I think most people in America know what is meant when someone says, “Pump your legs,” especially at a child’s play ground. Pumping your legs on a swing is to move them back and forth to make the swing go higher and faster.
Before lunch at Smyrna, the girls have an activity time. This consists of games etc. But the girls’ favorite thing to do is go to “the garden” at Smyrna. There is a small playground there that has one swing… the token swing. The girls love it and frequently want to be pushed. This week was no exception. After Faith* saying, “Didi! Push me…… please!” on more than one occasion, I found myself trying to explain to her the art of “pumping your legs.” When I was in elementary school, the swings were one of my favorite things on the plain ground… and I like to think I mastered this art. Explaining this concept (even showing it) to someone that is in their mid-twenties, and someone I already have language challenges with, is more difficult than I would have anticipated. Faith* fairly quickly would give up, leave her legs out, and tell me to push her again.
This experience felt like a wound in my heart.
As I have explained before, these 17-25 year olds are so much more girls than women. More than that, they have missed out on their childhoods in so many ways whether they were married off at a young age or went to a brothel when they were still young… I don’t think any of them went to school past the age of 10. Most of them didn’t have good parental figures in their lives or they lost their parents at a young age.
Beyond this being a good example of lost girlhood, this is even more an example of what I want for these girls. I want these girls to thrive. I want them to be independent women, not so dependent that they want to be pushed on a swing or for me to do their school work for them. I want them to move on with their lives with strength. But more than all these things, I want them to be free. I want them to “pump” their spiritual legs and allow God to let them fly as they get rid of all their fears, their insecurities, and put all their trust in Him.
This was my second week of filling in for teacher three days a week. Things were ok. Truly, the class room hours are the most challenging. I had to put my foot down a lot as I was being disrespected repeatedly. I have two more weeks where I will be filling in like this.
This week I designed my first necklace for Ruhamah. Zoe* started making them this week. It was really cool to see my creation being produced.
Friday night I stayed with the girls, and spent the day with them on Saturday. I took them to “The Boat House.” The Boat House is basically where a man-made lake is and people can go out on paddle boats, and there are essentially carnival style rides near the lake. I went on two rides with the girls. They must have a thing for spinning here. The second ride we went on was called “Break Dance.” I sure hope break dancers don’t feel as sick as I did when I got off of it. My stomach still felt queasy even a few hours later. But, I guess it’s a small price to pay. Oh well. I’m glad the girls had fun.
In other news, we found out a new girl will be coming to be in our program in a month or so. I don’t know much about her except that she is 30 years old and is HIV positive. It’s exciting to hear FF can be a part of another rescued girl’s life.
Three weeks from tomorrow I will be flying back to California from Delhi. Seems strange. Faith* told me this week, “Didi! You get me a visa.” (Meaning she wants a visa to go back to America with me.) Hmm, good-byes won’t be easy. However, I am getting more excited to visit Delhi/Agra! Another volunteer, Anne, is going to be able to go with me which should be really fun. For a while I wasn’t sure if I was going to be making the trip solo or not. It’s so nice to have a travel buddy. 🙂 So, I have only 18 full days left in Ooty before spending time in Delhi for a few days. Wild.
I would love prayers for these last weeks here and also for what I am doing after I return to the states. I am focused on being in the present, here, and now and loving on these girls. Yet, as my time is coming to an end my heart is seeking God’s direction and peace of mind. Thanks!