It's late and I'm sleepy eyed but I want to write before today slips away. It was one of those days that started early and seemed to come and go in a flash. I set out on an early morning hunt for crutches for Sagar who broke his foot playing soccer :( We've had a few too many runs to the hospital these past two weeks. Fingers crossed we're done with the orthopedic and the hospital for a while.
What started as a quick shopping trip at 7 this morning turned into an hour or so of running around in my slippers and pajamas with bedhead that seems to be permanent these days. I was able to cross a few things off my shopping list and came home to Namraj in the midst of a serious tantrum because he hadn't done his homework and he didn't want to go to school. I held his hand and pencil in my hand and pretty much copied the letter F and the number 8 ten times while he bawled his eyes out. When he continued to scream and not let go of my neck, I decided to go with the little ones on the bus to pre-school and drop them off, still in my slippers and pajamas. The rest of the day was a blurr, running over to the new school site, doing paperwork, accounting, contracts, more accounting, more paperwork, excel spreadsheets, and a lot of me wishing I had paid more attention in highschool when they were teaching excel.
I ran over to the school for DHAL BAHT lunch, and took a sneak peak at Becky's incredible progress with Mental Health and suicide awareness month. When I see the work Becky is doing all I can do is let out a huge sigh of relief. Our students are soaking it up. In the afternoon, I checked in with some of our teachers and kitchen staff, and had a productive meeting the school fellows on grading and curriculum. Everyone is working SO HARD around here. At 5pm I jumped in the car with Magdalena and Rachna (our women's center teacher) for the most inspiring evening I've had in a long long time. Our visit to Shambhat Center has been on Magdalena's and my calendar for a couple months but I still had no idea of the treat I was in for and this is the main reason I'm staying up to be sure I post this.
Our mission was to distribute 25 maxi kits to the girls of Shambhat Center. The Kopila Women's Center and MiaAmicas worked together to produce 250 sanitary kits for 250 girls and women and we are at just about the tail end of distribution. The girls were soooo thankful and excited to receive the kits and believe-it-or-not were pretty amped to talk and learn more about menstruation. They were all ages 13-19 and were mostly forced to drop out of school They are all victims of extreme poverty, some of child marriage. The meeting took place in a dark mud hut that you had to duck down to walk into, pretty much the size of a walk in closet back home Magdalena and I sat in on the most incredibly inspiring discussion group, addressing social issues, and finding solutions through singing, conversations, acting out skits, and drawing. The girls were incredibly bright, insightful, funny, and had the most amazing ideas. I've never left a session talking about something that should be depressing and sad feeling so happy and hopeful. Magdalena and I talked about how awesome it was the entire way home and well into dinner. I gushed to the kids at satsung about how these girls were taking a bad situation into their hands and working together to find solutions. I want to be a part of more of these discussion groups and find a way to make them more commonplace in our community. I've never seen a more effective way to address social issues right then and there at the most critical time period, girl effect style. It was especially cool because we thought we were just going to distrubute maxi pads and ended up with so much more. I'm so impressed with these girls and I'm going back!
What's in a MAXI KIT you ask?!