Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visit to the TLC orphanage at St. Theresa's

For a long time now, we had been planning to visit this orphanage at St. Theresa's and give some of Anjali's stuff and some other stuff. Anjali carefully picked and chose and packed the stuff she wanted to give to small babies and was pretty excited about the whole affair.

The orphanage is to the right soon as you enter the St. Theresa's campus in a secluded place. We were asked to meet Sister Theresa Marie and we went upstairs and waited. A couple of young girls, maybe ten or eleven came and enquired politely who we were waiting for, ran back inside and came back to inform us that the Sister would be coming. We waited in the waiting area and we could hear the children playing carroms and other board games in the corridor adjacent to us. They were happy, bright and beautiful children with the kind of energy that only they can possess.

Sister joined us. She was ancient, and used a stick to walk. But she had a kind face and a lovely smile and lots of life about her. Obviously she was unhappy with the kids.
'I told them not to go anywhere,' she said. 'I had to go get the vegetables and rations because the bandh has affected everything and by the time I came they were all downstairs playing in the sand. Such devils.'
Sister recounted how she could handle babies and younger children under five years ' hundred of them at once - but these older kids were completely beyond her. 'Some of them are professional thieves, liars,' she said, vexed. 'You cannot even beat them.' But then her face loses its anger. 'After the tsunami we got 150 kids at one go,'  she said. 'But we could handle them until they all went away to different places. Oh, the small ones are so beautiful.' Sister reminisced about her own childhood and how she was never much good with children - 'but God seems to have some purpose'.

We offered her whatever we bought and she said that she would send the stuff to the other place at Miyapur where the younger children were. Anjali was disappointed that all the girls were big and refused to meet them. We bid Sister good by and returned. Maybe we could go some other time. I offered to read books to the kids if she wanted me to. Sister took down my number and said she would call. If she does, I certainly will.

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