“Fall down,” it’s the nickname the girls established for me a few weeks back. They like to come up with silly nicknames for much of the staff and volunteers. For example, things like: “Horse, *uh ha uh ha* (coughing sound), Katirina (after a famous Bollywood actress), and Mom….” My nickname came from a time when i slipped on the hill at Smyrna going to lunch. One foot slipped, then the other, and yes, I fell down. The girls ran to my aide and then laughed about it once I did and the nickname came from then on. There are worse things that they could come up with and though it’s silly I know it is a sign of affection.
I got a new nickname added on this weekend, “India girl.”
I had my last weekend staying with the girls! On Saturday, I wanted to go to a restaurant for lunch with the girls and they decided we should all go wearing saris… so, we did! It was really fun to wear a sari (for the first time) even though they aren’t very comfortable, they are beautiful. Hope* started saying, “You no America girl, India girl!” I (and the girls) got some good laughs out of some of the looks I got from local nationals. I even had a few people literally walk backwards just so they could get another look of the white skinned, red haired girl in a bright sari. Ha… It was a really fantastic thing to do with the girls before leaving. It felt special… and I couldn’t believe the amount of “thank yous” I heard from the girls! (Their manners really have improved since I’ve been here! 🙂 )
This week I had my last days of teaching! I am extremely thankful my last day, Thursday, probably went smoother than any of the other days I taught (about a dozen times total). This week, Leah added a lot of my photos to Ruhamah’s website so, now it has 15 or so of my photos up of newer jewelery designs. She joked that I should stay and be FF’s designated photographer. I’ve also had the chance to pass on my best photos of the girls as requested by Jayson (another FF staff person).
I’m feeling further peace about leaving India and saying good-bye to the girls. I have had the chance to talk to them about my leaving (and other FF staff persons who will be leaving these year). It’s important to me to allow them to understand that leaving does not equal rejection. I know from their life experiences they can easily feel this and I desire them to know how much they are loved and how supported they are by all of FF. They have frequently reminded me of my departure, asking when, why, boo hoo-ing, and joking that they are coming with me. One of the girls, Hope*, was even joking this week that she would take my passport and was going to America instead of me. I asked her if we looked a like and we all laughed. Then she came up with a plan to disguise herself by putting white on her skin, putting henna in her hair, and wearing glasses. Her explanation made me laugh so hard. SHE often makes me laugh really hard. 🙂 The best part was when she said once she got to America she would say to my parents, “Mom, Dad, me America coming. Dori India staying.” Ha ha!
I officially say good-bye to the girls on Wednesday and Friday I leave Ooty for Delhi. I know this next week will go by fast and I would love prayers for God-filled days and joy-filled moments.
Some news: Hope* will be going to court in April! This is an exciting chance for justice to prevail! Please be praying that her Madame will be convicted.
What I will miss about living in India:
- tea time, I love chai
- watching Hindi (Bollywood) films
- living cheaply
- GOOD Indian food
- the frequent use of the words “sir” and “madam”
- the random children saying “Hi!” and other Indians that chose to be friendly
- seeing women with their henna, bangles, and saris
- observing the way people do things
- riding scooters (?!)