Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gnana Olli

Servant, helper, maid, cook, nanny, laundress, errand girl... Godsend that is what Gnana is. Without her we would be at such a disadvantage here in India with her we eat better and cheaper, and can work longer without worry of Anna.

Six days a week including holidays she arrives about 8:30 am, takes out or trash, surveys the vegetable situation and goes upstairs to do the same. She sweeps the front walk, then at 9am takes Anna to school and picks up any grocery needs for the day (if she did not go shopping on her way into work) She comes back to cook and clean upstairs until noon when it is time to pick up Anna then she cooks and cleans for us while watching Anna until 4pm when we come home. We can see she loves to cook and she loves Anna. For cooking and cleaning both homes she earns just under $100 a month, some say high for someone that knows only about 50 words of English.

Gnana Olli is South Indian born in Thirdivanam and while she does not know when her birthday is she figures she is about 38. Her husband Sagayaraj is also about 38. She has two sons, Pratap (pictured), 18, is apprenticing to be a mechanic, David Dinakanam, 16, is in 9th standard. She started working for us because in April her husband Sagayaraj 'met with an accident' the motorcycle he was riding crashed and a curb stone crush his leg. Up until last week he had pins coming out attached to a steel rod, that now removed he will be in a cast until Christmas. He has been given leave from is position as an instructor of carpentry at a local trade school until next June.

This past weekend we took Anna to meet Sagayaraj as he is to stay immobile while his leg heals. Their small apartment is not much bigger than a bedroom, has a twin size bed, closet, some built in shelves, a small bathroom and a kitchen the size of a walk in closet. This for 1200 rupies a month. Here is where they sleep, Sagayaraj on the bed, Gnana and the boys on the floor.

I asked Gnana what she would like to say to all our friends... 'greetings to all. and keep me and my family in your prayers.' (Thank you to Auntie Joshey for translating.) Its அனைவருக்கும் வணக்கம்! எனக்காகவும் என் குடும்பத்திற்காகவும் ப்ரார்த்தனை செய்யுங்கள் in tamil. (Thank you to Bungi for translating.)