It’s been a week. Things are falling into place. We have our routine. The boys have their routine and I’m slowly falling in love with every single one of them. Their smiles, their gestures, their personalities, their laughs, their twinkly eyes and their stories. We got to know the staff better and they got to know us better. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are becoming more and more fun. Father Felix’ contagious laugh, Father Maria’s funny jokes, Brother Chris’ college stories and Brother Chinna’s shy sweetness. I’m starting to feel at home here and that’s a really good feeling.
The past few days have been slow. Like everything in India goes slow (except for traffic, lol.) We’ve had quite some free time, played a ton of sports with the boys, played cards, did our first laundry, cleaned our rooms (Yes mom, I actually did…) and played some more cards. We haven’t been able to teach English in school yet, the boys are having exams right now and after their exams and break we’ll be able to teach some classes, this means we need to wait till October… it sucks that we have to wait another month, but that’s India. However, I’m not complaining. Life is good here. Living ‘slow’ for 4 months is something we might actually just need, instead of always living ‘fast’ and stressful in the Netherlands, which isn’t always a good thing.
By now our jetlag is gone, so that means we wake up early at 5.45 am and join the Christian morning mass. The first time was beyond interesting.
Friday morning. the speakers in the hallway were screaming Indian songs and I woke up with a jolt. TOO LOUD. Anyway, I got out of bed with my puffy eyes and quickly got ready. As we walked downstairs, we had no idea what to expect. All children were already there and singing in Tamil. Karlijn and I quickly walked in and found a place in the back. Father Maria and Father Felix were in front, wearing their priest clothing, which almost looked weird to me after always seeing them in their casual clothing. Pushpaneda, one of my loving kids, walked in with a coconut filled with incense. ‘Well that sure was something different from the silver Censer filled with incent from the Western Church.’ I looked around me and saw flashy green and red Christmas lights, ‘hmm they sure decorate churches differently here’. I saw many children standing on their bare foot, which isn’t weird, many of them don’t even have any shoes. However, then I saw even Chinna and Chris not wearing their shoes…As I looked down to my favorite Vans sneakers, I realized I was probably not allowed to bring my babies inside. Don’t worry, I apologized later for standing with shoes on holy ground. The 1,5 hour mass seemed to take forever, as we didn’t understand a single word of it. However hearing the boys sing was entertaining, some of them were even playing drums and a keyboard!
The night mass was even more interesting! It was pitch dark outside and the 100 of us were all holding candles. The boys were singing and praying as we all walked over the field. All the lights around us looked stunning! Seeing the boys being so devoted to their religion is amazing, they have hope, which is something that some of them desperately need. Father teaches them that being poor doesn’t tell anything about the amount of money they have. You’re only poor if you’re not a good person by heart and soul. These children might not have any shoes and might have to sleep on the ground, but they are sooo rich. Their hearts are so pure, good and beautiful.
Cyril, my handsome 8 year old with his endless enthusiasm, he is always running, jumping and mostly laughing. Oh, how much I love his laugh. Nelson, a 14 year old with the biggest heart, he is genuinely the sweetest. His twinkly eyes are always trying to find eye contact with me and whenever he sees me, his smile goes from ear to ear. Thinking about him brings a smile just as big on my face. Clement, one of the older ones, he is 16 years old and makes me so proud, he is basically a big brother to the little ones. He takes care of them, he hugs and kisses them and helps them. I have no idea what the boys would do without him. Pushpa, the quiet, shy and beautiful one. He is always polite, asking about my day, my family and whether I’m homesick. I can’t imagine anyone not loving him. And there are so many more of them. Oh, I wish you could meet them, all 90 of them. They stole my heart and I better make sure I get it back before I leave in 4 months.
As of right now, I am truly happy. Happy with everything and everyone in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.