"I took some time out for life."
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it is not even possible for me to take enough pictures to tell you how my life has changed. Its the initial things that began my "culture shock" that are now becoming normal. The smells are becoming familiar, the staring becoming customary, the love is becoming stronger, and food.. well the food will always, more or less be my least favorite part of traveling. I have conformed into this picky eater over the past year or so that I am not familiar with. In result of that, I have been a little bit hungry. It doesn't help that when I am back at home I am an avid eater, all day long!
Today was my first full day of the schedule we are going by. I was up early, around 6:30 and didn't end up going back to sleep. We have morning conclave at 830, then at 9 we all leave to go to our various projects for the day. We are split into three groups with five people and a leader in each group. Today I was assigned to construction. On one of the colonies is currently building four bathrooms. Our job today ( Three of us and leader. The other two had not arrived yet) was to move cinderblocks from one pile to these four bathrooms. 65 cinderblocks per bathroom. Good, hard, hot labor. I enjoyed it. We got done early though because, the construction manager, Victory had a family member die and had to go into Chennai. So we went and visited with the carpenter in this community, who was also the snake charmer. So we were highly entertained for the next half hour. There was a cobra and three "rat snakes." I held all three of the rat snakes at once, and I was completely fine until one of them started to coil around my neck. Thats never a good feeling. We took the 45 minute drive home and when we got back I took my first shower, well I took my first rinse. I actually enjoyed the bucket shower very much. Much more than the "squatters." Then we have our own time until 430 which when walk over and play with the kids until they have prayer time at 6. Then dinner on the roof of the Elephant house ( which is where all the volunteers stay) and then back to the kids at 730. All of the kids sleep here and are divided into families. Each has a house mother and two volunteers. We all go to our families and help the kids finish their homework and put them to sleep. Its adorable when the younger kids go to sleep. The house mom sets out a 5 gallon bucket and the younger group of our family strips down to their underwear and all go into one room and fall asleep on bamboo mats. If you ever though it was difficult to put a couple kids to sleep, try 20! They are pretty obedient, but there are always the couple rambunctious kids that make everything so much more difficult. We leave at nine when the rest of the kids go to sleep. By the time you get ready for bed and finally lay down, you realize how tired you are and nearly pass out. Thats the point I am at right now.