A Holiday Letter from Bonnie

cclifton Uncategorized 1 Comment

Namaste all,

I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season and the best for the New Year. Thank you all for your continued efforts for this lovely place called Ama Ghar.

We completed our move two weeks ago after a total of 22 truck loads which included 2 trucks from the guest apartment where I had been storing some furniture, clothing and art supply donations. The first few days we spent a lot of time trying to find things but all has been put in its place now.

The storerooms of the new Ama Ghar are nicely sorted so I can now give the children many new things such as setting up an art area where they can leave their projects out until completion. We are planning to do a lot of art during Winter break to get ready for a “Green” art competition in Colorado. The little girls have new baby dolls and a bookshelf to put them on, thanks to Bob G. who bought the shelf.

Everyone is settled and I must say without too much stress. The children are running around in their new space. They are dancing to their drums as they wait for dinner. The large room is always full of children. 40 cushions, 39 plus one for Bhalu the dog are laid out on the carpet ready for their prayer after dinner and there is plenty of room for all. We have learned we have to stack the cushions high when finished to keep Bhalu from using them all!

The biggest change was the kitchen set up. Since it is winter and very cold outside the work teams are now washing everyone’s dishes in the large new sink with hot water which is a first. Our hot water solar is working fine.

We are slowing trying to get the interior of the house in shape. I have a lot of painting to do, which I will do gradually. Hopefully the children will be doing some art on their walls during Winter break also. We were sorry to leave our lovely wall art at the old house. Study room is in order and all of the books are in bookshelves. Each unit has a bookshelf as well. We have a lot of books!

The boys and I will begin hanging our many pictures. The boys are the drill experts now so that we will not damage the brick and make be gaping holes. Most of the 10 bulletin boards have already been hung throughout the house.

They are just finishing (two more days) the flagstone entrance to the house. When that is finished we will stop tracking in so much construction dust and we can really give the interior of the house a good cleaning. Uma is taking some vacation, but when she gets back she will have a full schedule of curtain making.

The waste system is working and we are digging the overflow stream to a pond. Plants are planted but I was disappointed that there were so few. Hopefully we can plant flowers as we like. The never ending bio gas hole is complete and they are constructing the actual dome, quite an undertaking. I’m not sure when that will be connected to the waste system..it has been a slow process.

The Solar Power has been ordered, solar panels are on the roof, batteries are on the porch waiting for a metal shelf to be constructed. Still don’t have a completion date, but we are anxious as tomorrow we go to 8 hours a day of no power. Like last year, this will increase every other week. Actually this has made the move difficult as the children were used to having our emergency lighting system so there was always some light…now we are in the dark, dark with a few candles. Hope this changes soon.

Our next little project will be the Stupa….maybe during Winter vacation when the children can help. The carved top section is complete and waiting to be delivered. The children have been doing some work for “pocket money” but I’m a tough employer so they have to put half of their earnings into savings! 😉 The little ones love to work with the “wheelbarrow” Ama Ghar’s new toy. From now on we are going to be very American and “do it ourselves” as all of the money has been spent or committed. We do have a very hard working full time gardener who is slowly making his way thru the various rubble piles and making flower and vegetable beds.

The office is in pretty good order however we do not have internet. I am trying to get the local provider to extend their signal…..we could have a land line internet but we are still on the waiting list for a land line. Our new phone number is 9741246062..it is a phone on an antenna. Our new number is not out to everyone yet so we have had only a few calls. I think the Hotel View Bhukuti a few minutes away on the main road has wireless..so I will go tomorrow and see if that is available for me to use in the meantime.

The new Guest apartment is a short walk up the ridge. It is larger and nicer than our previous one in a nice small home with a nice garden. I think the guests will enjoy it and it will be easy for us to manage.

There have been a few little surprises but mostly I am very pleased with the house and the area. It is beautiful and quiet. The house is warming up as we have had a lot of sunny days..but it is still December in Godavari and cold.

The teenagers were a little unhappy about walking to the main road but I think the walk will be good for them, give them some exercise and the opportunity to meet others in the area.

I will be sending as many pictures as possible for the January 15th event and you can see the progress….any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

I forgot one event….Santosh came down with the chicken pox the day we moved…Akriti, Samjana Sanu, Ashim, Rupa and Sangita have the chicken pox now…they should be back to school next week. Ashim is miserable as he has missed his football matches.

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