Thangachimadam Page 2

Mrs Johnson showed the girls photographs of her family and house, together with letters from St Loy’s children and photos of the school.  Everyone was very interested to see them and asked lots of questions. 
Then it was time for lunch and I sat with the older girls and Mrs Johnson sat with the younger children.  We sat on the (very hard!) concrete floor along the verandas, with our legs crossed.  (Did you know that veranda is an Indian word?  So is bungalow and the colour khaki.) We were given a glass of water and a plate.  Then some of the older girls carried out big pots of rice and buckets of dhal.  We held up our plates and they ladled the food out.  I had rice and dhal which is made of lentils and spices, but it also had onion, carrot, tomato and potato in it.  Then there was another vegetable dish which was a bit like spicy mashed potatoes. The girls had the chicken bought by the gardener, but as I am vegetarian I did not take this.  I was also given some salad, which was like our coleslaw but without the mayonnaise.

It was great fun and we all chatted.  The only bad thing is all the flies - they were all over the floor and settled on your arms and on your food!  Then I crept over with my camera to take a photo of Mrs Johnson.  Remember she had only been eating like an Indian with her fingers for one day and all the girls were watching her.  But instead of laughing at her, they showed her how to eat nicely.


After lunch we bathed, did our washing, rested and wrote our diaries. At 4 o’clock we went for a cup of tea and Mrs Johnson tried some Indian snacks which she enjoyed very much and she is going to buy some to bring back with her.  We then went back to the orphanage and took photos of the kitchen and opened all the spice tins to smell them and guess what they were.  The Head Girl accompanied us to the FUNCTION and first we saw some girls who were standing or sitting in such a way to spell the word ’Welcome’  The function was SO good - different dances and wonderful costumes.  We enjoyed it so much and then had our snack with the children - a cup of milk (they have milk EVERY DAY! - our children in Kodai and Karisalpatti do not have any milk at all.)  We had a sort of cake as well - see below. 


Then we made everyone laugh - we tried to copy the dances.  The girls were very patient and tried to teach us, but really we were rubbish!  Mrs Johnson was the best and tried the dance with a pot balanced on her head.  We have filmed the whole event, so you will be able to see it when Mrs Johnson gets back.  They did keep having a problem with the music - they have an old cassette player so I said we would buy them a CD player and some CD's of dance music.


The girls then studied for half and hour and after prayers it was time for supper.  We washed our hands carefully and sat, this time on the playground, which is made of sand. For supper we had rice and spicy beetroot, again with a glass of water.  This was enough as we were full from the huge cake thing.  The girls all ate MUCH more than me!  In the UK, food tends to be high in protein, fat and sugar, so we only need to eat a little.  In India food is mostly carbohydrates (rice!) and so they need to eat lots of it to get the food value. 

Mrs Johnson was showing some of the Sisters her photos and it started to rain, REALLY rain.  Much heavier than in the UK and with thunder and lightening.  I hope it will have stopped by the morning.   

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