....is a yeasty irish cake that we eat
around halloween. I'm a yeasty irish gal
..yeasty meaning: youthful; exuberant; ebullient.

2.28.2008

tansportation woes!


16 hours on a rocky bus up to the Dali lamas house wasn't fun and i met the mountains with my head in a bag and shitting my pants. guess who suffers from motion sickness... up the mountains, a few days later down the mountains, through Delhi and on a plane (that was late so of course we missed our connection flight therefore having to buy ourselves new tickets for the next flight) to Goa. Ohh the beach and the sunburnt skin that was the outcome. Emily and i are now terrified of cows (thanks stupid cows in Varanasi - the most amazing love i have for that place), train lagged and on our last stop together in Mumbai - which is amazing! yay city life!
I am tired and happy and loving this india land still to the umpteenth degree. exciting news is that we are getting the kids photos published by SAGE magazine! andd..what else... I am back in korea in 5 days - scary. i've had some horrible news today and a million things are swirling in my little pea head. it's hot here, boy is it hot and i'm not looking foward to returning to korean spring. but i am looking forward to returning to kroea despite the fact that i'm a little nervous to return and to situations i may be returning to.

god speed...

2.12.2008

bye bye bhopal

All of Ishrat's friends gather outside of her house to have their picture taken. The little girl with the hennaed hair kept telling me to take off my goggles (sunglasses!). They also wouldn't stop screaming DIDI(older sister) at me at the top of their lungs, even though it was Ishrat who was controlling the camera...and the camera is what they want...
Out of all our kids, I think that Ishrat lives in the worst conditions. Her colony is definitely the most tight on space and when we went to her house it seemed just to be a front room and a cooking area with a curtain for a door. Her colony also seems to be the one with the most children, leering men and babies! When we first came to her house and we were inside teaching her about the camera, over 20 people were spilling in the doorway..
This picture is by Shabans, from our day at the park. We all ate at this little park restaurant but the food wasn't the type of food most of the kids are used to (they usually eat subgee (potatoes or peas or cauliflower), rice and dalh) so all of us had to finish off plates of Chinese style noodles!
We think that Shifan's older sister took these pictures at her school.

These pictures were taken by Shifan when we went to the park



Arman took this picture of the walls surrounding the playground outside of his school.

The school is a pretty big building with 4 or 5 different rooms. I didn't really get that much information about the school because I didn't go with a translator (Armans older sister took me around to each of the rooms telling me " lunch room" "school room" "physio room" which was helpful but a little evident.... Most of the children that were at the school on the day I was there were mostly kids with growth problems due to CP (and I'm not really sure what other illnesses...) so these kids are of perfect mental capabilities and of perfect I WANNA TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOUR CAMERA capabilities, i had to fight off a little boy for a good 10 minutes!

So ya... these are some pictures from the photo project. We've developed the pictures at two different shops and have had shitty results at both! The last shop we asked for a cd and clearly just assumed they would scan the negatives at a high resolution, oh who were we kidding, the quality is HORRIFIC! and you can see on the last picture that they didn't even cut it proper. The shop also decides which pictures from your roll are fit to print so images that thy don't consider in focus or framed they don't print (the picture above (the red one) by Shabhan wasn't printed!)

Anyway...what else!

Em and I are off tonight for our 3 week mega tour of India. I have no idea how we are going to fit what we have planed into the coming 3 weeks, but hey, we've included 4 days on the beach in Goa so that should help us relax someeee.... The past 3 days have been excellent, thank god for the turn around in my moodiness sate of being, I guess I get moody often, but maybe it doesn't last for long... tis good I think.

I've been all over Bhopal by myself the past two days, which is sort of a feat considering the way one feels when outside the clinic alone and all the attention that is placed upon you by EVERYONE... a little tiring...... a lot tiring!! I feel pretty comfortable here which makes me a little sad to leave because i just kind of had Bhopal figured out... but no... not too sad, because i'm really really excited to see more of India and then get back home. I feel like I've been gone away forever!!! It's been nearly 2 months now, not THAT long at all, but i am thinking about my own bed and space again...

Me and my googles, taken by Ishrat...

2.10.2008

snotty nosed andrea



I just received an email from one of my old Keric Students Rachel! What a nice surprise and what a sweet email. The letters we receive from our students are clearly ESL works of art, the kids usually write bluntly and in a straight forward manner (with a little bit of backwards English thrown in) but something about the wording and the way the letters sound comes out so sweet and makes me smile, widely.

Yesterday we spent the day with the photo project kids. Everyone met at Chingari and the kids got their cameras and pictures back and YAY! was it exciting! All the kids showed up (which was something incredible considering it's not easy for people to get around - the bus may not be an option because money isn't an option or constraints with the movement of some of the children) and we went through their photos, scolding parents and siblings for taking the bulk of the pictures (something that clearly happened when a lot of the pictures are at adult eye level) and asking the children which pictures they took, and which ones are their favourites. One of the girls, Ishrat had told us at her house last week, when we asked her what she wanted to take pictures of, she had said herself, well receiving her prints back from the lab we laughed so hard because there she was in EVER picture on the roll striking a pose for the camera. So a little explaining was done as to who should be taking the pictures. And then off we went... filling up autos and the chingari bus, a caravan of 30 of us headed for a park in New Bhopal. The kids were great, Shifan (who has CP) was running RUNNING all over the place snapping this and that. I can't wait to upload the photos and scan what the kids took pictures of.


On Monday I'm going to the State School that a bunch of the Kids go to, (Chingari pays their tuitions, buys their uniforms and busses them back and forth) so the kids can take some pictures of school and their teachers. I'm really excited to go because secretly in my head I want to see what it would be like to work in a school like this (orrrrrrr maybe work in the new school that Chingari is opening when they open up their rehabilitation center for the kids).


anyway, what else...we are leaving on Tuesday! I can't wait, can not wait to go to Varanasi (and hope hope hope it's not overrun by touts and scammers). Writing this post has actually made me feel so much better, I don't want to be down down...
My body is letting me down. I now have a cold, insomnia and I still have the shits. Adding this to my unstable emotional state from having to switch to a new birth control (something I'm going to have to do AGAIN in 1 month) is making me have a hard day. But (a la rocky) hey, forget about it.... I will be fine tomorrow...pumping some fits in the air and jump up yelling raspberry!

2.08.2008

shits and giggles and children that change your life



5 more days left in Bhopal and I just got over my second bout of travelers diarrhea so hopefully I’m good to go...

The last week has been an educational experience in everything that is truly India.. Emily and I have started a photo project with 7 children living in the Basties (the slums, the communities, the colonies, whatever you wanna call them) around Bhopal. Of these Children 3 are physically special needs (they have physical deformities such as bow leggedness, which prevents them from standing or walking normally), 3 are mentally special needs, and 1 is Yogiata, the sister of 2 brothers who were born with physical abnormalities. All these children are born from parents who were somewhere in old Bhopal the night of December 2nd 1984 when the gas cloud from the exploded pesticide factory Union Carbide passed over their homes and changed their lives.

We went into the Basties with a woman who works for Chingari Trust she brought us to each of the homes that the children live at. What an amazing experience to have chai in these houses and get to meet the people who experienced the worst when the carbine factory exploded and hear what they say about that night and what has happened since. Going to the basties is ... pretty insane... these people live in the smallest of spaces, with the largest amount of family, and some of them have next to nothing. And then there are the kids. Adil, Radisha Bi's (one of the women who started Chingari) nephew sat in my lap and covered my eyes before giving me giant bear hugs and kissed me a million times. how can you hold back the tears. How can I type this and not feel what I felt then, I can't. The tears flow. His little legs bent all sorts of ways that they shouldn't be. And his 16 year old body the size of a 3 year old...

the kids in the photo project are so clearly excited that it's terribly contagious. I can't wait to see what kind of pictures we get back and what we can do as the next step.

ok veggie burger calls...