Peace in the Neighborhood

We have peace in the neighborhood.  We have our new security guards.  The Dadas are quiet and we are back to our former polite and respectful behavior.  Maybe it will happen again, but of course in my persistent optimism I feel like the trouble is over.  In the quiet and not so quiet conflict I achieved two important goals.  I changed the security company in spite of the community agitation to prevent their transfer.  I also proved that the police would come if called.  When the police came they quieted the Dadas and said they would call everyone to the station to tell their "sides" but this never happened.  Everything went quiet instead.  I had more meetings with local officials and put the blame on my former security company who lost control of their guards leading to this agitation.  I am relieved.

Life goes on.  Two days ago, in the midst of all this I visited the State Archaeological Museum close by.  We visited there last year and it's a really beautiful quiet museum.  I have an idea to take the children out to one of the digs, so I went to discuss it.  My orphans love history.  It gives them a sense of rootedness.  So there I was, absorbed looking at First Century A.D. sculpture, an inner trip away from the neighborhood conflicts.  This has been my practice through many times of trouble, to once a day do something totally unrelated to the trouble, something that takes me away from the thoughts and emotions.  Looking at the model of a recently dug Buddhist Monetary, seeing the rooms of the students, the teachers, the common courtyard… a bit of travel away.  And yes, at some time we will visit the site.    I imagine some of our girls working at a dig.  They would be great at identifying artifact vs, stone as they rocked the strainers.

 

Today was a Bengali examination at school.  Seven girls went, including the home schooled (who are enrolled but who we teach at home).  The girls did exceptionally well, including the two being taught at home.  One of our girls is struggling so we will teach her at home for a while, and send one of the two home schooled back to school.  I love having that flexibility.  Last night was beautiful here as the girls read Bengali in preparation for the exam.  They each read out loud, making a hum of lyrical sounds through the house.  Bengali is a lyrical language.

I've made a lot of school changes for the children with disabilities, which I'll write about separately.  I'm actually trying to enter them into the government school that the big girls go to.  India in law has free education at primary level and must accept all children into the schools.  But that doesn't mean it will happen.

Things are quiet within Shishur Sevay too.  We seem to have a staff that gets along with each other and with me.  One of the massis is educated and so she has taken on more responsibility as an assistant teacher.  She also does well with the older girls in terms of discipline.  Other massis sometimes listen in to classes, which is also nice.  One of the night massis usually brings one of her two daughters with her.  On Sundays all staff has lunch, our main meal, and they can bring their children for the day.  Our girls love having the visitors — my little mothers all love taking care of them.

 

I am terribly behind on work.  The trouble was consuming.  For now it is over, and this feels very good.

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