My Indian Mom & Sister 

Jaisita, Sarah and Sanjukta

Han & Sanjukta
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February 28, 2006 

Hurraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I turned 28. My golden B-day a day I will never forget. My day stared out with a delicious breakfast at Jaisita’s house. Received several cards, e-cards, phone calls etc. Thank you all for remembering me though I am so far away from all of you.

Next I went back to the Orchid hotel to pick up yet another b-day cake, as I wanted to celebrate at Bal Vikas with all the children. They absolutely loved it and kept wanting more cake.

At night, my father’s side of the family, Jaisita, my crew and Han all went to the restaurant “ Patio” to have dinner. I had decided to celebrate wearing a typical Indian dress. The evening was absolutely fabulous and the restaurant manager had to ask us to leave around 2am as we were still partying and having a good old time. (Han took all photos that evening, as he wanted to conduct an experiment with his new camera)

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My 28th Pre- Birthday Celebration  

In the past couple of weeks a lot has happened. I turned yet another year older, and was fortunate to spend it with my father’s family, the children at Mane Seva Sangh, Bal Vikas my social workers my film crew, and Han. I would have to say that it was the best birthday of my life so far though I missed my family and friends in DK and the US.

Where to start. let’s see……. I celebrated my b-day at Mane Seva Sangh the day before which was the 27th. I had ordered a cake for a 100 people, which I picked up from the Orchid hotel right by the domestic airport. When I reached, I discover that they only had birthday candle numbers 2 and 9 left so I decided to go ahead and turn an extra year older.

We arrived at Mane Seva Sangh at about 1pm. First we were shown into the conference room where I was congratulated by the staff and the three social workers and lawyers who were left since my time there. It was an intense moment but very special.

Next we entered into their main lunchroom where all the children were sitting and waiting to sing for me. Upon entering I felt a sudden knot in my stomach and knew that there was going to be tears of joy but I held on to them. Children and young adults ages 4 – 23 started singing for me and I lost it. I just couldn’t hold on any longer. During this entire trip I’ve managed to take a neutral stand point from adoption and not been emotional involved but this day, at this very place which was once my home was just too much at one time for me to handle.

The president of Mane Seva Sangh gave a very lovely speech, which I returned once she was finish. After all the hugging and tears, the cake was cut. Little did I know that I would have to eat a small bite of everyone’s piece as a tradition so soon after I felt a knot in my stomach again but this time because I had eaten too much cake. When all was done, and everyone had been given candy and a piece of cake, I sat with the young adults who have spent their entire life there. We joked around, laughed, talked about our favorite Indian actors and made plans for me to come back and spend a couple of days there because I would like to talk to the girls some more about their time at Mane Seva Sangh.

After leaving everyone to go attend school, we gathered yet again in the conference room with the president of MSS and my social worker. An interview has been scheduled with them in the beginning of next week which i am looking forward to.

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What is Holi?

Holi is a festival in which the people of India celebrates the arrival of spring and the death of Holika. It is a celebration of joy and hope, the one day where there are no enemies. The celebrations begin the night before with a prayer ceremony, which takes place around a large bonfire.

How Is Holi celebrated?

Holi is celebrated by throwing colors, paints, and buckets of water on one another while dancing, and singing.

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Feeling Better Now 

Hello, thank you for all your emails these last couple of weeks. I’ve been pretty sick to say the least but am much better now. You think you take all the precautions necessary but the polluted air filled with smog around the clock due to all the auto’s running on diesel fuel and having no such thing as “an emission inspection” will eventually get the best of you. I am doing much better now and look forward to continue on.

At the beginning of Feb. the apartment I live in became wireless which makes it a lot easier for us to stay connected to the other side of the world. It’s not common to have a personal router in ones personal home, although Internet café’s can be found situated around the city.

On our shoot one day, we passed a McDonalds and decided to grab a snack there just to see what would be on the menu. Obviously beef is not on the menu, because cows are holy in the Hindu religion. Chicken and potato patties are used as a substitution instead.

About a week ago, I witnessed an Indian couple that had been approved to adopt a child come in to look at their potential child. I was very excited to be apart of the their big moment. I was a bit disappointed when I asked them if they were excited and their reply was “ we are scared of what the child looks like, and if it has the right color” hmm not the answer I expected but at least it was honest on their part. As predicted, they turned down the child today.

Several interviews have been conducted, and I see that there are several holes within the process of adoption both for an orphanage, the parents to be, the parents giving up their child, and the parents just considering adoption.

Valentines day was interesting. (Yesterday) the headlines here in India read “ V-day is attacking India” “ The western Culture is taking over India” “ Valentines day is only about sex” There were huge debates on TV (Times Now) about what Valentines Day really is. Some think it’s about love, others feel it’s a way of telling the people of India to go out and have sex. Still feeling under the weather, I was curious to see if couples would go out in public and how Valentine’s Day was celebrated here. I went to pick up a gift for Jaisita with her daughter, and came across several couples. Almost every store had a Valentines Day discount for couples.

At times it’s blatantly obvious how much of the American culture is integrating itself here. In the two malls I’ve passed through, both have a stores called “ My Dollar Store” which is quite funny, because everything is 99RS which in reality is 2$.

Film City

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