An adventuresome winter ahead.
Again, a big week for the Children’s Village! As predicted, our roof beams have gone up – they look really cool! – and we had a celebratory feast for our construction workers. Unfortunately, due to the unreliable public transportation between Shillong and Kharang, I missed the whole feast. The workers did stay around the house waiting for me to return, which I like to think is at least partly because they wanted to see me, but know it was mostly for the chocolate cake I was bringing from Shillong. Regardless, it’s really exciting to see the full shape of the Children’s Village.
We’re also sending our “mothers” to the month-long training in Delhi with the S.O.S. Children’s Village organization! They’re being well taken care of at their current training in Shillong, and they told Nangroi and I this past weekend that they willing to take the long trip to Delhi for additional training. They’ll have two weeks of “live-in” training like they’re having in Shillong now, and two weeks in the classroom. This morning, Nangroi and I will call the Head Madam at the Delhi training center to confirm the dates for the training, and on Tuesday, I’ll head back to Shillong to buy the train tickets. The ladies are supposed to wear salwar kameezes for the training, so Karuna, Bari, and I had a bargaining adventure to get them ready-made salwar suits. We were quite successful, getting four pretty suits for Rs 1,000 (about $20).
The only problem with this Delhi training is that the ladies will need an escort out there and back, and the only person with that kind of time is me. So, it looks like I’ll be out of Meghalaya for a whole month (because I’m certainly not taking the 36-hour train ride by myself!). In that time, I’ll probably drop by the S.O.S. classroom training (if permitted by the Head Madam), visit with friends in the Delhi area (including my friend from high school Sarah Beth who’s coming to India for vacation, the Mohans who are my Delhi family, and the kids at the ADL Children’s Village), and maybe take a couple of weeks vacation back in the U.S.! I’m sad that I’ll probably miss the construction completion because of this time away, but I think I’ll make good use of my time away. Certainly, it’s wonderful that our ladies will have one and a half months worth of mother-training!
As well on Tuesday, Nangroi, Karuna, and I may find time to visit Puriang (Fairfax’s partner church and school) because a teacher there told me that there are orphans in need of help in the village. Hopefully we can make arrangements with Ditol, the headmaster of the school, later today!
In addition to all these orphanage business endeavors, I had a really nice weekend staying at Karuna’s house in Shillong. Her daughter Liza was away at camp, so I kept her company with plenty of chatting and eating. As I mentioned, we spent a bit of time shopping for salwars (and also checking on furniture prices), but we both found Shillong-at-Christmastime too exhausting to stay out long. Did you know that you can find Kraft-slice-like cheese in India? I didn’t know that, but I ate it on chappati with mayonnaise for breakfast. Most of you probably think that sounds disgusting – especially my friends from high school who saw me eat cheese-and-mayo sandwiches every day for lunch – but I assure you, it’s delicious.
Lastly and least importantly, the kitten (Corey) has been freaking out ever since I came home to the village from Shillong, scampering about and attacking my shoes and jainkyrsha. Since she has no siblings (the other two kittens were mercy-killed by the mother because she didn’t have enough milk for all three – seriously), I think she’s really bored when I go away. Fear not, kitten, for I will keep you entertained as much as possible before my long holiday vacation!