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Merry Christmas!

26 December 2012

By Xilo

Tarik and I had a very busy Christmas day.  In the morning we visited Jeanamitabh where I took videos of the welcome ceremony for Tarik.  This is his third year visiting Jeanamitabh so he has made friends with some of the children and everyone was eager to say hi to him.  As I imagined, most of the boys feel more comfortable talking with him and it was heart warming to see them crowding around him, welcoming him back.

However, not all the boys are quite so shy with me.  I have had interesting conversations with some of the older boys.  For example, yesterday Ramsey and I spoke about at length about the dowry system, the caste system, and my impressions of India while we waited for the Christmas lunch to be served.  (Lunch was delicious, although a bit too spicy for Tarik’s liking, which meant more food for me!)

After lunch we mingled a little more with the children and then headed out to meet with Ravi, one of the managers from Sunway.  He wanted to finalize the purchase of building materials for some construction work that Paper Kite is sponsoring this year.  Ravi is eager to begin the construction work because he knows that Tarik wants to see that everything is finished before he leaves. (This is very important as we do not like to leave money behind when we return to Canada.  This ensures that all the money goes to the projects and purchases that have been vetted and approved by the Paper Kite board of directors.)

In Bodhgaya you can’t go to a Home Depot type store and order all the building supplies you need.  You must to go to each shop, which specializes in things like making nails, making bricks, making cement, and so forth to get the materials.  I took pictures of all the transactions so that we can show what is being purchased as Paper Kite wants to be as transparent as possible about what we do with the money that is donated to us every year.

After finishing the purchases we decided to go back to Jeanamitabh so that I could take advantage of the children’s free day and conduct interviews with some of the older ones.  I was impressed by the level of English of the children I met and look forward to sharing the stories of the children I spoke with so that people who can’t meet them in person can learn about their history and their dreams for the future.

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