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Friday, December 24, 2004

A Big Update

Its been a while since I have posted, its been really busy, and the electricity seems to switch off when I get time to post. Here is a big post.

Had a difficult time sleeping last night, I am eating mainly spicy food which my stomach cannot handle very well. It was very cold night and I had got a small fever, I was fine in the morning though. We decided to explore today. I walked around the building complex getting myself familiar with everything. I went to the hospital and sat with a few patients, then I walked around the school and kitchens and said hi to a few of the staff. Their work is manual and so hard. The ovens are coal fires and they make the kids meals all day long. They live on the premises as do many of the staff and teachers. Many if not all of the staff have horrific pasts, they also were very weary of me. I have always smiled and said hello and cracked a joke or two, I don't think they know what I am saying but all the same I a smile. (I know many people here humor me). Some of the staff have children that attend the school.

I was outside near the classrooms and I could hear giggling and I looked up and all the kids that we in class had got up to look out the window and were waving and calling me. It is clear we have to be careful when walking around as to not disrupt classes. We are hearing more and more horror stories and it is pretty clear that there is a great need for counseling here for the children.

I will post a small history of one the children in my future posts.

Name : Pankaj
He is 4-years old. He has a huge scar on the side of his head. This was caused by his violent father beating him with a stone over and over. He was found in a rubbish tip and was left for dead. It was touch and go for him as to whether he would survive. He got better but then school have had fair problems in getting him to adjust due to his violent behavior towards other children. He is much better now and is doing well at the school. He is shy but he has got attached to Monica.

Firstly I helped interview a person who came looking for a job. He was heavily involved in Human Rights an various charity causes. You have to be very careful in India as the person you are interviewing might not be who he says he is. There was something not right about this guy so we did not take it any further. We then travelled a few miles to the farm which has been setup to give fresh produce to the school for meal times. On the farm there were two cows and a new calve which was born the day we arrived in Delhi. What a great experience, we picked fresh fruit and veg and then sat in the sun eating some of it and chatting. It is a lovely day. I also met the computer teacher. He does not seem to know as much as he should and has asked me to help. I am will be sitting in on his lesson on Thursday.

Name : Sanjeev
He was found working at the a hotel nearby. He is 4 years old. He doesn't know who is parents are, his older brother still works at the hotel.

Today a lorry carry clothes imported from the UK was going to arrive. First I was filming the weekly free doctor service in the hospital. I was sat in consultation room with the doctor. He seemed like a very nice guy but did like to look at himself being filmed. There is such a fascination here with cameras of any sort. There were a few problems at the surgery when I arrived as people have a difficult time queuing here, also the queuing patients kept creeping closer and closer to the consultation room. Before you knew it the queue started inside the doctors room. I said a few words to the doctor and he asked the nurse to move everyone out as there was no privacy. I brought sweets down for the children that were seeing the doctor. A child of only a month old came in. The doctor checked her and told me she has a mumour in the heart and would need an operation. He called me over to listen to her heart through his stethoscope. Heartbreaking as the mother looked visibly distressed when she was told her child could not be made better with just medication. The doctor did reassure her that her daughter would get better. He told me that most of the problems come from poor water quality. There are many complaints of abdominal problems. It was a great experience to seeing people benefiting medical care who would otherwise not have any, some were traveling up to 3 hours to the hospital.

Name : Tibi
Tibi came in with her younger brother bleeding and badly beaten and bruised. A guy brought them in and said he had seen them in the street and thought he should bring them. The school kept Tibi but her brother did not survive from his injuries. At first she would not speak but once she did she began to tell how the guy who brought them in was her father and that he had beaten them so the school would accept them. He had warned them not tell school he was her father. What kind of pathetic human being would do a thing like that.


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