WHERE TO BEGIN?!!
Kolkata (previously Calcutta) is a huge city with a population of over 10,000 million people. The city is hot and sticky, not to mention crowded. Kolkata is full of beautiful people, scenery and warm temperatures (without the humidity). It was my first time to Kolkata to see where I was born and where I was adopted from.
I had no idea of what to expect in terms of India itself. The roads were crowded and everyone was busy doing things; there is never a dull moment whether you are walking down the streets, volunteering with an organization, or just hanging out. The streets are always filled with cars and people. The cars are always honking (that is their way of saying "watch-out i'm coming thru,"-- kind of like us with turn signals) and the people are always talking and trying to get you to buy something or to take a ride in their rickshaws or taxis. The people of Kolkata are always happy and full of life; the streets are beautiful and always full of color and smells.
On my trip with my mom, we helped out at two different organizations -- New Light (which is a secular nonprofit charitable trust, set up a creche-cum-night-shelter to protect and educate young girls, children and women at high risk) and Mother Teresa's organization ( in Shanti Dan for malnourished children and Kalighat- home for the dying and destitute). What a blessing to work with people who have little to nothing, and being able to share my love with them. It really made me think about the country I was from. I could have been one of those children in the Mother Teresa Facility or at New Light.
I have an older sister (not blood-related) who was also adopted from I.M.H. We went to the nursing home that she was born in and got to see what the building looked like. It was just luck that we had the chance to see where I.M.H was as well. It took a while for the taxi drive to find the street it was on because it was down an alley. The building is still there to this day but it is no longer an orphanage. When we went and look at it, it appeared to look like more of an apartment where people rented out rooms. But we were unsure because of our language barrier.
Each memory of Kolkata will have a special place in my heart. I am proud to say that I am from Kolkata, India. But I am also very blessed to be in my home in Seattle, Washington with my family. We take so many things from granted when really we just need to be happy with what we have.
The beautiful Afman girls:
Preya- Adopted from India 24
Katie- Adopted from India 21
Meseret- Adopted from Ethiopia 16
Frehiwot- Adopted from Ethiopia 14
Tsion- Adopted from Ethiopia 11