On thursday, our medical team went to the colony A. S. Nagar and a school for special needs children. We also dropped off food for Bharathapuram, another colony. So lots of different stops that day! First, we went to the school, and the volunteers got to color and play with the 30 special needs kids while the nurses and doctor did check ups with the children. They were the sweetest, most affectionate children.We weren't really able to communicate with them because they didn't speak English, but we still did our best to play with them and enjoy them. Lyndsey taught one of the girls some hand games.
There were other children at this school as well. A large number of girls were in the courtyard when we drove up, and they were fascinated by us. They wanted to know our names and asked for me to take pictures of them. These girls were adorable.
So I got in a picture with them.
After the visit at the school, we went on to the colony. I worked the foot cleaning and bandage cutting station. It's a very small colony and we only had 4-5 patients, so it was a quick visit. All the patients lived together in a very small space, but it was amazing to see how much progress these patients have made (in comparison to the colony that just began receiving treatment). There wounds were not very bad, and the disease is no longer progressing for many of them.
Rising Star does more than just provide medical treatment, they also provide custom made shoes to fit the feet of the patients. This is one of the special shoes. Often they are sandals, but in this case it is a boot because of the weakness in the woman's leg. The blue thing is used by the nurse who cuts away at the dead skin. It holds up the limb while she works. Rising Star also has a micro-lending program, and one of the people that benefited from this micro lending is the man pictured above. He is no longer a beggar. Instead he is a tailor in their community! You could see the pride in his face as we pointed out his sewing machine and the other work we could see.
After the colony, we stopped by Bharathapuram to drop off food. At this colony, there is an art school. All of the artists are individuals effected by leprosy. They sell their art as a way to do fundraising for the colony. Apparently, there art has been show in different countries in Europe and their paintings can be sold for hundreds of dollars. I bought 2 painting while I was there ($45 a piece) and the artist was there! I was able to take a picture with her. Her name was Yuma. I'm so excited that I got to support this colony in some way.
Thursday was a great day, but Friday was really wonderful too. We went to another colony, and in the afternoon, I had my first day dancing with Life dance Troupe! It's an after school dance troupe. The first dance troupe for children effected by leprosy. It was a wonderful day, and I'm so excited to get started dancing with these kids. For the last 2 months, Anne has been working with these kids and we will move forward working together leading the troupe. I'm really glad that I'm finally getting into the dance work. Next week will be even better, since I'll get to dance with them every day!
Next post will be about Mahalapuram, a coastal town, where we went shopping! A nice vacation day.