June 29, 2019 Update #6
Dear Loved Ones,
Our most delightful and touching experiences here have been with the local women and children. Our 2nd retreat was with Laywomen who work side by side with the Good Shepherd Sisters. They were both colorful and lively in their gorgeous sarees. The spectrum of color in India is the broadest we have ever seen.
Our pastoral visits have taken us to an Open Shelter for street girls of many ages on the same compound as the Good Shepherd school for girls. We spent an afternoon with them and then did something with them they had never done before…. went to the beach! They had a ball. We had a ball. Night on the beach was a treat near the end of a very hot day. The sisters rented 2 buses to get us all there.
We also spent a day in the forest lands where we visited a small local school for the tribal children that the provincial, Sr. Meera, started because she found these children begging on the side of the road. It has since transferred to the government. Previously, there were no services at all for these people. These little ones entertained us with song and dance both in English and Tamil. They had a very dedicated young teacher who loves teaching poor children in a one-room schoolhouse.
The convent in Sandanaplya holds an after-school program (the Chalice Sponsorship Program) for the local children. They shared with us their favorite subjects in school. Surprisingly, many said English was their favorite. They asked us a few questions and then it was time to get to their program.
On the way up the mountain, we passed an auto rickshaw, carrying four bedecked women. Their colors were so brilliant and captivating. They did not know what to make of us taking their photo through the windshield until they saw us waving and smiling and then they burst into laughter and waved back.
We hope you enjoy these photos of women and children from various locations. More experiences to come!
Peace Peace Peace
Nicki and Jolie