Thursday, January 21, 2016

GUEST BLOG: Teen's opinion about Dreamland Children's Home

This is Jordan again.  I am doing a guest post on my mom's blog.  We spent the last week of the trip visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves (World Heritage sites) plus working and living at Dreamland Children's Home.  We have not had internet access in over a week so I could not post before now. 

Photo of me and the boys at Ellora Caves.  They are over 2000 years old.  Monks carved an entire complex of temples and statues out of the hillside.

There was a big group of school children at the caves that day.  Only a handful owned shoes.  The rest were all barefoot. A group of them asked if they could take a photograph with me... no idea why.

Then it was on to Dreamland. It took over 5 hours to drive from Aurangabad to the home because it is in the middle of nowhere. But OH MAN what a place. From day one we jumped right in with another entrance ceremony of flowers and good luck stuff and then cricket. 

If you don’t know what cricket is, it’s a national sport which is played between two teams of eleven players each who score runs (points) by running between two sets of three small, wooden posts called wickets. 

This is a photo of a professional cricket team.  You can see the wickets on either end. 

Around the wickets is a much larger oval of grass called the cricket ground. The players hit a ball thrown towards the wicket, and then make runs. If the person running has the two small sticks on the wicket fall off, then they are out. So a good bowler (the person who throws the ball) can hit the wicket with their throw and get you out from the start. Anyway, cricket is a huge sport in India and I and the boys spent most of every day playing cricket. 

The girls spent a lot of time painting a section of walls that was going to be where the kids eat, but I spent most of my time batting during the cricket games or teaching English using the computers we brought with us. 

Artwork we painted on the walls

Teaching the kids how to speak and write English on the laptops we brought with us.  We left the computers behind so the kids can keep learning.

Every meal was curry and every day was a blast playing and teaching the boys at Dreamland. I honestly could have spent months there just teaching and talking to the kids. They were great.

One day we went to a village nearby to see how the locals live.  It was very basic. They have to hand pump their water and carry it in jugs back to their huts.  

We also visited the village school and met some of the kids

Every morning at 6:00 in the morning we did yoga outside with the boys and their pet dog, Lucky.

And every night they put on loud Indian music, mainly Bollywood music, and we had a dance party. The kids love to dance and they have some real moves.

Dreamland is 67 boys as well as a few girls who are the daughters of the cooks and other staff.

On the last night there, we got to watch a huge festival type presentation that was put on by the children's home for the entire village. Lots of dancing and great costumes as well as some skits.

The girls in our group got dressed up in their saris for the show.

The show was great for the first two hours, but by hour 4 it was getting a bit tiring. And it really did last over 4 hours.  

After all that we went to bed to get up in the morning, say goodbye to all the kids and head off on a 45 hour trek home. When we were leaving we all received a gift from the kids in our group, which turned out to be a mug with a picture of us and our team on it. Mine is going on my desk, so I can treasure it always.

Looking out the window of the van on the way to and from Dreamland, you see the most amazing things...

A man herding camels

Oxcart hauling water

A woman bringing home a load of wood while also tugging her water buffalo

We are on our way home now.  Goodbye India.  Great seeing you again. 


LittleBug'sMom said...

What an awesome experience Jordan! Keep posting!

Unknown said...

Well done Jordan. Enjoyed all of your blogs

Unknown said...

Well done Jordan. Enjoyed all of your blogs

Anonymous said...

Jordan, I enjoyed reading your posts from India. What an experience! Welcome back to Houston.


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