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Why choose when you can have both?—Field Blog #5

4 February 2014

On this day Tarik and I visited the smaller orphanage; SUNWAY, which houses about 50 students. I was glad to be given a ride as it is about 5 kilometers from town. We met Ravi’s wife who had one of her twin sons along side. I was introduced to the other staff, of about 10, as I toured through the building. It seemed to be relatively new with lots of raw, unfinished areas. Workmen were busy toiling to resolve a drainage problem and to place a culvert pipe under the driveway, so that water could flow away from the property. Tarik had set this work into action upon his arrival, since it had to be completed before our departure. Work progresses very slowly here as it is done by manual labour only. In a shop elsewhere railings were being built for another project.

SUNWAY was in need of a great many items—uniforms that had to be tailor-made, lamps, bowls, socks and undergarments, the list went on and on. A rickshaw was hired to carry all the goods. The driver would wait at each stall and help load the items. A person on each side of the rickshaw was needed to keep the load secure.

While the goods were being delivered to SUNWAY, Tarik and I took a break to recap the activities of the day, before walking back to Jeanamitabh orphanage to hang out with the children. I found out that one could sponsor a child. I immediately became interested and looked around for possibilities. Two boys stood out for me; Raju who had given a speech at the morning ceremony, which had greatly impressed me. Another, younger boy, who kept smiling at me and stayed close by my side. I asked Raju, who speaks very good English to walk with me, so that we could get to know one another. We headed for the Studio playground of an Indian movie star and sat in the sand of a dried up river. The connection between us became closer and closer. He has such an amazing insight into life. He is what some call: ‘an old soul’ – perhaps a Guru from a previous reincarnation. Raju has won speaking competitions and he is very proud of his achievements. He wanted a sponsor who is interested in his life, not some one he had no interaction with.

By the end of our walk I had decided to sponsor Raju; his face lit up with the widest smile imaginable.

I immediately told Mummy Jee of my intentions.  She at first tried to dissuade me since he already has a sponsor and because of Sujit, who had been wooing me, so to speak. I could not decide between the two; so the only other solution was to choose both, which I did. I am so proud of Raju –15 and Sujit-10 as they both plan to share me as their new Godfather.

Jeff, Paper Kite volunteer

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