Visitors and friends have expressed a very loving interest in how Puja is progressing.
She is now enrolled at REACH school in their Autistic Unit, which she is loving. She has found her own place there in the classroom where she feels safe (as she does at home) away from the noise of people around her and where the teachers can easily interact with her.
She laughs now and when she does it feels like outbursts of joy.
She has the care and attention of the staff at Lula Bari as well.
Puja is definitely at home and safe.
Our friend Emma Christmas has visited us at shuktara a couple of times. On both her visits she has made sure that her priority is to spend time with the girls. On Wednesday 22nd March she came with Simon her partner.
They brought lots of things from London and had a great afternoon on this short stopover visit. Emma did a makeup session with the girls. They also brought balloons and cut and paste people to play with. It was a wonderful afternoon and we were all happy to see Emma again. The girls especially love her.
Holi morning was spent with the girls at Lula Bari as our friend Caroline de Penning came and brought gifts for the girls and organic paint from FabIndia and water pistols. Everyone was covered in colour by the end of the morning - take a look!
How wonderful to have visitors from Salt Yard Group who through Opera Tavern support the running of our homes…
Thank you Kathryn (Operations Manager for The Salt Yard Group) and Renee (from Opera Tavern) - you are the first visitors to shuktara in 2017 - we appreciate your support!
A short recap of our day at Shuktara (from Kathryn)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The day started with Pappu giving directions over the phone to our taxi driver, the address we were given was not enough to get us there, but thankfully with the help of Pappu and many friendly pedestrians we made it, the last guide even went so far as to get his scooter and show us the way.
We started at the boys house, Pappu met our taxi and we walked over. The house runs over three floors, not all the boys were home as some were at the bakery but the ones that were there gave us a warm smiley welcome. Probably the oldest boy there excitedly showed us his boarding pass which was a prized possession from his only trip on an airplane. The smiley excitement was contagious and soon both Renee and I were grinning from ear to ear. After about half an hour with the boys we set off for Shuktara Cakes, the bakery that was started about 4 years ago.
We were lucky to catch the boys there as they were finishing up for the day. Once more the welcome was warm and we were proudly given the tour around the bakery, split in to three different rooms, one for mixing, one for baking and the last for packaging. We had the opportunity to try their wares, my favourite being the ginger nut cake. After a group photo, a good catch on what they had been doing over the Christmas period and how sales had been booming we made our way to the final stop, the girls house.
Pappu was spotted as we walked up and an excited group of girls called his name from the window.
It was very evident that all the kids love Pappu and that the feeling is very mutual. He gave us a brief history of each of the residents of both the boys house and girls house and his face would light up while talking about them. We spent about an hour with the girls. Most of the girls have been abandoned by their families, they were given names by David and Pappu, and when they are able they have had a say in what their names will be. We even helped one girl while we were there decide on when she would like her birthday to be, with the aid of sign, smiles and laughter. Renee was given a sign name but unfortunately my sign name eluded them. It was very sweet to see how the girls related to each other, lots of love and affection, the older kids protective and caring of the younger ones.
Unfortunately our day with Shuktara came to an end. We felt very welcomed and blessed to have been able to spend this time with them. Thank you to Pappu and Shuktara for welcoming us into your homes.
Kathryn & Renee