Welcome to Our New Blog Site

Today is the first day of the rest of this blog….. We have moved from Typepad, in the still of the night, communicating over oceans and social networking sites, and now I want to bring you up to date on life here at Shishur Sevay.  First of all, I’m back at Shishur Sevay after three wonderful weeks visiting my family in NY, especially my new granddaughter, whom I miss a lot.  I’m stretched across the world.  That’s how it feels.  I was also thrilled to be back home with my kids here.  I’m anchored in two continents. 

We at Shishur Sevay have never gone away overnight.  I was reluctant to do so until I felt I had a good team, and that the girls would be well-behaved.  And we needed to find a place we would be safe, as we have not always been safe here.  Mondarmani Beach is a stretch along the Bay of Bengal, not yet built up, still without even a road, or electricity (except for individual generators).  The beach is almost empty except for some few vacationers, and a herd of cows walking peacefully along the water twice a day.  The vacation was wonderful.  The girls were wonderful.  Our girls with disabilities were able to enjoy the beach and the vacation with the others.  My team worked well.  I did not have to carry the full burden of the trip.  It was as good as it gets and I felt a wonderful sense of peace about the girls, their growth, poise, behavior, and all that we have achieved.  The feeling remains.

I brought back two wheelchairs donated to us by the A Harry Moore school in Jersey City.   great about letting me take them.  So, we had four chairs and were able to use them on the beach, even indulging in a bit of wheelchair racing, which was totally disorganized and just a chance for the big girls to have fun with the little ones.

Our new Associate Director left while I was away so that was a blow and the work load is enormous once again.  It really was nice to have some relief, but this is a very tough place.  I think I’ve written before that originally I wanted to write a “how to” book for others who wanted to do this.  But one day I asked myself, “Who?”

Well, life here… the girls still have three days of vacation and they are back to studying.  I discovered today that our math teacher was giving exams using the same problems she showed them, not changing the numbers at all.  It came up because in marking, for one of the girls, the work was all wrong but the answer was right — so she must have remembered the answer.   It’s like a conspiracy to not have them think, or need to think what they are doing.  So I crumpled up the papers and said for her to give a new test with new numbers. 

Our new special educator is working out very well and she is excited to explore the technology i’ve brought back.  Ganga is working on the keyboard, trying with toes, hand, nose, and tongue….  We are also having a head pointer made for her.  Bono has learned to use the communication board to tell us she likes to eat, is sad when food is delayed, and she doesn’t like to study.  Rani was quiet and at peace for the whole vacation.  She is bored here and we are working on that.   And our little Sonali remains happy and playful all the time.  We are working on choice making, and also seeing if she has any useful vision.

As for me, I’m sitting at the computer too much, not exercising, missing the hours of walking in the US.  It’s been hot like an oven here, though monsoon should start within a week, and then we will have some relief.

Jelly, our dog missed us and didn’t eat much while we were away.  The guards and our house supervisor took care of her.  It’s been quiet in the neighborhood, but still, the guards were actually afraid to be on duty alone while we were away.  I agreed to have them double up at night, two guards on for the night.  Everything was fine though.

It’s late on the night of this first blog of the rest of the blogs here.   I’m very grateful to the friends who helped me through this transition.  Some problems actually get solved!!!!  What a wonderful thought.  On this note, I say good night to those of you in India and “Have a great day” to those who are just beginning the day.






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June 2011
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