During these last two weeks, I’ve been involved in many conversations regarding STEPS, one of the children’s homes that Hope ToRCh is working with. I’ve seen photos of them, heard about the history of the orphanage, met with one of the owners, etc. So on Saturday, I was so excited when Arun asked me if I wanted to stop by STEPS and meet the girls. STEPS is home to sixteen little girls between the ages of 5-8 yrs old. In addition to bringing Diya, we also decided to bring Isabel, Arun’s 8 year old California blonde daughter (their white lab). At first, the children were terrified of Isabel, but after Arun showed them some tricks with Isabel high fiving, crawling, and rolling over they started to become bolder. By the end of the evening, they were running around the yard chasing her while she soaked up all the love and attention. The owner’s brother was visiting and had come from Canada with a small camera crew that he knew in order to get some footage of the orpahange. At first I was excited and I picked up my camera ready to take some photos along side them and try to pick up some tips on lighting and technique… until they quickly burst my bubble and dragged me into the filming with the girls instead. Tara, the founder (and mother of the girls) was also in the video, and the footage was simple enough: holding hands with the girls and chatting with each other while we slowly walked down the road. Isabel, our mascot, was to lead the gang herself. However, imagine trying to get 16 girls and an excited labrador to cooperate with a camera crew — it was a little chaotic to say the least. But regardless, hopefully whatever they filmed will give some good publicity for the orphanage and spread awareness about one of the bigger issues in India.
The girls themselves are fantastic. All very sweet and loving, excited to have guests over to show off their toys and cuddle up next to. One of the younger girls was busy being fascinated by my long hair. These girls are easy to fall in love with, and I hope to visit again. Meeting the girls also gave me a new determination towards finishing some of the fun paperwork that Hope ToRCh is doing for STEP before I leave in two weeks. Volunteering with Hope ToRCh has definitely been a learning experience as I’ve been put hard to work with all of these business plans and agreements.
Next weekend, we are hoping to visit another orphanage that Hope ToRCh is working with – I’m really looking forward to it.