This morning I met with Tarrah and Anik (she’s in charge of the aftercare program here). They shared with me about some of what I will be doing and what to expect etc. It is quite a lot to take in, I think I got most of it, but I know a lot of it will just come in time with experience. This afternoon I spent about 3 hours at Smyrna which is essentially where the girls’ program takes place, they study (English and Math), and create their jewelry here, as well as make cards (something they just started). This was my first introduction to the girls and what I will be doing. It was some what intimidating to come in to a place where I am new to the culture, with some some language barriers (most of the girls know at least a little English, but it varies from girl to girl), what hit me harder is the reminder of what these girls have been through and why they (and I) are here. I was introduced to all 7 girls (two of which have children- one has a daughter I’d guess to be about one year old , the other girl has two children who were at school until the end of the day). Their teacher went over some things with me as far as schedules and explained a little about the differences in the girls : besides personality- they are from various parts of India, speak different languages, some have had a decent education- others not much at all, and the newest girls have been here since November, and one just came in only 3 weeks ago. I got to spend the rest of their day with them as they worked on jewelry and then on their cards, I mostly cut ribbon for the cards they are making and talked to the girl who has the young daughter (fyi: I will not be giving any of the rescued girls names for their protection). She wasn’t very talkative, but at least I got to find out a few things about her like how we have the same favorite color- pink, she is from a Northern part of India, and she prefers making jewelry over cards. Side note— the bracelets she was making are gorgeous and the cards the girls make are beautiful too; I think I may be tempted to bring back a suitcase of things made by them. 🙂 Some of the girls were more friendly with me than others- they complimented me on pink watch ($10 from walmart!) and asked me what I put in my hair— meaning to make it the color it is, I figured out, I said it was natural and I don’t put anything in it. I’m not sure if they were fascinated or were some what making fun of me for it because they started speaking in Hindi to each other about it. (By the way, this did not surprise me at all. I have had previous experiences such as in Mexico of being pointed at or even run from, yes run from, from a two year old due to my red headed difference.) In addition to this, I was told that the girls can be very almost pushy at times about some thing if they don’t like it- ie. your hair or clothing etc. Anyway, things went well over all during my time there, and I’d like to think some of the girls warmed up to me as they joked more or came up to me to talk.
Tomorrow I will spending most of the day back at Smyrna with the girls (about 6 and a half hours), it will be my first “full” day. After Smyrna, I will be going to Roja (where the girls live) to eat dinner with them. It will be quite an experience to say the least.
I’m really looking forward to getting in to the hang of things and getting to know the girls. The next week or so will be a lot of learning, stretching, and new experiences for me. I’m a little nervous, but mostly excited to do what I am here for. Any prayers for this next week of newness especially would appreciated. Thanks 😉