The Day I Became a Real Indian Woman

Our second village day began and I was already almost crying. As we came into the school courtyard where we teach, the kids ran up to us with flowers in hand and smiles on their faces. Today was my day to lead the activities in the village school. In the morning I was nervous that I wouldn't be exciting or fun enough for the kids, but that fear quickly turned to joy and elation as I saw the familiar faces from yesterday. We had a great time with all the kids, who surprise me every day with their brilliant minds and amazing attitudes.

After our school time, we started our second round of village tours (I could really get used to lounging and drinking out of a coconut. Luxurious, right?) At the first and last houses, the women put the red bindi dots on our foreheads and blessed us. It's so amazing every time. It makes my eyes well up with tears when I think about how much they're giving us, for almost nothing in return. At the last home we visited, the woman of the house outlined our feet with a red paint that's traditionally worn by married women. (You'll probably be able to see a picture of our village team's feet on the blog tonight!) It's so cool to be able to experience these meaningful traditions in such an amazing atmosphere. I felt so close to the people of our village and to their beautiful culture. I'll probably think about them everyday day for the rest of my life.

Another thing I may never forget, is the "blessing" I got in the Nishtha school today. Picture this: you're holding the sweetest, most beautiful little girl. She smiles every time you play peek-a-boo and she'll laugh at almost anything. She got me. She got me right in the heart. And a good thing too, because the next part of my story may have been a little less endearing if she hadn't gotten me. We were sitting on the ground, and all of a sudden, my legs felt a little colder than the usual 165 degrees. I looked down and saw a little puddle on the ground. I thought, "oh no, someone spilled their water on the ground!" Then I looked at my little girl's pants and realized, "oh no. This little angel just peed on me." She reeled me in... and then she peed on me.

I went and rinsed off my clothes and changed. When I came back, I sat down next to some ladies on the floor. They were laughing and speaking Bengali very quietly. I turned around and smiled at them and they laughed harder. At this point, I had already been peed on and had nothing left to lose, so I asked them what was so funny. They spoke to me in Bengali, and a man translated to me, "They say, 'With your feet and bindi and "special" blessing, you have become a real Indian woman.'"

I guess that means I'm stayin' forever. (Just kidding, mom)

Love, Olivia :)