For Junu

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Visit at the Orphanage



Junu and I visited the orphanage on Saturday, which is holiday for everyone in Nepal.  They work Sunday through Friday with Saturdays being their holiday, so this is the day we visited to make sure we saw everyone.  It was great!!!  Junu was a bit confused, I believe, and very reserved, until one of the didis took her away to inside (away from me) and she began to talk.  As I mentioned, Junu has yet to say any words to me, but she is beginning to use some signs, with prompts.  She is clearly understanding more English and I am trying to use as many Nepali words as I can, paired up with the English equivalent.  I am not concerned, because she is an amazing communicator and I know she can talk and she will when she is ready.  It was nice, however, to hear her voice today as she began to express and interact with her friends.  And interact she did.  She is still the goondi "the don" even though she has been away for one week.  Cracks me up how strong she is and how much the others want to be close to her.  Very sweet really, warmed my heart and reinforced it was okay for us to visit.  I would really like to maintain a close relationship with our "family"as somehow it is comforting for us both.  I could see Junu's happiness and love beam out of her eyes, smile, gestures, her everything.  And to receive the love from everyone is overwhelming.  I just wish each of these precious children had a mother and/or father to go to, to have the kind of love that a parent gives so freely, to have the opportunities they all deserve, to be able to actualize their fullest potential.  I wish for this for each and everyone of these children.  I would take Suluv and Cocee in a heartbeat.  They are both have warmed my heart.

So as the children played up on the rooftop, Sanu, another woman whose name escapes me and myself went down into the office for a Nepali lunch.  So delicious as I have expressed time and time again.  Rice/dal, chicken, cabbage, greens, delicious!!  We talked about the children, about their personalities, the male version of goondi or rather goonda (Soosan) and on and on.  We also talked about Nepal and some of the political changes/instability.  A new prime minister has been elected and this, of course, leads to hope that things can change for Nepal.  http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/02/03/nepal.prime.minister/index.html  However, there have been so many changes, consist changes of government even since I began the adoption process in 2009.  Sanu's main wish is for the adoption program to be corrected and meet the international guidelines so that her children at Sahayogi Samaj Nepal and all orphaned children can have their forever families.  Also, as in many developing countries, the disparity between those who have and those who have not is huge.  For people to just be able to work and have the ability to care for their family and send their children to school seems little to ask, but here in this country where poverty is strikingly raw and harsh, where young children start sniffing glue, where you see a mother and her child sitting on the side of the road, filthy and begging, having these opportunities seem nearly impossible.  No matter what your situation is in the United States or other countries, WE ARE RICH!!!  We have so much and we don't even realize it most of the time.  I am passionate about these types of conversations and wishing there was a way I could be of greater service while I'm here in Nepal and perhaps even while I'm not.  Of course Junu has been and always will be my main priority, but I also have a sense of obligation/commitment towards her country, which in now also mine.  I keep trusting God in this one and asking to be led where I best might serve.  Inner eye and ears are open!

Getting back to our visit, we went back upstairs to the rooftop after lunch.  I'm going to try and describe the scene as best I can. Are you ready?  Here I go.   The sun is bright, the sky remarkably blue today, warmth has permeated into the concrete building and into my body.  There are two maybe three rugs in the center of the rooftop, myself, Sanu and another didi sit admist some towels and clean clothing strewn about....it is bath/shower day.  Along the side of the wall there are four infant babies, naked, being rubbed down with mustard oil, once saturated they remain on the cushion bask in the sun for a short while and then one of the didis makes a tent blanket to keep the sun off their bodies. The children are mostly naked and running about, having fun, laughing and playing.  All the while along the side of the rooftop, there is one didi, 2 buckets of water, a mat and a child being washed.  Another didi is going up and down the fire escape replenishing the water as needed.  I observed the washing going on and they really get washed!!!  Like a massage really, rubbed and massaged completely.  Their little brown bodies became snow white with suds.  Some would help wash themselves and others would just be washed.  It was quite a sight somehow, there was just so much washing and massaging.  Those kids had to feel so amazing afterwards.  The water was dumped over their heads and most dislike this part, but they manage.  Then it's off to the rug area where then are dried and further massaged with mustard oil.  Their whole body and head also (I think this also helps decrease head lice).  Once shined up, they put on fresh clothes that have been outside in the air.  Ah happiness.  There was one scene where the sweetest little girl Cocee was behind the stairs of the fire escape.  She was looking out from under the steps with the brightest of smiles, the way the sun and shade played upon this scene was breathtaking and I wanted to capture it forever.  There were shades of bluish grey and then bright sun with little shadow circles upon her body from the holes in the metal steps.  Beautifully rich with texture, emotion and life.

It was a perfect day, with a perfect ending.  Junu fell asleep on the way home, always a sign of good times.
Peace and blessings,
Sharlyn

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