I Hugged Aarti and Diya

Mar 4, 2023 | Vet-Med Outreach

A village trip is always on our agenda. Last year it was just TOO hot (118 degrees) to go, so even though it is the hottest February in 100 years in India we still went out to two Pardhi villages.

My desire was to give some motherly comfort and love to two orphan girls or rather young woman who have had a rough time in life.

First we (Dr. Suresh, Nupi, Erik, Viple, Loren and me) went to Aarti’s village. I wrote about her losing her infant son last year. The Journal was one of the hardest I ever wrote. We had to get permission to enter the village but we were cordially greeted.

Hugging is defiantly NOT a Pardhi custom but after all these years they know it is a Nani custom. She was all smiles when she saw me.

Her husband wanted his picture with me also. LOL

She wanted us to see her home/hut. It was very neat and clean with her cow dung floors swept and bed neatly made. The roof was plastic tarps layered with wooden poles holding it. Gradually, gradually they are getting half bricks from the government to build the walls.

Slowly, slowly the small doorway opening was filled with kids of all sizes. Then I recognized Connor. I named him after my grandson. There are several children in this village that I have had the pleasure to name. Because of Vasentha they all now go to school.

Then off we went to the “Orange man’s farm.” I tend to know people by what they do not their name. Just too hard to remember names. We asked if we could have a picnic in the orange grove. Of course we could. They even brought out a tarp to sit on. Then they saw me and brought this rusted metal folding table and plastic chairs. The top was so bad I was not sure I wanted to eat off it. Then came the beautiful fabric top. The ladies were proud to accommodate us.

After we ate the men wanted to pick oranges to take home. The farmer has given permission for us to ALWAYS take as many as we want. Years of friendship with Dr. Suresh shows in their reception of us. Dr. Suresh holds his Self-Reliant training on this property.

Then on to Diya’s village, where I was SHOCKED when I saw where she lived. I knew she was outside the village, but had no idea out far outside she was. She was the recipient of one of the Chicken Projects you all gave to support.

Her husband is back living with her and they both work in the nearby brick factory, if you can call it that. Dr. Suresh got them the jobs.

We all laughed when we saw how they had scabbed onto the electricity.

She received her “Nani hug” and then proudly ushered us into her little tent home. Again it was clean and a carpet was brought out for Nupi and me to sit on. 

Look closely in the picture and you will see a tiny brick stove, a few pots, one light bulb, a Boombox and cell phone chargers. OK No toilet, no running water, barely any household goods, BUT cell phones. We all just had to laugh.

We brought tea to share and say a prayer. She said she is very happy and so glad her husband is not in the wine making business. Dr. Suresh had to take the chickens to the Orange farmer because her sister who was HELPING keep them for her, ate one. The day after our visit he brought her 9 eggs.

It has changed her life to have chickens.

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