Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poitu Vaaran India

Ugh- goodbyes. Aren't they the worst?  I literally had a hollow/nauseated feeling for the duration of my last few days in India. The Rising Star journey has come and gone in a flash.  To say that I miss India and those who have become dear to me would be an understatement. Being away for the last week and a half has only deepened my appreciation for my time in Tamil Nadu.  A little sum up of the last week:

Enjoyed a day with Velu and Dr. Susan on Monday.  After checking out a new colony we passed this lady on the way home. The Indian women balance parcels the size of refrigerators on their heads with such ease.

Second part of the day was spent visiting an emu farm. All sorts of entertaining- isn’t this bird the most terrifying thing you ever did see?

The campus cooks and cleaners were kind enough to teach me how to make chapatti during my last week there. Brooke’s chapatti rolling skills = weak.

Sad to have a last day of medical. Visiting the colonies and getting to know the
people has taught me so much. 

 Each interaction with the colony residents were such gentle yet powerful reminders of what a blessed life I have.  I can't imagine living day to day in such crippled conditions and being socially dismissed constantly because of it. It only takes a few minutes at one of these colonies to remember that there are much more important things in life than the silly little things I so often become caught up in.

 So perfect and appropriate to experience the final colony day with my beautiful cousin Kelli Ann.
Missing her so very much!

A little snapshot with me and the nurses (minus Nittya). Side note: Despite her supposed gloominess as portrayed by this photo, Sharmeela (black chudidar, cream scarf) is one of the most cheerful and hilarious girls I have ever met.

 Nisha, Angeli, and me in the library where I did most of my tutoring.

With Leema Rose, just one of the many teachers that showed exceptional kindness and tolerance to me and all of my American-isms during my stay at Rising Star. 

Goodbye Kanchanah and Allamaylue, the sweetest and most hilarious housekeepers out there.

This is Jayanthi, one of my tutoring students. She was admitted late to Rising Star and was put into Kindergarten even though she should technically be in 2nd or 3rd grade. After lots of work and continuous practice her English, reading, and writing skyrocketed! She is now in 1st standard. This girl is amazing.

Took this photo after the dreaded evening of goodbyes. Aren’t they so sweet? 

If there’s any thanks I owe it’s due to these amazing students. When you set out to do a service type event like this I think it’s more than normal to have that mentality of “Here I am, giving of my time to help other people.” A totally normal and acceptable attitude, yet when all is said and done these kids are the ones who did so much more for me. For my ten weeks at Rising Star I was supplied with endless amounts of kisses, thoughtful notes, and unconditional love. I am forever grateful for the friendships I was treated to. Nandri, nandri, nandri.


Joey said...

Brooke... Sooo good

Lauren said...

Brookie -- I adore you. Every single photo I was saying, "Braden, look how cute Brookie is" ... next photo... "Look at Brooke in this one. She's so cute!" ... next photo... "Aw, Braden, I just love Brookie."

Brooke Shoko said...

I love you too Laurie Lou! And miss you to pieces. Basically cannot wait to see you. (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Tiana said...

Brooke... Do you even know how remarkable you truly are???? When you are back in the US you should call me. I miss you dearly and apparently am in desperate need of a heart to heart with you with all that you have been doing!!

Tiana said...

Brooke. You are remarkable. Please call me so that we can catch up! I miss you!