Thursday, July 9, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Yesterday (my time) was my younger brother Trevor's birthday. Since I was not able to use the computer to tell him before his bed time I wanted to give him a special bday wish on my blog...

Yesterday was a pretty rough day. The subtle issue with respect that I was having reached an uncomfortable limit. Since being in India, I have dealt with people assuming that because I am from America that I am a bit slow or lack knowledge of common realities and because I am a woman it has been insinuated that I am generally incapable of being an independent human being. Because I am here alone, now that Promona has gone, these issues have began to rise again. It is assumed that i have lived the "sheltered American life" and in no way can adjust to the realities of the Indian lifestyle. In coming to India, I took full responsibility and made the choice of being on my own in a trouble torn state and coming to help the children. If my voice is heard when I am standing in front of the children or doing anything that is related to the children, then it not be questioned when I make a general statement or ask a simple question. While usually I can ignore these small things and continue with my day, I unintentionally allowed it to get to me.
But like all good things must come to an end, so must all bad things. I was able to spend the day with a woman that I met earlier in my stay here at Parijat. We engaged in great conversation. We talked about child labor in India and she explained to me her experiences with it. While many will say that it is wrong, a lot of people keep children in their homes to make sure they stay off of the streets and properly educate them. But then there are parents that want the child to make money for them, so if a person says that they will educate the child, then the parent will not allow them to stay and instead take them somewhere where they will be able to work and earn money. It is a vicious cycle, parents instill the thought of money in the child's mind and the children have no desire to learn, or to do anything besides work for a living. It was a very interesting and heartbreaking conversation. Even when people try so hard to help the children in these conditions, there is not much that can effectively be done.
The older students came yesterday for a quiz competition, like a Jeopardy sort of thing. It was all in fun and the children really enjoyed themselves, especially the charades category...even I enjoyed that part. They stayed for a couple of hours and answered Assamese history, traditional songs, and geography questions. Even though I could not understand much of what was said, I really enjoyed the competition.
I can't believe that Micheal Jackson is actually gone. Since I haven't been in America, I don't think that it had sat in until last night. I let the hostel children watch the thriller video on my iPod and told them that it was Michael Jackson. They had no idea who he was!! It saddened me to know that the children hadn't been exposed to such a great music icon. They really enjoyed the video and asked to see it again. It was then that I realized that Michael was actually gone, that his music will not be able to reach new generations.

I have to get ready to go now...but I will post soon!!

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