Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Zoo!

During the Dasara holiday, which went from October 8th to October 30th, the kids with parents spent 1 1/2 days at their homes. They then returned to KM to continue their tutoring sessions during the holiday, and to enjoy a couple of outings.

One outing was to GRS Fantasy Park, a mini-Disneyland like amusement park with tons of rides and games for the kids to enjoy. The kids had a blast and have already picked out the amusement park they want to visit next year.

The other outing was to the Mysore Zoo, where they saw a collection of amazing animals, like lions and tigers, and elephants and giraffes, as well as gorillas, monkeys, alligators, and exotic birds.

The kids brought a packed lunch made by our cook, Raju, whose food they absolutely love.

Swarana and Vishnu enjoying lunch

Harish, Nanjunda, Swarana, and Vinod resting

Harish (volunteer) with Vinod; Saroja; Divya holding Siri; and Manjula (volunteer)

October 23 was also Manikanta's birthday, and they brought his birthday cake to the zoo to wish him a happy day. Photos and video courtesy Thomas Smith.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Second Report Cards

Second quarter report cards came out for our kids. Most did very well again, and we hope that the focus on education and after-school tutoring is having an impact.

Big Pooja, again, got straight A's, as did quiet Surya.

Prema, finally cleared of her chronic ear infections, scored solid B+'s in all subjects again.

Manikanta got an A+ in math, and improved in his other subjects.

Venkatesh got almost straight A's despite being a non-stop talker in tutoring class. Ahem.

The other kids all got a mix of A's and B's, most showing improvements in their grades from last quarter, and with a few C's mainly in English -- English will be a focus during their summer break, when their tutoring sessions will continue.

Imran and little Pooja

Imran, brother of Parveen and nephew of Kaleem, moved into Karunya Mane last week. He's just about three years old and is starting in nursery school. Mom and dad are very poor and wanted Imran to stop wandering around the streets while they worked. Dad works when he can find jobs near the market.

Little Pooja also moved in this past week. She's four years old and dad works as a day laborer at the market. Mom and dad don't have a house but live with Pooja's grandmother in a slum area. Pooja started in lower kindergarten with our other kids.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Goodbye to Rukkhmini

On Sunday, November 9th at about 4:00 in the afternoon, Rukkhimini ("Rukkhi") one of our street moms, passed away. She was mom to Nanjunda, who live at Karunya Mane, and Danhu.

For more on Rukkhi, please see our post here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Out on bail

In the latest development for Mary, someone finally bailed her husband out of jail. After hearing of this, Mary and Aunty went to the police station to get information on the conditions of the bail, but they were told to go to the courthouse for that information.

At the courthouse, they learned that the husband has been instructed not to go anywhere near Mary. If he does his bail will be rescinded and he will be back in jail. At some point in the future (possibly months), Mary and husband will be summoned to appear in court for a hearing. In the meantime, if husband does cause any trouble, like hassle Mary or take his kids out of Karunya Mane, we are to call the police station and they will arrest him again.

Given that husband was in jail for over three months, we hope that he has learned at least one lesson -- which is to obey the terms of his bail and stay away from Mary.