Okay, we will go in order of today's events even though I just really want to talk about the highlight of my life, going to a special ed school here! Ah, my life is complete :)
Kidding, let's begin-- went to the LARGEST colony today. It's called Bharathapuram. There was plenty of work to do here. My first job was eyedrops. 2 per eye, wipe the tears and any extra goo. Repeat with the next patient. ...If you can get them to sit down :)
These people are so beautiful because they are so full of love and life. Unfortunately they rarely to never will smile for a picture so I feel like it doesn't as accurately reflect their joyful personalities but still, I met some really inspirational people today. Let me remind you that these people are still seen as outcasts and untouchables, so to be treated medically, smiled at, and honestly just looked in the eye is HUGE to them. So glad I could do some small part to help better the lives of these people. They deserve it. They are so meek and humble. Their example makes any materialistic needs or petty problem of mine vanish into oblivion.
"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted."
|I washed this man's feet. Most severe case of leprosy I've seen. Such an intense moment in my life.|
|The school. Unfortunately everyone referred to as "the mental" or "the institution".|
Wish I could do something about that :(
|Wanted to take him home! He was classic, button pushing, hands flapping, repeating all my English, made me so happy :)|
|I'm getting cheesy now, but look-- smiles are a universal language.|
|Some of the kids would echo my English, "happy!" "ello!" "your name!"|
|Note the kid on the chair taking pictures. Find em? Ya, all these pics were taken by the kids. They LOVED taking pictures, I didn't have any control over my camera from the second I walked in the door.|
|Busy. The kids live here too.|
|I was in heaven. No common language but definitely made a connection with these sweet souls.|
To sum it up in 1 word, I would have to say overwhelming.
Overwhelming in a good way.
I was overcome with a desire to do something more for these kids. I wanted to give them everything my students in the states have. A new classroom with iPads and a smartboard, a full kitchen, interaction with their typical peers, job opportunities, prom king/queen nominations, the whole bit. Then I realized they wouldn't be happy with all that. I didn't know what more I could do for them except for accept and love them in the short amount of time we did have.
We just don't know how good we have it. All of us.
An experience like this makes me count my blessings. It's humbling and frustrating all at the same time.