Thursday, February 28, 2008

Newspapers and Wood from Kanaga Raj

I have a friend named Kanaga Raj.

He sells me a newspaper every day. This is how he makes money to support himself. Every time I see him he has a smile for me and knows that I want the Deccan Chronicle. That is what we share in life; the rest is blocked by not knowing the same language. I want to know his story, does he have a wife? a family? another job? a pension? He has a nice dress shirt and lungie for when he sells papers from his tarp by the Chinimilay bus stop. He has a friend nearby that sells fruit from a cart who will cover for him if he has to step out for a bit. But unless I bring someone who knows both our languages and sit and talk with him I can only know what I see.

I see he also has a t-shirt with little holes around the neck and a pair of shorts. These he wears when he is transporting the papers or doing physical work. The government is digging up a lot of roads here improving the underground electrical and water management. Near the bus stand they found and removed several large roots. Kanaga Raj got one of these and when saw him at 9:00 am he was working on the root and when I came home from work at 4:00 he was still working at splitting off the wood. He made gestures to tell me that it is for a fire so he can cook his meals. It amazes me. If I had to guess an age I would say 70 or 80.

A micro loan would help him to get more papers to sell on a daily basis, maybe an umbrella or a cart. Weekly business education would enrich his knowledge and help grow the number of customers he serves daily, to give him more money to support himself. That’s what Growing Opportunity does here, educate, help grow businesses, and help to encourage those who are discouraged. I do a small thing, working in the head office improving some paperwork and forms, but my coworkers in the field they give moral integrity by having faith in their neighbors, they speak the language and understand their situation. God is relational, we need to be too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Anna's Teacher Hema

Friday Bungi and I met with Anna's teacher, Hema (Miss for Anna). I was grateful to have Bungi's help because she could translate my concerns for Anna with her potty training, school work and how was she behaving with other kids. I am finding that American English is difficult for people to understand since they are taught European English with an Indian accent so having Bungi was great, she is fluent in American.

Hema understands how to take care of Anna and is trying to get her to the toilet before she goes. Overall the meeting helped me show her that I think she is doing well. Hema is writing me notes about Anna's classwork, home work, and school functions too which helps. I know Hema is trying her best with Anna. It is a challenge, Anna does not like to sit still, too eagerly accepts the snacks from her friends, and is very quite in class.

Anna is a quiet girl (like her dad) Hema asked me if she was reciting her abc's, counting and nursery rhymes at home as she doesn't do them out loud in class yet. I told Hema that she plays school when she is at home and is doing pretty well counting to 15 and with reciting her letters too. She really likes Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star - we sing that one a lot here.

Anna also likes:

Two little hands go clap, clap, clap

Two little feet go tap, tap, tap;

Two little eyes are open wide,

One little head goes side to side.

This one was one of her exams last week. (Speaking of exams Anna got 4 A++s!!)

Attached are some pictures of Anna with Hema and the rest of her class at Sports Day a few weeks ago.

I think it will be OK now with school for the rest of the year ... it finishes April 15th.