Monday, March 31, 2014

The Opening of Maitri Ghar

On March 19th we traveled to Vrindavan to visit the widows living under Maitri's care once more. It was a particularly special occasion as it was the opening of Maitri's new home for abandoned and destitute widows, Maitri Ghar.

Hilary and I rode an hour ahead of General, Sonal, and Dr. Kristoffersson and were accompanied by a woman named Amrita and her daughter Devika. Devika was the absolute sweetest little girl. Shy at first, she only peeked at us from the front seat. It soon changed and she was sitting in the backseat with us, showing us how she can count in English and spell the names of the weekdays. She made the 3 hour car ride much more enjoyable and none us of could ever stop laughing.

When we reached the home we couldn't believe what we saw! So much work had been done in just over a month. The home had it's floors and doors and was just beautiful! There was a group of widows who sang religious songs and played instruments. They placed strung flowers around our necks and hugged us.

Soon General, Sonal, and Dr. Kristoffersson arrived and the ceremony began. The opening ceremony was amazing to watch and be part of. Prayers were said and we all received bindi on our foreheads. Dr. Kristoffersson cracked open a coconut as part of the ceremonies. The women seemed so happy to have this place to call home and it was really a touching experience.

Shortly after that we headed to Radha Kund to celebrate Holi with the widows there. That was one of my favorite things to experience since we've been here. They were all singing and dancing. They pulled Hilary and I into the circle to dance to the drums and threw flower petals everywhere. Their joy was infectious and I left there with so much more happiness than I could've imagined. The entire day seemed like a celebration and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.


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