Monday, September 10, 2012

God didn't rest on the 7th day (neither did Baxter)

Kendra and Baxter, two friends of our kids at Karunya Mane, started the project in San Francisco, raising money for a playground for KM. They tapped into their friends and family and their community at StarSeeds Preschool, which Kendra founded (because she loves kids).

Then, they looked around on the Web and found a great playground equipment vendor in Bangalore, and spent a few early mornings and late nights calling from San Francisco to coordinate the order. 

In early August, they flew halfway around the world, first arriving in Bangalore, where they stayed for a few days to check out the playground equipment factory, and then they drove over to Mysore.

On the day deemed "Day 1" by project manager-chief logistics coordinator Baxter, the equipment actually did arrive on schedule (no Indian time allowed at KM! ahem). 
Day 1 - The equipment arrived, and on schedule! That's Baxter in the light blue t-shirt, ordering everyone around to get things done quickly! (of course, he's speaking in English to the Indian workers, so we're not exactly sure what or how much they understood of his directions, but his style was impactful!)
Day 3 - Girls' playground.
The prior weekend, under Kendra's watchful eye, the kids painted the bricks that surround the playgrounds with their names, a very thoughtful idea of Kendra (she must be an educator?!?) to give the kids a sense that they contributed to putting the playground together.

Day 5 - Boys' playground. Getting there...
And finally, on Day 7, laying the grass was completed, the bricks were all in place, and all was completed -- on time, within budget, and with soooooo much excitement!

Day 7 - Boys' playground.
Seriously, doesn't it just look fabulous? I mean, what kid has a playground in his/her own front yard?!!

Day 7 - Girls' playground (and Sumitra hanging her clothes).
We aren't sure how such a wonderful gift came our way. Our kids are very fortunate to have friends like Kendra and Baxter. If you've ever met our kids, then you know that there is something special about them. Maybe it's that they come from such difficult backgrounds and social-economic hardships but continually prove to us that they can thrive and flourish when given the chance -- excelling in school, improving and refining their behavior to the point where, wow, we don't even recognize them sometimes ;-) and just, well, enjoying their childhood years. They attract such fabulous friends from around the world who remember them even after several years -- Kendra first met them several years ago on her trip to Mysore (!) -- these kids are really something else, as are their friends.

Come on over and check out the playgrounds!