Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Glasses and Such...

Hello Family and Friends,

Yesterday afternoon was uneventful, just hanging out with the kids since everyone was home. Later I took a much needed bath. I don’t know why, maybe because they are so dry otherwise, but even washing my hands quickly makes the tips of my fingers turn white and prune up. After bathing, the latch in the bathroom was stuck and after pushing on it hard it finally slid open. My soft, pruned thumb was sliced open by the latch and immediately started bleeding. I tried to hide it while I left the bathroom, but Prince saw the blood coming down my hand and started freaking out getting Kumari’s attention, who also freaked out. It bled hard for several minutes, and when it finally slowed down it revealed the tiniest, shallowest cut I have ever seen in my life. I embarrassedly slapped a band-aide on the bloodiest paper cut ever.

A little before seven, Kumari, Priya, and I left for the optometrist. I was just tagging along because any trip outside always offers a new experience. When we got there Priya started looking at frames, and I asked how much they were. She was looking at 300 Rs. frames, the equivalent of a little more than six dollars. At that point I knew I would not be able to help myself, and started looking at the “specs” myself. I found two that I liked, one grandpa type pair that were big and tanish plastic, and another pair that were silver with no frame on the bottom half. This pair will be my professional pair, and I figured they would make my mom happy since a year later she is still getting used to my Ray-Bans. I had to get my eyes examined, which I was able to get done for free since the place was owned by a family friend. The exam was very archaic and different from other eye checkups I have had. First the doctor was able to look at my glasses and tell what my current prescription is. I was pretty impressed, I know my prescription from my contacts, and he was dead on. He then strapped strange things to my face and slowly discovered that my left eye had gotten .5 worse, while my right had stayed the same. The exam went fine and I was able to understand him pretty well, except for one part. He had just been shining a light in my eye for what seemed like forever, and then he strapped a large interchangeable pair of glasses on me with my new prescription in them. He wanted to make sure it was okay and asked me to read the smallest line on the screen. I could see fine, but the image of the light was burned into my eye and blocked anything that I was looking straight at. I tried explaining and I could tell I was making him a little angry. Just read the bottom line, he kept repeating, his voice getting louder and louder while I continued to try and explain. The light, I pleaded. Yes, he said, I am finished with the light, now you read the bottom line. I looked at Priya for help, but she just shrugged her shoulders. I sighed and told the doctor that I could see the bottom line very clearly, and in the end, that was that. For the lenses and the frames and the eye exam, the total was $32, for two pairs of glasses!

We returned home and the children had already eaten dinner. Sangeetha, the one who sometimes has episodes, had urinated during dinner while just sitting there and Kumari asked her if she had been taking her medicine. Sangeetha finally admitted that she had lost the key to her box. Kumari was very angry, she had put several people in charge of making sure Sangeetha was taking her medicine all of whom had been assuring her that she was, and when she finally broke the box open she could tell that Sangeetha hadn’t taken it in a while. I ate dinner with the family and then went to bed fairly late.

This morning I woke up sweating like you wouldn’t believe; the power had gone out and the fan was off. It is the third Saturday of the month, so the power was turned off all day, until just now (seven o’clock). I ate breakfast and then got to work taking the portraits of each child. I have been making a conscious effort today to take more pictures, I really haven’t taken that many so far. Whenever I pull out my camera it distracts the kids, and I always feel strange taking pictures out in public, because it causes me to draw even more attention to myself.

Kumari went to the market and when she returned we spent an hour or so sorting the large bags of random vegetables. When we finished it was time for lunch, and after lunch the children all rested. When they got up we played the coin-number game, which has always been my favorite. The game, though, has slowly involved more and more cheating by all parties. At first certain rules were secretly overlooked, and then openly overlooked. Today it was at its worse, people were trading coins openly (your coins are supposed to stay your coins) and the littler ones would look over your shoulder to see what you needed, and then search through the pile and secretly trade you for the coin that you needed. In the end, though, with everyone cheating, it was actually just as fun.

I sat with Kumari, who was cooking, until the power came on, and then I came to type this up. That has been my day.

Me, Subala, and Gokila. Gokila is gorgeous, in case you couldn't tell.

Sorting through just one bag of vegetables. It is crazy to think how much food is needed for thirty children, plus the payment boys, plus the family, plus James and Sasheela.

Ranjeeth, Santhosh (one of two...), me, Prasad, and Kasthuri, all out on the back walkway / porch thingy.


  1. What cute kids! Glad you are able to help what sounds like a neat group of people, have a bit of an easier time, so to speak! Take care.....

  2. they're SO SMALL! I want them. I second dave.