Friday was a very cold and foggy day. The coldest day yet. Not quite as cold as CT though. As I was riding to the school, I happened to look up on one of the store front signs to notice that I was on Shakespeare Street, reminding me of the British presence that was here. As we were stopped in traffic, beggars came up to the window. One very young boy was leading a blind man over to us. There are many living on the street here. They set up a little section of the sidewalk for their own and set up whatever they have. The men bathe on the side of the street, they wear a cloth around them and squat on the sidewalk and pour water over themselves, they bush their teeth while looking at you in the car. All very peculiar and eyeopening to me. Every day and every hour I am reminded of how blessed I am.
It was ironic that I should notice Shakespeare Street today and then Stanley's Bible Study today was about the legacy left in India by the English. Psalms 124:1-5. We discussed that It is because of the English that Christianity is here. Although Christians make up the smallest percent of the religions, their contributions are great. Mr. Stanley said that they have great medical care because the Christians set up hospitals here, they have great education because the Christians set up many good schools. Many of the students that go to the AG School where I am teaching will most likely go on to higher education, which does't usually happen at the public city schools.
Mrs Saha finished the bag, it came out great. We're already working on some alterations, like a longer handle. Word spread quickly and many of the staff were coming in to see it. She was beaming. Krishna finished his bag also. They are so proud of their work and I am so proud of their accomplishments. Mrs Saha is now working on a shawl. Juma and kalpana finished their wash cloths. Kalpana is a very good knitter. They are all so eager to learn new patterns. When they leave for the day they say "tomorrow new pattern, Mame?" And I always say of course. After a couple of times of repetition, they have the pattern memorized. And I found out that if I have them repeat it after doing other patterns, they recall it. It's amazing! Kalpana started the drop stitch scarf, Tula is working on a ruffled, hurdle stitch scarf. Poorhima is not doing as well so she is still plugging away at washcloths. Poor Krishna, he's been working the night shift, 10pm to 6am, going home to sleep for a few hours and then returns to knit around 10:30/11:00am. While he's on duty in the evening, he winds yarn into balls. Asha had me give him homework for the weekend. Besides winding balls of yarn, he is to do a striped, hot pink, neon orange and lime green, market bag.
It was a great, rewarding week filled with so many blessings that I can not even begin to count. Even with all the sad and startling things that I see here, I am still very happy everyday. I do feel like I am doing something very important. Asha told me that they will most likely employ a couple of the women to teach and the others will be earning a salary to come in and knit products for us to sell. She told me today, "you can't possibly know how much you have done for these women and how this will change their lives."