India blog part 2

Yesterday afternoon I produced the French knitting dolls. The girls had never seen them before and were fascinated and puzzled in equal measure. I taught them how to start off with the small amount of wool in the boxes, and I think they wondered what was the point as they made stitch after stitch to no apparent effect.
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But when the knitting began to appear out of the other end of the doll there was delight and laughter. When they had made these practice pieces I showed them how to roll them up and sew them into rounds. I’m including some photos with this blog, but for obvious reasons I can’t show the girls’ faces.
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These initial pieces were so small, I regarded them only as practice and assumed they would be thrown away when they started on the larger pieces with full balls of wool. But I underestimated the inventiveness of these young ladies. They attached hair-clips to the little circles of knitting and were soon wearing them in their hair! Then they dived into the big bag of donated balls of wool, choosing their colours, and have now embarked on larger pieces.
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This morning the girls cooked delicious banana pancakes for breakfast and then we set out on the 20 minute walk to church. The worship was heartfelt and joyous, and the Hindi songs on the overhead were also transliterated into English letters so I was able to join in in both languages, and my neighbour kindly explained to me what I was singing in Hindi.
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It was “open mic church” if I can call it that, so instead of a sermon, people took it in turns to share thoughts, songs, poems and dances, some in English and some in Hindi. A very moving and refreshing morning.

Afterwards, we hung around and chatted over chocolate cake and chai, and by the end of it I had in my diary a lunch date with the pastor’s wife to chat and swap notes on raising a disabled child, and an engagement to go and speak to a group of businesswomen about the worth of people the world overlooks, and how to value the contributions of people whose disabilities mean they will never contribute economically to society, but we should not overlook the love, joy, laughter and simplicity which they bring to our lives and communities.
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After church we came back to the home and the girls cooked a delicious lunch of rice, dhal and spicy vegetables. It always amazes me how fast they can rustle up something really tasty. After lunch I ventured into the kitchen and offered to help with the washing up. My offer was rejected with, “No, Aunty!” and hoots of laughter, as if nothing so ridiculous had ever been heard! S told me they probably don’t realise I have to do it myself at home! Then after a visit from someone who was spending today with the church, they took out the French knitting dolls again, and are working away as I type.

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