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From Masala to Bollywood and everything in between! Catch up with me and my time around South Asia

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

INDIA | Tuesday, 4 September 2007 | Views [1785]

So I officially have 43 new friends! This afternoon I went for my first day of evening play time at a local HIV Orphanage run by some local nuns; it's walking distance from my school campus! I walked over and let myself in the outside gate and entered the most beautiful garden and playground. When i rang the doorbell about three beaming little boys answered and were so excited to see me. They grabbed my hand and pulled me in screaming "Auntie! Auntie! Auntie!!!" Definitely the warmest welcome I’ve ever had, and within moments about 15 other children had gathered to welcome me. They invited me upstairs to their playroom, which was spacious and colorful...plenty of room to run around, dance and sing. We began with singing "head, shoulders, knees, and toes," and then "it's a small world," and then we got a little more interactive with the "A, B, C's" (they taught me their version and I taught them mine), and the "Hokie Pokie" which was a hit among the little ones. A little girl from the neighborhood came by while I was there; she and her family had brought a birthday cake for the little girl to celebrate her seventh birthday with all the children at the orphanage. It was so sweet, all the children sang her happy birthday, and the Indian tradition is that the birthday boy or girl gives cake to all her friends first and then he/she has a piece them self! I think I'm going to adopt this tradition. After the birthday girl left we played some hand games in a circle--first "Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky" and then they taught me a game...I have no idea what the name of that one was, I just played along. Before I left they had me play tag (similar to Marco Polo, but not quite) and I taught them the bunny hop, and a simple Irish dance step, they loved all the dancing. Some other things they loved were my watch and the night light on it, some of the kids just sat in my lap and took turns pressing the button to make my watch glow, they also thought seeing themselves on my camera was pretty neat. This was the highlight of my whole visit to India so far. Their games and songs were so uplifting to be around, and even though most of us don't speak the same language (most of the children speak the local dialect called Kannada, the the country Canada!) we still managed to have a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to returning on Friday evening for more fun and games. I'm planning to take more crafts next time or some music or something. I felt like a was 7 too, running around carelessly and not even realizing I'd been there for an hour and half... I was only supposed to stay for an hour!!! We're so lucky in the US to have so many drugs widely available for those suffering from HIV and AIDS, you could tell that some of these children's ailments are progressing rapidly. The nuns just try and teach them some basic lessons, and provide and loving and happy home for these children. I feel very fortunate to have met these fabulous children--little blessings. What a breath of fresh air!!!

Tags: Laughter

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