One of the best parts of being an ambassador is getting to reconnect with your inner child. For those of us who are empty nesters, being with the children was a great way to relive playing with our own children when they were young. Suddenly, we’re resurrecting old songs and games, Duck, Duck Goose, thumb wrestling, and those slapping rhymes that were so popular at camp when I was a girl. It was so fun to see the girls doing what we did, but on the other side of the world.
Our favorite rhyming song was: Chiv Chiv, Chapak. I only know it’s spelled this way from reading the social worker, Rupali’s notes.
Some of the games are also educational.
Dhruv told us that our visit was very important to the children as many of them had never met people who were so different and from so far away. Some of the children asked if the sun shone in our country because we were so pale! Besides all the fun we shared with the children and staff, we also unwittingly modeled something that comes so easily to most American parents. We, as a culture, are comfortable interacting and playing with children at their level. This engagement in play was something the staff was not accustomed to seeing. All the caregivers realized that they could be with the children without an agenda. They could let down their roles as caregivers and just spend time playing.
Although we didn’t share a common language, we were able to communicate in the language of the heart.