Last Sunday we took a trip to Vatsalya orphanage to do some service work. After a quick tour of the dorms, school, and kitchen and a chai break (the best chai so far!) we broke up into groups to tackle some of the things on the orphanage's to-do list. Julian, Fay, and I went to white wash the guest rooms that the volunteers use. The other teams went to work on the glass panes for the solar cooker and oil paint the school rooms. It's the first time I ever worked with white wash and I must say that painting with my home depot paint is way easier. For whitewash, first you have to mix water into this white putty-like mixture until it becomes as running as water. Then you have to mix powdered color dye in it until you achieve the proper overly bright color to make it properly Indian. We took a lunch break with the kids in their cafeteria and the food was some of the best I had. Real home-made comfort quality food and we even got some delicious rice porridge for dessert. After finishing up the white-washing we got a chance to play with the kids. They taught us how to play kabbaddi-kabbaddi which every school-age child plays. The rules are too long and complicated to write out here, but basically you hold your breath and on exhale you keep repeating kabbiddi-kabbiddi-kabbiddi without taking a breath and in the mean-time, you cross into the other team's territory and try to tag one of them without getting tackled. Yes, tackled. Even though we were much bigger than the kids we were competing against, we still lost all 3 games we played against them. We had a great time though and I got to wrap up my time with the younger boys by video taping them singing and dancing for me, which they thought was the greatest thing ever.
The school house, they're still saving for glass to put in the windows.
The girls' dorm cluster.
The cafeteria and the solar cooker on the roof. One of the boys wanted to join, that's the "formal" picture pose that they all assume when getting their picture taken. That is, of course, until the video camera comes out...
Julian, me, and Fay trying to figure out how to mix whitewash. Julian eventually got tired of mixing with a stick and stuck his hands in. Which actually works much better.
The boys putting on a show.