Tuesday, August 26, 2008


On Saturday, our friend Anu went to Karuya Mane for the kids' first inspection. It's something that we are implementing to help the kids maintain proper hygienic habits, like brushing teeth, keeping nails short and clean, and keeping their personal areas clean.

Anu, as usual, made her visit a fun one for the kids. Earlier that day, the first graders dressed up as two Indian gods, Krishna and Radha, in honor of Krishna's birthday, and a couple of them won prizes for their costumes. So they all congratulated the winners, then Anu asked them if they like winning prizes. All of the kids screamed "yes!!!" She then asked them how they can become winners. They were quiet for a bit...

Lokesh came up with the answer and said, "If we work towards it!" They then talked about cleanliness and germs, and how germs find their way into our bodies and what they do to us, the importance of washing, bathing and keeping all their body parts clean.

The kids stood in two lines while Anu looked at their hair, noses, ears, fingers and toes. They laughed and joked at some of the runny noses. She told them that she always had a runny nose as a kid and when the snot slid down, she tasted it (ugh! but come on, who didn't as a kid...???). It was salty -- yuck! They all laughed and many owned up that they had tasted it too!

Anu then told them why their noses run and why it is important to wash the gunk off and keep the nostrils clean -- when germs that cause colds enter our body, our body and the germs fight each other like a war or battle. Some germs die and some of our body soldiers die, and all of the dead ones are expelled with the snot. So it's good to blow and wash our noses -- and not lick it.

She touched on the importance of washing hands, and keeping finger and toe nails short and clean by scrubbing with soap. She then discussed how worms enter the stomach. Anu asked who has had worms (very common in India) and several said yes. She then explained to them how they can avoid getting worms (not sticking their fingers in their mouths) and how the worms suck our blood when they lodge themselves in our intestines.

Pearly White Teeth
Anu also spoke about brushing one's teeth properly, and that even the gums and the tongue should be cleaned thoroughly. The kids were told they should brush their teeth in the morning, as well as before going to bed. Incidentally, Nanjunda has a great set of pearly teeth. The kids applauded him and listened quite attentively (except for Manikanta, Sharath and Sumitra...). Some of them have crooked teeth and some have old stains, but overall, their teeth were not so bad, considering many never brushed consistently until they came to Karunya Mane.

Anu closed by telling the kids that they should keep their trunks clean, their clothes folded and that when she visits next, she will take a look at the trunks. Her "inspections" will be once a month, and after a couple more they'll become "surprise inspections"!