This weekend was an amazing argument for the reason I am trying so hard to live openly. It is crazy how easily I could spend every moment here in the service of the people who need help, and still have more to do. So I told myself to just live with my life open, open to the need of those around me. To know, accept and act on the moments when the opportunity to arises. This weekend was a living test of that!
On Saturday my roommate had set up a "street girls day" with the a Father who runs a few orphanages in the city. None of us knew really what to expect out of the day and I think all of our minds were blown at how awesome it was! Father Lucose went to the slums at the train tracks to pick up 17 girls (and 1 boy!) and brought them to one of the girls' homes he runs. They showed up in a bus around 10am and the madness ensued! We started by giving them all a good brush and trim. One of the smallest girls had her head shaved down close and she was rather upset that she couldn't have her hair cut so we "trimmed it" for her, it was so cute! Meanwhile we played games in the grass, swung on the swings and my patty-cake abilities were put to the test. Next it was time to treat them for lice! Every kid got a good hair washing with lice shampoo and as I scrubbed each one of their heads' the suds on my hands were dark brown, it had been a long time since a real shower for them. As the shampoo took effect we went out in the yard to play red light green light and freeze tag. Soon the nuns arrived with a new outfit for each child so it was bath time! We bathed every child head to toe and each wanted to be washed by one of us personally. The little boy bathed four times, he was so excited! As each one was patted dry we lotioned, oiled, and picked out lice. Remember how nicely your mommy used to rub lotion into your back and on your arms, imagine never having had that in your entire life. After they all got snazzed up in their new outfits I treated a few wounds and sent them off for lunch time! Everyone got a nice warm meal then ended the day with a movie! As they left I couldn't stop the swelling in my chest! It was such an amazing day. You could easily see the joy in their eyes, to be taken care of and loved on for one day! This will be a monthly occurrence and I couldn't look forward to it more.
Saturday evening I spent preparing to make my big meal for the street kids the following day. I went to the market, bought a pressure cooker, sliced up 30 servings of carrots and cucumbers, treated myself for lice and finally passed out in bed! Sunday morning I woke up bright and shiny and started cooking. I used a pressure cooker to make the dal this time and I am now sure that it was my best purchase of 2011. It made cooking 30 meals a breeze. So easy in fact, that next week I may have to try for 40 or 50 meals. I finished cooking around noon, just in time for my roommate to come home and help me pass them out. We headed down the street in a tuk tuk and got out at the first street children we saw. It was a bit insane at first but it calmed down. The trouble was that a few children were hiding the meals we had given them and then taking multiple. It makes it so difficult, I know that they would eat five meals if I gave it to them. However, the point of this is to feed as many mouths as I can, not the same mouth over and over all at once. I couldn't stand telling them no and to stop but what would have hurt me even more would have been having to turn away a child that got nothing in front of a child who got three whole meals.
It was so hectic that we forget to give bananas to the first group of children. We finished passing out the meals and then headed back to them to give them bananas. As we were handing them out, a girl around the age of 11 tugged on my shirt. I looked down and she pointed at a wound on her ankle. It was pretty big, partially healed but with some open spots. The girl was covered head to toe in filth, the wound was no exception. She asked me for help, and I had nothing to offer her at that moment. So, today I am off to buy some supplied before heading to work. If I can find her I will clean it for her, if not I will try again tomorrow. This is a moment when I wish I could open up my own home to a child like that, to clean her and treat her wound in a clean environment but right now I can't. So that leaves me wondering, as I continue to open myself up, what will be opened to me?
(No clue who the guy in the back is. Honestly.)