So the trip into the last airport for a while was good and we both arrived safely at the Visak airport and took the short car journey down to the New Life Children Home in Yellamenchilli. Tough duty as it was the mid 80’s late this winter afternoon day.
As the norm when folks arrive, all the kids put on a display for you by standing in line and lavishing you with a heavily laden fresh flower lei. It was really neat to see our sponsor child Venkatesh. He was the first boy on the right and had made his way to the front and it was HIS honor to give us the first lei as we are his “foreigner” or American family.
This was my third trip here, and Sandy’s second and each time you come you begin to remember a few more faces and it only takes a time or two before the name also becomes familiar…as much as we can understand Telegu. We are greeted and then the kids put on a quick show before we hand out new blankets and sleeping mats. As I type this I hear the sounds of the old foot pedal driven singer sewing machines (from the early 20th century) humming along churning out new uniforms that will be soon worn by the kids. It’s amazing how fast these tailors work and the quality of the clothes they make!
The agenda for us is to play with the kids and also help them complete some “life books” which are primarily a scrapbook of things they remember about themselves to take along wherever they go. This will be and interesting project for them. The most fun, for me at least, is the feeding process! It boggles the mind to see these 3 women and 2 men prepare meals for 191 students and staff three times daily…all over wood burning stoves! Look at the size of those pots and the stirring process!
It takes a dedicated effort to pass out meals to this large and HUNGRY group each meal. And as soon as one meal is done, the process begins again for the next meal. Imagine how long it would take to get that much water to boil to make rice for 200+ people. Lots of hard working people are involved and for that, I’m very thankful! That’s about all for now…time to play!