Wide Eyed in India: Pt. VIII

Woke with a pounding head that beat in time with the pulse of the city beyond. Quiet until afternoon, then we were off to the huge primary school the kids from the Ongole children's home attend, led by Sean, an affable natured, pale blue-eyed guy from California who runs CCH, a much larger children's home organization that Orphans First partners with. Naturally, our arrival caused sheer chaos at the school.... I think I shook hands with and heard the names of well over 100 kids, all eager to try out what they'd learned in their English lessons. 

I made my way through the open air classrooms, trying as hard as I could to remain discreet, and predictably failed utterly. The teachers kept admirable control over the kids with nary a raised voice, but classes still tended to grind to a halt whenever I walked by. After quite a bit of improvised communication primarily composed of halting words and hand gestures, I managed to get a few of the classes to ignore me as best they could....though one teacher just decided to let the kids have a photo-op instead. 

Shortly after all the Ongole children's home kids had been met, we drove back to home where the children lived to await their return once classes ended. The Ongole home was in a quiet little village perhaps an hour outside of the city proper, tended by a young couple with children of their own. 

Dusk turned into full dark as we made our goodbyes, sipping on gifted coconuts and sprite.

Enough adventure had been had for one hazy-headed day, so we made our way back to the noise and crowds of Ongole to flop into beds for the last time before the return to Hyderabad...

- To be continued -

Wide Eyed in India: Part IV

....Woken by birds and undulating voices calling worshipers to services as the Sunday sun bathed my bed in a shaft of gold..

I rode out to a small church in a village just outside of Hyderabad, listening to gentle voices rising and falling, a moment or and hour passing to reach a final crescendo of song.

 This was a reunion of sorts, as a number of men and women who had grown up the children's home which had once been housed within the church came to see my traveling companions, Janey & Louis DeMeo, the founders of Orphans First.


The reunion stretched into the afternoon, and I ended up filming interviews with each and every one of the alumni.



As the afternoon wore on, people filtered away, leaving behind the building many had grown up in. The old home had been empty for some time, but the lightest of impressions of the life once held within remained.