October 13, 2019: Sophie’s India


This entry is quite a long one, but one that makes me smile whenever I read it. My time in India was jam packed, so every entry during that time spans a few days. To summarize, Aunt Jayne and I were staying at the Michael Job Center in India, where Christian girls, most of whom are orphans, are taken in and given housing and an education. They are incredible, bright, kind girls and I wanted to spend as much time getting to know and help them as possible. I’ll never be able to thank my Aunt Jayne enough for bringing me on this trip!

Wow, wow, wow! What an incredible, busy, crazy few days! I don’t even know where to begin so I’m just going to throw random things down as they come to me. 

In the mornings Aunt Jayne and I started going to have tea with Vala, the head chef, after chapel. I wandered into the kitchen and took some photos of the staff, which they were absolutely thrilled about. Everybody loves having their picture taken here, actually. So I have some really amazing portraits! Hopefully I’ll make another trip back and be able to give them all some prints. 

a man and women sitting on the floor in the kitchen preparing food
Vala (right) and another worker preparing breakfast

We also made a trip into Coimbatore to do some shopping for the girls with money that Aunt Jayne raised. The driver was absolutely horrendous and poor Aunt Jayne was afraid for her life. Not to mention he came a whole hour late, which definitely put us in a bit of a time crunch. Aside from that, it was amazing to watch Mini in action! She knew all of the sizes of 40 plus girls off the top of her head. Shirts, bottoms, shoes, everything. Her memory is unreal. I also picked up a thing or two for Sam and Mom… The poor girls who came with us were exhausted and also had exams the next day. Hopefully they had fun at least.

Another evening we had dinner at Sushma and Joseph’s house, workers at the school who also have daughters that attend. It was such a special evening. Joseph was playing the guitar while we all chatted, humming a few bits here and there. Then, the whole family casually joined in and started singing a Nepalize song. It was SO beautiful, I felt like I was in the sound of Music. When we ate dinner, which was also spectacular, we tried to go like the locals and eat with our hands. One of the daughters was trying to help us out with pointers. By the end I would say we were pretty good! They also got us Jalebi for dessert, which absolutely melted my heart  because the night before I had mentioned that they were my favorite.

Two nights we also had dinner with Joseph and Mini, another incredible cook. This place has done me so dirty with food. People love to put food on your plate and it’s kind of rude to say no! It tastes sooo amazing but the scale is definitely not my friend right now.

One afternoon I went to watch the girls at dance/gymnastics. It’s really not my forte but they somehow got me to do a headstand. Watching them was so fun and was one of the first times I felt like I knew the girls really well.

Afterwards we roamed around for a while taking some pictures when it suddenly started to torrential downpour! Instead of running inside, the girls actually stayed out to dance around in the rain! It’s so hot that their clothes seem to dry instantly anyway once the sun comes out. Once they had dried off a bid, Mini handed out all of the shopping we had done for the girls. It was so nice to see all of their reactions.

three indian girls drenched from the rain and me laughing
My reaction to the girls coming in soaking wet!

The day before we left we went to visit Lot 4, which is a farm the school is investing in so that they can become more self-sufficient. They had everything from coconut and banana trees to cows, dogs, and chickens. Aunt Jayne and I even got to plant some trees! Not to mention they gave us more than our fair share of coconuts to fill up on. From Lot 4 we went to another farm who was being sponsored by the government, which is what the school hopefully will achieve. I got some incredible pictures of the workers, they just love it! The family even invited us to stay with them, too, so it looks like we’re going to have a very busy social calendar when we go back…

Probably one of my favorite images from the farm. Caught in a moment of thought.

The last morning was so bittersweet. At chapel both Aunt Jayne and I spoke, and we both ended up crying, of course. She left in the morning and then I had until evening. When I left a bunch of the girls wrote me letters and gave me candies, which made saying goodbye even harder. Like to think that there will be a next time…

October 13, 2019

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