Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Angel Home, Part 2

Angel Home is surrounded by acres of peanut fields in a gated compound. The community church is there and the pastor and his wife, part of ICM’s umbrella, are the house parents for the boys. There are 16 boys living here, ranging in age from 5 to 20. About 5 of them go out to public school on the bus each day. The others have a teacher come in each day in their in-house, informal school.

The yard is deep sand. Behind the church are trees (maybe an orchard?) and there are a few buffalo hanging out, likely for milk for the home. One chicken darted here and there in the yard. Rose Bud loved the chicken.

Theresa had all the boys sit down on the floor and she introduced them one by one. She shared their real name, their blog name, a little about their special needs and then had each one walk around and shake each of our hands. They were so cute!

Following the introductions, our team all got back into the cars and we were driven another mile down the lane to the beach. This is on the Bay of Bengal and it was a beautiful, white sand beach. The water was warm. The day was HOT. It is a fishing beach, so it was very clean and all the wooden fishing boats and nets were up on the beach.

After a half hour or so, the vans returned with all the boys, who went RUNNING down to the water. Most of them love it and aren’t the least bit afraid. The jump and splash and just sit in it. Our team had fun playing with them, holding their hands, jumping the waves and getting splashed by the boys. The boys either went in in shorts or just in their underwear (which is brown or black, so if it looks like they are completely naked, they’re not. Only Christopher had no pants on (??!) but he wore a long shirt.

Rose Bud held hands with a couple of the boys and showed them how to jump the waves. She walked Judah, the sweet little 5 year old who has only been here a month and didn’t like the water, around the beach looking for shells. The first one she handed him, he tried to eat. He’d probably never seen one before.

After 30 min or so—just long enough to fry me good—we walked back up to the shade of the palm trees and played ball with the boys while they dried off. They loved our cameras and I showed a few how to take pictures with it.

Sam, playing with Judah.  Simona is in the background.

Rose Bud, naturally, found a palm tree to climb.

At this point, I was pretty seriously overwhelmed. There are so many boys, with such varying needs. They, for the most part, are quite well-behaved and very happy. In addition to the house mother and father, most of the care is done by their two daughters, who are grown. There is an elderly cook, an ayah who cares for the two most severely affected boys, and another lady who helps in general. I saw an old man who must be a maintainance /groundskeeper. They all sort of pitch in to keep an eye on the boys.

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