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January 14

Sunday, January 14, Day 7

Hey y’all! We wanted to add onto last night’s post and give more detail about our day. Yesterday was our first full day in Vatsalya, as well as Kathleen’s birthday It was also a very special kite festival, so many kids were flying kites off campus. We started the day with some early morning yoga. The cold was not enjoyable that early in the morning, but we managed to push through until breakfast. We had some delicious flattened rice and, of course, Chai outside with the children. Right after breakfast, the children at Vatsalya had a farewell ceremony for another visiting group of students from Australia. The teachers and boys were blessed with red paint and rice on their foreheads. After their goodbyes, we had some free time with the children. Augusta enjoyed tag with some of the kids. Now was time for work! We were split into two groups–half of us began planning for school activities for the kids on Monday, while the others began painting the fence surrounding campus. Ellie did not have a great time sandpaper-ing the fences in preparation for paint, but she did what she had to do.

After an hour, we refueled with a chai break. Afterwards, a few of us continued painting while the rest played games with the kids. Uttara gave everyone a very informative demonstration of how to do our laundry using a bucket and soap. Ellie did her laundry. Augusta did not. A few of the kids taught us a new game involving five participants but only four corners. Before lunch, we were gifted butterfinger-like snacks which were amazing! We had a spicy lunch followed by check-in and some free time to play with the kids.

At 4, almost everyone participated in a Bollywood dance class taught by Sita, a young girl who works at Vatsalya. She was so excited to teach us her choreography popular Bollywood song. Hopefully, we will be able to perform it at the Winterim assembly when we go back to school. After another chai break, we concluded our two-hour practice. While a special dinner was being prepared, we played around with the kids inside the dining area. The kids were SO excited to show off their muscles by doing a pull-up competition. Marguerite Trost impressed all of us enormously with her strength. At dinner, Kathleen and Caroline Ryan were blessed.

After dinner, we laid under the stars on the basketball court for some Life Map presentations and research topics. The night ended magically as a shooting star graced the night sky just long enough for all of us to have a glimpse.

-Augusta and Ellie