Thursday, January 29, 2009

Andrew's and the Kids' Daily Routine

I was not expecting everyone to be interested in this, so I included it in a separate entry.

The orphanage is a seven minute bike ride from the Handicraft Center (or 25 minute walk). Every day but Saturday, I work at the orphange from 7:00AM to 10:30AM and 3:45PM to 5:45PM. The kids are in school from 10-4, so I have the middle of they day free to go mountain biking. The kids don't go to school on Saturday, and I also have my day off then.

From 7:10AM to 8:30AM, the kids have study time (they are up around 6 and have already had tea and bread for breakfast). I usually draw with them, write poems, or help some of them with math.
8:30AM - 9:30AM is "lunch" (rice and dal-bat), and I eat with the kids. At 9:30, they go upstairs, make their beds, clean their areas, and dress up in ther school uniforms. Blue pants (skirts for girls), blue button down shirts, blue ties, blue sweaters, blue socks, and black shoes that they polish every morning. At 9:50 we walk to school together. I come back and help the women sweep and mop the floors, and by 10:30 I am off with my mountain bike.

I usually find a mountain bike ride that takes 2-4 hours, find a cheap place in town for an American lunch (usually around a dollar), and get back by 3:45 before the kids get back from school. I have rented a Trek front suspension mountain bike for the next 40 days. While it was expensive, the bike is already paying off.

I have a snack with them at 4:00 (like the lunch I described in the earlier entry), and then actively play with them until I leave. We sometimes go to a park and play soccer or karate, or we run around the orphanage trying to release as much energy as possible.

At 5:45 I bike home and have some downtime in my room. 7:00 is dinner, and then afterwards the volunteers hang out and play cards, go use the internet, read, or go to a bakery close by for a snack. Since most of us are on a budget, we seldom go out. A full meal costs less than $2, while a beer is double that. I go to bed early and am up by 6:30AM the next day.

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