Saturday, July 23
All the girls crowded around us, excitedly asking to take pictures, both in front of the lense and behind, with us and by themselves. This was after the interminable group photo session in which we all proudly showed off the friendship bracelets we had made, Auntie Rosemary and her eldest daughter snapping away with the cameras. It was a lot of fun though, getting to hang out with for a few hours yesterday with the fourteen girls and couple of staff members of another safe house in Khulna. Erika and I spent a number of hours on Thursday cutting 100 skeins of embroidery thread into two foot-long strands, getting more excited for the next day as we got closer to finishing, even though our wrists were actually beginning to fatigue from all the measuring and cutting. Our slightly tired wrists were totally worth it too - every girl got to make at least two bracelets, and they still have enough thread left over to make a bunch more. Although I'm not sure which was more entertainng for them, the bracelets or the pictures. These girls are the only ones that seem to have a fascination with taking pictures around here either - everyone seems to want to take pictures of all sorts of events and people, no mattter if it might be slightly awkward for them to do so. For example, there are the teenage boys who took paparazzi-style photos of the two white girls when they couldn't get through the mob wanting to take pictures with us those times when we visited college campuses. And at events like the conference we went to, someone with a camera seemed to invariably be in the speakers' faces or wandering about during prayer/worship time (they might have been taking official event pictures now that I think of it, but it's hard to tell...). At one event, some of the speakers who had been assembled on stage even got down during worship to take some pictures of their own. It's kind of entertaining to me for some reason :)
But Friday was a rather nice day. We even got to eat lunch with the girls (yay hands!) then were served ice cream with fresh mango at Auntie Rosemary's more next door for dessert (she runs the safe house), where we spent a little while chatting with this incredibly motherly woman who seems to radiate peace and compassion in every interaction, before heading back to our own room to take a delicious two hour nap. Later this week, Erika and I will go print out some of the pictures we took yesterday with the girls so that next Friday, when we go back, the girls can put them in their Dream Books, a creative project they've started to log memories and dreams, a sort of ongoing and fun form of encouragement. Erika and I have been thinking up a couple of ideas for fun pages the girls can release their artistic powers on, and we're excited to get to utilize some awesome new scrapbooking-type materials that were recently donated to the home. It's gonna be fun!