Thursday, February 21, 2008


Direct quote from Sirjana (queen of quotes in this blog) in a triumphant, Bob Barker-esque ("come on down!") tone two days ago, upon careful inspection of my scalp. Originally, Becca and I were going to escape to a secluded corner somewhere and quietly inspect each others heads, but as such a corner does not exist at the orphan home, we were quickly found out by Rita (our next door neighbor) Sirjana, and Soniya. Honestly, we couldn't have had better head inspectors. These girls are pros at catching lice. Every single one of mine was light, seemingly impossible to find on my blond hair...but no! Sirjana did it! My only payment for the task was to reciprocate on her head. And, sadly, I couldn't find anything but lice babies. There had to be mommas and poppas there somewhere, but I sure as heck couldn't find them. I have yet to improve on my Nepali lice-catching abilities. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we will be lice ridden until we leave the orphan home, but it really hasn't bothered me yet. As I have said before, I think my tolerance of a "gross" facotr have gone up exponentially while being here. The check-up by our fellow children every other day should do the trick, until our imaginings in the middle of the night get the better of us (Becca had a good) or until the lice treatment my mom sent comes in the mail. Whichever comes first. Don't worry Hayley, I'll have them gone by the time I get to London.

Though the gross factor has gone up exponentially, I still would be no good in an emergency unit, as evidenced by yesterday when Ramesh (the oldest boy) cut his lip while chopping fire wood (a stray piece of wood came up and hit him in the mouth). He passed out, but looked relatively unscathed. Nevertheless, I have no idea what to do in these situations, and was glad when Kumari fed him some water and laid him down on the bed. It was also extremely difficult to tell the severity of the situation through the language barrier, but it seemed as though no one was really that worried. I, on the other hand, had no idea what had happened and could only assume from the pantomimes that the children played out for me. Luckily, he was fine, and ended up going to school a half hour later. Nonetheless, it reminds me of how easily someone can get hurt, which makes me queasy. Especially since all of these children seem near invincible most of the time!

And while on that subject, I thought I'd go into detail about our next contestant... Sima. We took a little lapse from writing about the children, but are going to try to cover them all in the next two weeks (or shortly thereafter when we go to Pokhara).

Sima is hilarious. The girl giggles constantly. At 8 years old, she knows how to be happy at any moment of the day. The only time I have seen her unhappy was when Ramesh and I extracted a sliver from her palm, and even then she teared up, but didn't cry. She was one of the children that we were originally in the dark about her sex (all the girls have short hair due to lice), but mostly because she is a complete tomboy. She loves wrestling, and can often be found back by the barn trading WWE cards with the boys or climbing like a monkey on virtually any pole she can find.

Lately Sima and I have been spending some time riding around on the HERO Miss India Gold bicycle, as she really wants to learn how to ride. Unfortunately her legs will probably be too short to successfully ride it on her own for the next 2 years, but right now she is totally fine with experimenting (the girl has an amazing pain tolerance). She tells me to grab the handlebar and, "Miss, be strong!"- my queue to hold the HEAVIEST BICYCLE EVER CREATED stable as she hoists herself up and attempts to pedal. This was only surpassed in difficulty when Becca and I were asked to teach big Samjana (new momma with the baby, probably heavier than both of us) how to ride, aka attempt to hold about 175 wobbly lbs upright.

Sima's goofy, and she doesn't care that it shows. One of the first days at the orphan home, she came up to me and stroked an invisible beard on her chin as she looked at me pensively. I burst out laughing, and for a short time thereafter we would stroke imaginary beards and curl imaginary mustaches at eachother. She'll jam on an air guitar (and request that I sing "rock songs" of which I can usually only think of the words to awful songs from people like Smashmouth...why? i have no idea.) , she'll bust out kung-fu moves like the karate kid (which is funny, beause she is definitely the most Chinese-looking of the children), or do trust falls into our arms. She is by far the queen of rubber band games (she has taught me no less than 5), and while we did our photography project she wore her camera around her track-suited body like National Lampoon's Summer Vacation. Though she can get sassy (as all the kids can), a quick jabber in English back at her and she's rolling on the floor laughing. I'm telling you, there is no way her laugh can't make you laugh.

In other news, we got all the photos that the children took printed this week! Though the whole thing was really a shot in the dark (I hadn't tried any of the cameras before the children used them), some of them turned out really well. The kids LOVE them. Each child got their own little album of their photos, and spent the night showing us and each other their work. Ashish and Secil made it a point to show us each of the photos that we appeared in, while Tulie cooed apoproval whenever she saw herself in a photo. The older children were both excited about the photos they did get, but bummed if they had some that didn't turn out (some night shots were just too dark to be printed). Altogether, it was a great experiment, and I want to thank everyone who donated to it! It was so exciting to see things from their perspective, even to see ourselves (in various states, from unclean and making horrid faces to cuddling). We hope to get some up online eventually, but that will probably have to wait until we are back in the states, as they weren't taken digitally.

tomorrow we go to the national park with the kiddos, so there should be some hilarious bloggage afterward! hope everyone is well and enjoying their chilly states...

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