by Kelly, WFM Team Member and TMF Ambassador

We had a good breeze last night, so it seemed everyone slept well, rising early to start our day with the sun. The giant wall mural was the focus of the work today and we started with a white primer, which was a vast improvement over the dingy paint that had been there. Some of the team began digging the holes for planting trees and bushes around the playground. We all excitedly waited for 10:30 a.m., because we play games with the smallest children in the village school then. They really love crawling on the taller guys in our group and being swung around by anyone that has the energy. This was a really touching part of the day for me. I picked up one of the tiniest girls with the biggest, sweetest eyes and she collapsed on my shoulder like a rag doll, loving to be carried around and hugged. When Father left and waved goodbye to her she waved back, indicating it was fine for him to leave as long as I stayed behind. She closed her eyes and stayed on my shoulder for most of the break — heart melting.

Lunch was next and our group seems to love to eat more than anything else. The food is phenomenal and our adorable cooks Ann and Rita never disappoint with coconut curry and vegetable biryani and raita.

After a lunch break, the latex paint arrived and part of the team began painting the mural on the wall. Everyone else went on a rickshaw ride through the small town and out into the country, stopping at a river dam for a dip. We really enjoyed the ride as it gave us a chance to see everyday life. The rickshaw group returned to Sunrise Village to find a nearly finished mural, we all broke out into screams and whoops, it was beautiful to see the wall come to life.

Child’s contribution to mural

Finished Wall Mural

The special treat of the day was a walk through a Shiva temple in the middle of town. Most of us haven’t experienced anything like that and the sheer size was awe inspiring. We were blessed by the priest during our long walk in the granite halls, and as we rounded the corner to exit, we were greeted by an elephant who blesses you as you leave. The painted elephant takes the rupees from your hand then pats you on the head with his trunk. The photos are really funny.

We ended the night with a celebratory dinner to welcome Joy and Genie to our group, sharing traditional Indian dishes in a restaurant in town. It was all amazing, but the highlight was the cauliflower and butter chicken. I am guessing some folks napped on the way back to the village, it was a full and enlightening day.