Final edit, the kids reporting                                                                           

Posted by Bethany Jean at 4/30/2012 9:46 AM | Add Comment

And Finally...


Back at the Ranch
    Once back at the orphanage, I only have a few days left before I head to Delhi for my flight back home. This means, all unfinished projects go into hyperdrive. there's a horse that needs an operation, a peacock that needs painting, a video that needs editing,a last painting class, and the oven that needs to be tested.
Let's start with the self portrait class -by far the most difficult and met with some groans.
First I made a slideshow of portraits that other painters have done, sort of an overview of different styles. They are amused. Here's a Jen Uman:
Sketches to begin with.

Then Ravi starts in with the paint...



and the results...

Well,let's skip over to the oven. I'm no expert bread maker, but with the little package of yeast doe , I managed to knead up some loaves to be baked. We heated up the oven with a fire inside, and well, the tandur stone couldn't take it and broke. The oven itself did alright. We will get some refractory bricks and lay a new floor. As soon as those refractory bricks show up...
The bread only got half baked. The doorway to the oven needs to be shaved down and a door fitted to it so the heat stays in better, there was too much escape unfortunately. So, I don't get to see the glory of a working oven, but hopefully it is fixed soon.
Stoking the fire...

SSmokey business.

     Moving right along. This was the scene right before leaving to Chennai:

There was a lot of indecision about what color to paint the horse, and they kept asking me what color to paint it. I told them they had to decide, because if they leave it up to me I will make it pink. Finally, Vishnu makes some decisions and starts mixing paint.

Now, after returning from the trip to Chennai, I learn that the horse has had an accident...there was hearsay that Ravi was involved, and a leg had been broken, (the horse's) so surgery was in order.

     I Wasn't joking about the surgery.

Most of the kids had to go to the hospital for the day but a few of the kids didn't have to go, so they are helping and documenting the operation.

So, I shaved off some leg, it was just too long and causing problems.

After, more papermache.

Girls get busy painting and decorating , and I am in the classroom with the younger kids doing a painting class--the tiger!

Never a dull tiger!

And hey HEY, the horse gets a tail, and well, that darn leg is still too long! So, it will always have to stand
here at the edge.

the tail is of the same ilk that Renuka is sweeping with..

Uh oh! He comes alive and makes a run for it!

Now there's a handsome fella

Posted by Bethany Jean at 3/28/2012 7:22 PM | Add Comment

Spirulina to the People!

 The first sampling of spirulina is a success here at Living India/Home of Hope, orphanage for HIV+ children. Green lemonade hits the spot after the late afternoon playground time.
The lineup

It's lemonade but it's green

really green

    This is the spirulina we brought back from our adventure in Chennai where we learned how to grow spirulina from the people of OfERR, the Organization for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation. They are Sri Lankan refugees who are activists and are passionate about sharing information to promote self sustainability and health, growing spirulina for empowerment.

     If you are curious to know more about spirulina, you can look at this:  Spirulina!
Ok, did you look? Are you flabberghasted about how much protein and beta carotenes this stuff has? And on top of that , research is indicating that spirulina has HIV inhibiting properties- as well as good for blood balancing for diabetics, anti cancer properties, etc etc, just read it.
We are now in the process of setting up our own spirulina pool to start cultivating enough for daily consumption at the orphanage with some to share. Once we get that down, we can expand to more entrepreneurial ventures. Spirulina soap, spirulina chocolate, spirulina patties or spirulina noodles for our neighbors. Who knows.

   So, earlier this year I began emailing with David, house director at the orphanage, about spirulina and the possibility of taking a trip with some of the kids to go do a training. With the time frame that I would be at the orphanage, we found OfERR had a training in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Four of the older kids, Sushmitha, Divya, Vishnu and Samuel were chosen to go learn the art of spirulina cultivation and bring it back to show the other children.
     When I arrived at the orphanage, David showed me the field that had just been plowed where the spirulina could be planted.... heh. Something lost in communications was the fact that spirulina is an algae, and grows in water, heh. Anyway, we planned for our trip by overnight train from Hyderabad to Chennai. Getting train tickets in India is a racket. You need to book so far in advance if you want to book online, otherwise you need to go to a travel agent OR do what we had to do which is book the day before at 8am sharp for 'emergency' tickets. It is nerve wracking because you know there are hordes of other people trying to snap up these tickets, and to make it worse, the internet was not working at the orphanage, so david and Sateesh drove to the next town to find internet ... but the store wasn't open at 8am, luckily david's mobile internet usb thing was able to pick up a signal... and so, we got our tickets and set out to Chennai in the first class sleeper car that had us arrive in Chennai at 7am.
   Now, we arrived a day before the training actually started because we were told the trainings started at 6:30 am each morning. The only train was the overnight which got us there too late (from the train it was still an hour and a half to the site). So David had decided to make a day of seeing some sights in Chennai and arriving at the training center in the evening. We hired a driver and went to get some breakfast, then to the beach, which was the kids' first time seeing the ocean!