Posted by: janpierce | June 25, 2008

Bug Hunting with the Boys/ Education in India

  We just returned home from a week in McCall with the family.  Elijah had his sixth birthday party while we were there.  It was “A Very Bug Birthday.”  There were bug activities: making candy bugs on top of frosting, drawing a favorite bug, and the big event, trapping bugs in a jar decorated with bug stickers.  Of course the cake had bugs all over the top including one spectacular tarantula.  Elijah’s best  birthday gift was a bug home made of plastic tubes and fittings.  Needless to say Grandma had the job of assistant bug hunter for the rest of the week.  Luckily I like bugs myself and am not squeamish about handling them.  It is spring in McCall while the rest of us are having summer.  Everything was bright green and absolutely beautiful.  There is still a little dusting of snow on the mountain peaks all around the area. 

A week with the kiddos is a deja vu experience, especially when it comes to laundry that is never done and dishes with the same problem.  I do remember those days, but I can’t say I miss them.  I enjoy helping while I am there and then when we get home I count my blessings.

In India it is the beginning of a new school year.  We are beginning to shift our focus from material aid only and are including education. Many of the better schools charge tuition and the children have to pay for books and uniforms. We are now supporting eight different children in various schools around the country.  We’re finding that the most certain way to break the poverty cycle is to encourage the very best education possible.  Three of the children are in a Montessori school so their parents can work in church planting full time.  One boy, Lokesh, was my helper when I taught English at Dayanilayam and he is now entering English Medium school as an 8th grader.  Lokesh had encephalitis several years ago and had to be hospitalized for nearly a year. His family gave up their land and all they owned to pay for his care.  He is very bright and a hard worker.  I expect to get good reports on his educational progress. Four other young ladies will be attending either colleges or universities in and around the Jangaon area.  Most of these schools have sprung up in the last 30 years during the time that K.M. and Jayamani have operated the orphanage. It is a new time for learning in India and these young people know the value of an education. They understand that it will change their life and make all the difference for their extended family. They work hard so they can score well on the endless series of exams they have to take and are very thankful for the opportunity.  One Handful of Rice is still supplying extra nutrients to the diet at the orphanage.  Right now the children are getting curds with their rice and dal.  They also get eggs several times a week. The needs of the children for basic daily food, medical care and clothing continues to spur me on to raise funds.

I’m doing one of those crazy American things this weekend.  I am having a garage sale.  I don’t even care if I make any money.  Once the stuff gets put outside on tables, it’s not coming back in!  It is the cowardly way to get rid of things, but it works. I spend a lot of time thinking about the distribution of wealth and how I would love to transfer much of what I own to India.  It doesn’t work that way though.  Slowly we’re learning how to get the biggest “bang for our buck” over there.  Thanks for coming alongside us in our efforts.


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