Wednesday, January 30, 2008

charisma charisma charisma

Becca touched on our polar-opposite twins the other day in her blog, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about 3 year old Ashish- aka charisma extraordinaire!

Through broken English a week ago, Laxmi relayed to us a little of Ashish's history, which is actually quite extraordinary considering his current demeanor. Ashish was found a year and a half ago in a rural Chitwan village in the mountains. Locals in the village claimed Ashish had been living under the large tree that grows at the center of the village, sustaining himself on garbage, for an unknown amount of time. Laxmi was contacted, and Ashish was brought to Harka, but not before he received much-needed medical attention. At the time, Ashish exhibited signs of severe malnutrition, his head was much too large for his body and his belly was distended. He was taken to Kathmandu for treatment, as the Chitwan hospital was not equipped to deal with such as case, and we believe kept there for several weeks.

The Ashish of today, however, is a far stretch from the Ashish of a year ago. Though there are obviously still some medical issues he has to deal with, Ashish is none other than the attention-grabber, leader, and boss of the "little ones" at Harka. And for good reason. The kid's eyes talk. We don't need to communicate with Ashish through words, because his eyes tell all. From his sleepy-eyes when he wakes up in the morning (it usually takes him a good two hours to fully register), to his flirtatious "come play with me", to the "i'm mad at you right now"... all can be seen through a few flicks of his lids and eyebrows.

He loves his role as leader, and will often ask me questions in Nepali and then grab my hand to show me exactly what he means. He's a teacher (he likes practicing words with us), but he can also be a boss. We are currently trying to remedy this situation. It has become apparent to us that Ashish is the favorite of the children, house parents, and neighbors. Becca and I don't deal well with "favorites". 14 year old Ramesh eve n told Becca that he didn't like one of the twins, because his favorite was Ashish. They don't seem to comprehend how we could possibly like all the children the same amount...and it is hard for us to explain. Though part of it may be cultural, part of it situational, part of it is also just plain playing favorites. Advocates for loners everywhere (but still lovin on Ashish, and encouraging his already apparent hilarious character) Becca and I try to give all the kids equal time to shine. Because they should. Even if we are only here to let them shine for two months!

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