Wow - how a week can change everything! We are all living in unprecedented times with a new virus plowing it's way around the globe, challenging our ability to cope with a new reality. The way we live, communicate and interact has drastically changed and, when the virus is gone, for many, life will not go back to the way it was.
You may or may not know India is in full lockdown - no one is being allowed to leave their home without direct permission for emergency situations. For us, this is a critical time of coordinating with our partners, collegues and the government to ensure we continue to recieve our daily ARTs, food and maintain access to our internet connections. Like so many places around the world, schools have been shut down. We have no cooks, no cleaning crew and no support staff.
The kids who were living outside the home have returned to complete their year of college online. We are creating a new daily routine, class schedules and investing in creative ways to leverage this change to achieve our mission during this time of crisis. Without staff we are learning new skills like how to cook and wash bedding by hand.
Each day starts with a yoga session lead by the kids. We have structured "class time" and everyone is working in the kitchen. What a great way to learn a life skill. Ravi - one of our college kids who has returned home - is working toward a bachelor degree in hotel management and he loves to cook. He is leading the charge in the kitchen with the help of our house parents. He is creating menus and teaching the other kids how to make new dishes. It is a site to see the boys stirring pots, chopping vegetables with Ravi shouting out orders as they fall in line under his guidance.
We cannot predict the future and we do not know when life will return to a new normal. In the meantime, we will use this time to build resilient kids who know that we are all in this life together, we need each other to survive and most of all we need to take care of each other.
We hope you are all well, healthy and safe. Thank you for being a part of our support system. We will reach out again when life has calmed down and let you know how life is going in India.
Ravi made lunch.