Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The night before departure

I think we are all set for our departure tomorrow. The storm appears to have spared JFK from its worst, and I'm all packed, watching the Killers at Royal Albert Hall on Palladium, sipping the last wine I'll drink for the next ten days. From now on, it's Kingfisher beer in the cool garden of the Fairlawn after our days working with Empower the Children projects.

Dakshindari is the slum in Kolkata where we will be spending some time, doing projects with the kids who are fortunate enough to go the Preyrona School that the foundation supports. The school is down a busy, narrow alley, not far from the rail line that runs through the slum. Sixty kids, from 5 to 14, attend the one-room school where they receive education, a nutritious lunch, and loving attention every day. "Preyrona" means inspiration, and these kids' stories are just that. In a place where simple survival is the goal of every day's efforts, these kids have a shot at something more. This is my third trip here in three years. Things don't change much, but there is one way that this is a good thing - I see many of the same kids, still attending the school, when the risk of them falling away is so high.

Bit of a contrast from television and some grape.

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