I have turned into an 80 year old woman and have to pee every night. I can’t stand it, especially when I have to go pee in a hole and could get eaten by a creature. Sadly after that, I could not fall asleep. We have a room with chudidars, so I went out and ravaged through them until I found one I liked. It’s hard to get one that isn’t too long. So lame that I am underdeveloped in the womb and have short appendages (diagnosed by my lovely father). I tried to go back to sleep but it was useless. My bed is right under the window (which is barred) and the sun kind of hits me. That put me at about 6 hours of sleep and I need more than that so I had a pretty bad headache. I took some Tylenol and that helped. I think I will get more because I will just be so exhausted. We all naturally go to bed pretty early and wake up early too. I think it’s just adjusting from the time change. And I feel like we have constantly been on the move and in airports and airplanes during all hours of the night.
They put us into 3 working groups and I love my group. It consists of Jessica, Kim, Whitney, Ashley, and our professor Karen. I pretty much like everyone but these are the girls that I really like!! I feel so lucky to be in this group. Our group was in charge of doing skin assessments on the girls. It started off so awesome and I was so stoked for it! I was loving every second of it. I really really love the little girls. There is this one girl named sagamary and I absolutely love her. She has so much spunk and is just so great. She jumped in my lap and we played and laughed immensely.

I feel so good and happy and like I belong here. A few people told me that I should be coordinater here next year and that my personality was made for this. That made me feel so good and I just feel so awesome here. I think at the very least, I want to sponsor a child and try to see if other people would like to also. It would be so rewarding especially if I personally knew the child. It only costs $30 a month. I think that is a sacrifice worth making for sure!
In spite of the crazy heat and nasty sweat, I love this place so much. The most accurate description I heard of the weather is as hot as a desert and as humid as a rainforest combined. I really think if I still like this place after these 3 weeks, I might come do it next summer. I think it would be an awesome experience and maybe I could bring Carly with me or something. I guess she would probably be too young. After 4 hours of this, it got pretty tiring and it tried my patience a couple times. Oh and the older girls reaked because they were in that puberty age. The majority of the kids had scars that were healed but very intense. I got the feeling when I was doing the skin assessments that many of these kids had been terribly abused and it was kind of hard to swallow. We asked one girl where she had gotten the intense burns and she replied, “my mom”. I am determined to just show them as much love as possible and leave everything I have to give here.

The kids are starting to remember me and build friendships and trust me. I love it. I saw V-Davy when I was walking back to my hostel and she came up and gave me a hug.
I also say Sagamary and she came up and jumped into my arms and asked “are you coming to me home tonight again?” I replied yes and throw here in the air. Her laugh was angelic and I can’t wait to see her tonight. The consistency of going to the same kids house every night is a great thing.
Sidenote—we eat so much food!! I am like an empty pot. I am so starving all the time and think I will eat all of my American food just to increase the qunaitity. I don’t know what it is but we are all just scarfing the food down. Whoever said I was going to lose weight in India obviously has never lived here. I think I am going to come back obese. I had 2 bowls of cereal and a piece of toast for breakfast. Then a pb and honey with another bowl of ceral and a granola bar. Fatty coming at you.
When we were doing the assessments on the girls, they started to get more shy and hesitant as the older girls came in because we were doing a very thorough skin assesment. I must have said "don't worry, we are all girls" or "I will do it really fast" a thousand times.
We finally realized why we are so stinking hungry all the time. They have almost no protein in their food so you can eat this huge meal and then you are hungry just a few hours later. I don't know why I didn't realize this before. Moral of the story-- there will most definitely not be any left over food that I brought. Tina is on the loose!
Play time was the absolute best part of my day. In fact, I would say it has been the best part of my life in the last 6 months! Words cannot describe the happiness I feel when I am with those kids. I really really really want to sponsor one. There is the sweetest little girl named tamalarsi and I am determined to win her over. She is just so cute and a little sweet, free-spirit. I think I want to sponsor Tamalarsi. She is 5 and one of the apples of my eye. She is so cute and was just wandering all over the place (in and out of the rooms) when we were doing the assessments. She is just so curious and climbing all over everything and so sweet. She is one of the kids that has truly stolen my heart.
There are a bunch of new kids that need to be sponsored and I want to bring pictures back with me and see if anyone in our stake would be interested. It is just such a great cause and it comes so to life when you are here with them. THey are real people that need our help. Giving $30 a month is nothing to us and it is life-changing for them.The kids are really starting to warm up to me. I spend every ounce of time with them that I can and I can honestly say that's the best part of being here. I don't really even have a desire to go and worke in the leprosy colonies tomorrow (we are to never refer to them as leper colonies or to the people as lepers. It is very derrogatory and it classifies them as lepers instead of people with leprosy). I just want to stay and be with the kids. I am working so so so hard to learn their names. It makes all the difference in the world. I got to see some of them during assessments and then at paly time which is everyday from 4:30-6 pm. I have not had any interaction with the boys so I tried to meet the boys at recess. I met a ton of kids and we had a blast. I played basketball with one boy, and pushed a bunch of kids on the swing. The biggest hit was that I could turn the merry go round really fast. I think that's one thing that really won over their hearts. I was drenched in sweat but thats not much different from normal so no big deal. One kid finally went flying off pretty hard, so we had to take a break. I went with him to help get cleaned up and is name is adavan. He is such a little cutie. (This is a picture of him eating lunch)
I also played cricket with some boys and they weren't going to let me play beacuse they thought I was some unathletic girl. I finally said just let me hit one. I got a "home-run" and then was allowed to join :)
I bounced around a lot during playtime and asked so many kids their names. I met this boy named stephen who is 14 and is awesome. He is so fun and sweet and is super excited because his sponsors are paying fo rhim to go to america when her turns 18. He taught me this little hand game where you slap hands adn spell out P-I-S-O-P-I, and then cross arms and yell pepsi while you pretend to drink one. It was pretty funny. They eat taht stuff up around here. "Down by the banks" is very popular and other such games. After I met all the kids and interacted with them, they loved me. When I first met them last night, the younger girls hung out with me but a lot of them just ignored me. Now they flock to me. It is the coolest thign ever and I love being with them. I honestly didn't know my heart could be so full. I can't wait to play with them tomorrow. Sagamary saw me walking and ran up and gave me a hug and said "are you coming to me house again tonight?" It was the cutest thing and just absolutely melted my heart. V-davy was dying for me to stay for prayer time (thats what happens after play time) but i couldn't because its so distracting. I love that they want me around.
Tonight instead of spending time reading the kids stories and getting them ready for bed, we did louse busting. The kids have all been home for the month of may and usually come back with lice. SO we shampooed all of their hair and then wrapped them in towels to sleep with overnight. Supposedly this has worked in the past and they count on it solving the problem. I loved doing this!

It was cool to be so hands on and do everything to help these kids. When I showed up they swarmed me. It's such a difference from last night. They wanted me to sit by them adn kept asking me my name instead of just calling me auntie. And they LOVED it when I could tell them what their name was. They kept asking me "whats my name?" The nursing program is a peace of cake compared to remembering all of their names. I am actaully suprrised at how well I am doing with it. I really am working so hard to konw them it's jsut difficult beause they are so foreign. I swear I asked this one girl her name like 400 times. She started just screaming it back to me, but now shw has warmed up to me too and tries to help me. I can't even remember what it is right now-- this name is seriously going to be the death of me.

And it's so stinking hard becasue we don't get to read them on paper. We jsut have to hear them tell us adn then try to go off of that. Some fo the names are subustri, jamaire, gokuraj, reisha, shelleeni, and so many more. Anyway, the kids were hanging all over me and I loved it. A couple of them jumped in to help me with the shampoo for the lice just becasue they wanted to be with me.

They love taking pictures and being in them and then seeing them after. It's kind of funny but neat. Also, most of these kids have a begging background, so they just grab and take what they can get at that moment. So they kind of don't have manners but are really sweet at the same time. We are trying to teach them at rsigin star to ask for things and we never give them any kind of hand outs. They have to earn things at the "star store" to teach them to be self sufficcient and reliant. I took a bunch of pciturs athe lice thing but none at play time. I will have to figure out how to get pcitures while playing witht he kids because no body wants to stop adn snap photos. I guess I have 20 more days. I can't believe it has only been one day. I feel like I have lived here forever. I know that sounds cheesy but its really how I feel. Back to the pictures. So I was taking pictures with the kids dring the lice and I felt so good when v-davy ran up and put here arm arond my neck and asked this girl to take a picture of us.

IT was so special and she wasn't doing it just to be in a picture. These kids hearts are so open to us and its amazing how fast they can melt ours and make us open them to them. Its so amazing to think that these kids are so loving after all they ahve bben through. At the same time, I think they are also yearning to be loved and so they are this way. I love love this place and really feel like it is the best place on earth. I seriously think I am going to come back here next year aftera i graduate for the summer. The thought of leaving this kids is unbearable. I don't even want to to think about it.
Also, Ashley has gotten way sick. I spun her around on the merry go round and then she puked evreywhere. Needlesss to say, she has thrown up 6 times int he last 4 hours and feels terrible.We think she has heat stroke. I have tried to help her the best i could and arranged for her to have a blessing. I am so gratfeul that we have worthy preisthood holders here. There is just someting so comforting about knowing that you can always have a blessing if something goes badly. It is so incredible hot here adn i don't thikn we realize how easy it is to get dehydrated FAST because we sweat so much. I am being very careful about it, so don't worry.


  1. You are so compassionate...and fun

  2. Love those pictures of the beautiful children.

  3. sooo you laura! oh my gosh this is so awesome..soak up every second of it because it will go by so fast! precious children. you are amazing.