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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sunday (Our Arrival in Ranchi)

What can I say to truly describe into words what I've experienced in the last 24 hours. I am speechless. I've probably seen and experienced more in the last 24 hours that I have in 34 years. We finally got to Ranchi, the flight was ok besides the ever so small incident of the passenger's mass exodus to the toilets while the plane was hurtling down the runway about to take off. Not a good idea, they obviously weren't paying attention to the saftey demonstration.

The drive from the airport to Ranchi was madness. We were picked up by Mum and Dad, Kittu and friends. It was hilarious, the driving, if you can call it that. It had me firmly on the edge of my site. It is an understatement to say there is no highway code. I lost count of the amount of cows we had to wait for while they crossed the, well you couldn't always call it a road.

So many rich colors and smiling faces, but alot of poverty. Then Kittu pulled up outside a street vendors store. He asked me to look at the owner. I cant explain what I saw but to give you an idea he was the exact twin of the elephant man and thats is no exaggeration. I was embarrassed to say I was completely gobsmacked, for almost a minute I could believe what I was seeing. I am due to go back there to meet him and see if we can help. He told Kittu before that he has alot of people come look at him but no one helps him. I will update you more on him on my future posts.

When we reached the School and Hospital it was surprisingly quiet, we said hi to all the staff and Family who were there with roses to greet us. Dad asked me to follow him and then WOW ! all the 300+kids were sitting in front me and Monica. They all stood up and said hello. It was breathtaking and ever so embarrassing. Who are we to receive such a greeting? It was unlike any show I have played at, so overwhelming. After saying hi to each and every one of them we went to unpack and to catch our breath.

Words cannot describe the kids so I am posting photos that I took during our evening meal. I just sat in the middle of all the kids with a camera and it was unreal. I would take a photo and show them. They soon cottoned on and were grouping up with friends so I would take a photo.

Love is a free emotion here, they don't want anything else from you but that. I have made so many friends who's face light up when you walk near. They love to just hold your hand. So many faces I had seen only on video and photos before now. Mum and dad are full of life. Dad is in his own world and wants to show me everything this very second. He is so happy, I have not seen him like this ever. I am totally taken by the amount of work he has done and his dedication. I also ask the question what we would have turned out like had he never left the country to give us a better life. Something that is so clear to me now. So little here but so many laughing faces. The principal has told us only to speak in English as he wants them to practice and get a true experience. That gets me off the hook cause my hindi is as good as my japanese. Its not a good feeling when a 5 year old asks why I dont speak properly :-).

I am on a dial up account for internet access so will post as often as I can. Also the electricity is as bad told me it was maybe worse. Dad is keeping me busy and any free time I have I end up having 30 kids walk in to drag me off to play.

Everyone needs to do this at some point. Earlier rather than later.


Blogger simonw said...

Glad to hear you both made it OK and the flights were on time.

The photos look good and I envy the temperature you are "enduring" compared to the weather here in the UK; last night (Sunday) was pretty cold.

I too encountered a woman once with Proteus syndrome, similar to the street vendor you encountered. It is an extremely rare (thankfully), but very nasty condition. It is hard to know what to say and when you see the condition at close quarters for the first time it is quite shocking.

The children sound a lot of fun and will doubtless wear you out, but improve your cricket / football skills.

Have a great time

12:32 pm  

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