India blog part 8

IMG_1685Wall hanging in the girls’ home

One of the things that contributes to the bubbly atmosphere here in the girls’ home is that, for all their very varied personalities, many of the girls have an impish sense of humour. But often I don’t know what they’re giggling about, because it’s all in Hindi. However, this morning I was privy to a prank being played. Lunch was being prepared, and one of the girls went into the bedrooms shouting, “Lunch ready!” She summoned the girls from their rooms and sent them in the direction of the dining room. I was reading at the time, so I closed the book and started to rise from my chair. But she came and leaned over to me and whispered, “No, Aunty, you stay. I fun!” and then giggled as the girls trooped back from the dining room, having discovered that lunch was not ready after all!

This is a day off for me, with no engagements and not too much preparation left to do for the coming week. So this afternoon I went with another volunteer, an Australian lady, to the nearby shopping mall. I was able to buy all the gifts I need to take home and we even found a Starbucks. We went by autorickshaw, as hair-raising a ride as it always is here. Coming back, we haggled with the driver over the price and finally settled on 80 rupees. But when we arrived back here, he tried to up the price to 100 rupees. I was glad of my Australian companion who was much more graciously assertive than I would have managed to be, and without ever deviating from calm politeness refused to give him any more than he had agreed at the outset.

Now I think we have a relaxing evening ahead. I might see if I can link my laptop to the TV and show them this video of one of my favourite story tellers telling a story I think they would enjoy: and which would obviously give lots of scope for talking to them about the meaning of the story.


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