We are winding down our day and I have lots of time for this blog as we sit in a major traffic jam on the road into Rourkela from the Home. A truck has broken down on a bridge and hundreds of trucks and cars are waiting for the way to clear. Bhushan, our driver as well as Bollywood music aficionado, has given us the perfect opportunity to people watch as we wait…and wait…and wait…In the meantime, let me catch you up on our day.
This morning starts per usual with a bell ringing at 6am, signaling the blessing of the snake temple directly in front of our rooms. While the morning melody gently starts the day, the Indian breakfast is more like a jolt. Spice overload in the form of fried puffs of dough smothered with chickpea and potato masala gravy, dosa, a south Indian pancake stuffed with onion and potato served with coconut chutney, and idli, a rice donut covered with dal. Of course Kevin had to try just about everything with his usual mantra, “how do you know if you like it if you don’t try it?”
Full of food and anticipation, we finally set off on the last, hour long leg of the journey to meet our kids – a very bumpy ride through rural Orissa. We arrive in Biramitripur, the small village that surrounds our Homer. We try to go on a tour of the Home but the infant room stops everybody in their tracks. Amy was side-tracked by a baby girl, the beautiful Devashi, who had just woken from her nap and needed a hug. Her housemother calms the baby, produces a sling, bundles Devashi inside, and pulls the whole thing over Amy’s head before she can even work out how to say DEEV-A SHE. Now we can carry on with the tour. But not for long. We are soon confronted with 30 toddlers who have just finished their lunch…curious, cute, and ready to cuddle. Tour stops. Well… falls apart really because now Susan is on the ground with Sourab (sulky because he needs a nap) and Alex.
Of course with 110 new faces, even unique and animated as our kids, you still need a little help remembering names, so it was time to let the children make their own name tags. Now I don’t mean to brag but our kids are the most creative and artistic kids in India. Coolest name tags. Ever. Nuff said.
Then the mandatory game of Bulldog (ask any Ambassador and they will try to explain) which took out 2 of Kevin’s toes (suspected break but he’s being tough about it), my flip flop (that can’t be fixed), and Amy’s ankle (nothing that a beer and Advil won’t fix). Susan taught the boys cartwheels, and not just the acrobatics but even the word cartwheels.
Reading hour in early evening starts on the porch and all of our kids are keen to show off their talents. Absalom’s read-aloud was from a book on meteorology that even taught me a few new facts. Nirjala, all of 3½, can already say, “my name is Nirjala” in English. Now I don’t mean to brag but our kids are the smartest, most talented kids in India. Ever. Nuff said.
The rest you know. A traffic jam which we finally learn is because a truck rear-ended another truck and blocked a lane on the bridge. Finally home to another fantastic meal of spicy prawns, paneer tika masala, and garlic naan.
Oh and Kevin ends with 2 words…King…fisher (beer, that is. I’ll point out to him later that it’s actually only 1 word).