Facepainting was a huge hit at our school fair!
Once again we are back with another report that is full to the brim with exciting activities. It is always tough to know which stories to highlight in these short reports - those who want a more detailed report can sign up to our weekly newsletters on our website or even follow us on Instagram or Facebook using the handle IndianOrphanage.
We're happy to report that things continue well here on the GSAM, there's always challenges of course - especially in a big family like ours. Sickness and injury of course are the most common challenge; thankfully we don't have a whole lot to write about in that regard. Board Member Paula is recovering well after her brain surgery, Rajesh continues his treatment for suspected SCA and there have been a few, barely noteworthy, sprains and brakes among our number.
On our farm our wheat has been seeded and the crop is growing well; a short winter may affect the yield at the end however. The biggest job on the farm by far has been our sugar cane harvest - almost 30 acres of cane has been cut, cleaned and sold off to the local sugar mill. The fields were barely empty for a few days before we re-seeded them with cane and started the process over again. Over these last few months we also completed another massive section of fencing on our southern border; thank you to those who helped with funding this project.
The construction of our new Kindergarten is going well, we've progressed to the point where we are ready to frame up and pour the massive concrete roof; this is a huge and expensive task that requires a lot of planning. Hundreds of bags of cement will be used for the roof as well as dozens of truckloads of sand and gravel - these come from the local riverbeds and stockpiling enough supplies will take a few weeks still.
The Kindergarten is not the only construction we have on the go, our much smaller Carpentry Shop is well underway. The roof has been poured and our building team has begun the process of plastering the walls and preparing the floors to be poured. We're hoping the construction will be complete by the next time we put in a report here.
In our school, Maxton Strong School, many of our young boys are training daily for an upcoming inter-school soccer tournament that we are hosting. Almost a dozen school from our local area have signed up for the tournament which begins next week. It's close to the end of the school year here in India, the last day being March 31st, so along with soccer practice our students are also studying for final examinations.
This report wouldn't be complete without mentioning our incredible Christmas season that has just passed. If you've been following us for a few years you will know that we don't do Christmas lightly here. Lights, fireworks, decorations, presents, stockings, bonfires and trees are just the beginning of the amazing celebrations we host here for our kids and community. It truly is "the most wonderful time of the year!"
And of course, what better way to end this report than our children; the very reason we do everything we do. Life has been great lately, cool weather has meant lots of bonfires, movie nights and hanging out around the main office. Every other day there is a birthday to celebrate - and we've had some excellent ones of late! Our kids also took an epic trip to go white-water rafting in the nearby river that marks the border between India and Nepal. There has been regular visits from all of our Mission: University students over the last few months too; it is always so wonderful to catch up with them and hear about their college lives.
We're so grateful for the incredible support that each one of you is to us; your regular donations, emails and messages of support mean so much. As we partner together for the betterment of our kids and the community here in our little corner of India, we can never forget just how many people make this place so special. Thank you for being a precious part of our team.
Our school fair was an incredibly successful day.
Celebrating our Chief Minister's sons birthday.
Launching off on a white water rafting adventure!
Our new fence protecting our sugar cane crops.
Thousands turned up for our Christmas program.
Our presents were a huge hit at Christmas.
New Years Eve celebrations with a DJ!
Our new carpentry shop under construction.
Our massive Kindergarten is ready for its roof.