The Early Bird Gets the Mango

This morning we were early to school, very early.  I’m chronically getting us places early.  After getting out of the car, and going through the gate, we walk along a path that takes us to the buildings.  Sometimes we are very lucky and find raw, unripe mangoes on the ground, an “Early Bird Special”.  The kids love these mangoes, bitter, tongue curling bitter, bitter as bitter can be, and they love it!  So this morning we were lucky and they found a mango.  Some days ago I found a mango for them as I’d walked ahead… looking as if for shells on a beach and I found one.
Later the girls will share the mango with each other and their friends, each one getting a tiny little piece.  I tried it once and as I write I can feel my mouth curling…..  The morning is quiet here and I love the walk and the time with the girls.  I carry a camera always.  I love looking through the lens, a limited view where I concentrate, focus, see how I like it, whether I want to save it… to shutter or not to shutter. (^)

8 AM Arriving at school with 6 students, one teacher, one massi (caretaker), one Bijoy, one Me (Dr. H)

Pond filled with growth. This bird is often there, but today we saw many chicks in the grass. Tomorrow I’ll bring my good camera.

Girls going into the building. We are earlybut not the first ones there.

Pausing to take a picture of little flowers.

Back in Panchabatitala, we pull up next to the park for me to get out while Bijoy parks the car.   Today I take a picture of the park’s new blue and white paint as ordered by the government to replace the recently painted green white and orange of the Indian flag.

 We don’t use the park because local boys harass girls so it’s really a park for boys, little kids, parents, old people, but not girls over about 10 years.

An open drain as I walk down the lane to Shishur Sevay. The local funds that are to take care of drains were used to paint the park.

The colors of sunshine and greenery of Shishur Sevay! Bijoy’s motorcycle is parked in front. I smile when I turn the bend and see our house ahead.

The home I walk into… Sonali is doing her acrobatics, Sanjana is in the standing box, getting taller and stronger each day. New little Kalpana has become their activity director. They listen to her!

Kalpana is showing pictures to Sanjana. Sanjana pays attention to her.

Shanti Devi, friend, Board Member, comes each morning at six to work with the little ones. They are her children and they work hard to please her.

Well, by 9:30 AM I’m at the computer, looking at these pictures, resizing, and then working on the blog.  It’s taken til 4 pm to finish — time broken up, but still time carrying on this conversation.  What’s it like?  This is what it is like, a little bit of everything, kids, writing, staff, phone calls, lunch, tea — I spend time with a girl haunted by memories.  She draws and I ask questions about her drawing.  She wants me to know.  The school girls get home and tell me about their day, homework, funny stories that happened.  The school gave Ganga more books so Purba and Maggie are covering them.  In truth, there is a very ordinary quality to our lives here, ordinary but unusual.

My Cup Runneth Over..

I forget sometimes to write about what it is like for me here, every morning, day, night.   Whatever the chaos, the “things” that go on, trials and tribulation of living anywhere,  I am always only one hug away from a child who will take comfort on my lap, in my arms, and there is no sweeter feeling —

“Souls sang to her heart,

Harsh winds taking them afar,

She nestled them home.”       MH 

I am home with my nestlings.  I heard them calling and brought them home.

April 2012
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