Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sewa Ashram- Saturday

  We started the day at 8am with a breakfast of sweet warm porridge with banana. The breakfasts vary somewhat from day to day; usually it is either porridge or a lentil dish, but on Sundays it is chow mien.
  After breakfast Sam and Hunter were keen to head back to the children's house and spend some more time playing and establishing new friendships. Hunter quickly started a jumping game with the girls and was continuously prompted to call out "ready, steady go!" It wasn't long before they were calling out to her "Didi" which means sister. 
It was orgainised that we would head out to a nearby field where the kids and some of the mentally and physically handicapped men and women would all come together to play ball games. A circle was formed and the ball was bounced, rolled or kicked to each person in a way that was manageable for them. The atmosphere at the ashram is very inclusive and everyone gives each other the help they need. The ball games were frequently interrupted by passing herds of cows with their traditional nomadic herdsman - it was quite a sight. The girls tried to involve Hunter is some of their games though the language barrier was a bit of a hurdle even with the help of Suraj (a young boy who is quite fluent in English). Sam went back to the ashram and got a skipping rope which the girls played with in a rather unorganised manner but had a lot of fun none the less. After a lot of fun we helped everyone back to the house and sat down to another delicious lunch.
   After lunch the kids had a play with the ashram bunnies. The bunnies for now are purely for entertainment but it is envisaged that in the future they will become a source of food. 
 We bought lots of activities to the ashram to keep us occupied while Ray was busy. One game we bought with us was Ludo which is indeed a universal game. A couple of the men joined us for a few games even with no means of verbal communication fun was had by all.
  Later in the afternoon we went to spend more time with the children. Sam helped Renford (a New Zealand volunteer) hang a swing from the tree. Tomorrow he is going to teach Sam to splice a rope. While the kids were occupied I spent time with Lenka (a German volunteer who acts as a social worker) learning about the ashram and some of the stories of the patients. I am yet to draw all these stories together so I will share them with you another time.

So another fruitful and enjoyable day was had by all!

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