Sorry we haven’t been able to update as much as we would of liked, but things have been hectic and Addhu loves to keep us busy! Also add in the fact that the internet has been hit or miss depending on what we wanted to do, we got behind on keeping everyone up to date.
Last week in Nagpur was a quick week for us! Having little Addhu running around playing with everything he can put his hands on kept us chasing after him. I was able to bond more with Addhu in this time, he liked it when I carried him around the room, tickled him, and played various games with toy cars, blocks and play dough.
One of his favorite games was having me carry him from the door, where he recited what he could of the alphabet while pointing at the emergency exit sign. Then we would go to the mirror where we would look at each other and I would say “Addhu, Daddy, Mommy” and point to us. Then from there we would go to the big picture window and stare outside and look down at the pool and all the “pani” or water. Other games would be turning the lights off and on, laying down and pretending to sleep, turning the TV on and off, and turning the bathroom lights on and off.
Of course he liked to misbehave and try to push the boundaries with us, which was to be expected. He yearns for attention, which I am sure he seldom got in the orphanage. Being the oldest child there surrounded by babies, the caregivers couldn’t give him the one-on-one interaction he needed for daily thriving. To be naughty was a way for him to get them to interact. They also treated him like he was older, not letting him be a child since that would mean more attention. He had to be independent. Now, Addhu has to learn that he can be a child, that he can be dependent on us. He asks to be carried by me a lot, asks me to pick him up to put him in a chair, even has started letting Paula feed him from time to time. Small accomplishments in the short time periods together!
Of course, being together 24/7 has made all of us bilingual to communicate with each other. He has picked up on a lot of English so far, able to repeat words willingly. I showed him a sesame street video of Lena Horn singing the alphabet, he watches that repeatedly. Then we switch over to Patti Labelle singing the alphabet and he likes that too. Here are some of his words we have quickly learned:
Nye: no (we use this a lot with him ;) )
Ho: yes (with a rock of the head)
Mamma: Uncle (Marathi word, kinda like sir, always calls adult men Mam-ma)
Of course all week in Nagpur was good with all the help we had gotten from Sanjeev and all the other staff at the Raddison Blu! What a bunch of great people that were tolerable to us during our week there! From Salim in the restaurant who helped Addhu every morning get breakfast, Nikhil who brought us room service in the evening. They all spoke Marathi and helped talk to Addhu and kept him relaxed during our stay.
Sanjeev, tho, did not speak Marathi so even he had some difficulties getting things translated for us and for Addhu. Through the week, Addhu really bounded with Sanjeev, holding his hand and constantly calling for him when out in and about. Always calls Sanjeev Mamma. Did not like it either at night when Sanjeev would leave to go back to his room. He is a godsend, for sure, helping us with the first week like he did.
During the week we were visited by Mr. Solekar and his son, Jayeesh. Mr. Solekar is one the main people from the Orphanage, the director. He liked the way Addhu was bounding with us, enjoyed talking to us and Addhu about his new “family.” Jayeesh is a young man, about 21, who loves everything American so he really liked talking with us. Addhu always referred to Mr. Solekar as “sir” and once Paula took a picture of all of us, Addhu would constantly look at the picture and say “hello, sir! Good bye, sir!) we also set up with Jayeesh for him to take us on a day trip to see some sight seeing.If we had time, he said there were some safaris outside of Nagpur that we could of done, to see tigers up close, too! Next time!
So Thursday, Jayeesh and his cousin Nikhil took us outside of the city to a Hindi temple, called Ramtek up on a large hill. It was about an hour drive to get there and well worth it! Up the hill the view was breath taking. The temple was built over 500 years ago and sat overlooking a small lake and several towns. Once we pulled in and parked, we made our way up to the temple. There were vendors along the main thoroughfare up to the temple. Along the way we started to see many monkeys, monkeys that live in the temple! Of course we were warned not to go too close to the monkeys and don’t stare at the monkeys, they will get aggressive and attack. They will also take bags, cameras, etc if too close.
It was really cool to see something that old and very holy to our friends. Before going into the main temple, Jayesh, Nikhil, Sanjeev and even Addhu got blessed by hime and a red mark on his forehead. Then we removed our shoes and headed through the main gate into the temple complex. Monkeys were everywhere on the gate and you had to watch where you stepped, didn’t want to walk in monkey poop.
We headed into a couple of shrines where they approached the front, bowed and rung a bell. Addhu followed suit behind Jayeesh, bowing and ringing the bell. After the shrines we went out and walked up a tower to have a view around the whole temple and surrounding landscapes. Since we were so far up, it was really windy! After that we made back down and out of the main temple, collecting our shoes and heading back to the car.
On the way back to Nagpur, we stopped at a small lakeside hangout with a small playground for children, a restaurant and spot to rent boats (which was closed). We hung out for a bit to look at the lake and then had some tea before getting back into the car and heading back to Nagpur.
Later Thursday evening, Mr. Solekar and Nilima (the social worker from the orphanage) came back to see us and give us Addhu’s medical file for us. Addhu was happy and very excited to see Nilima and couldn’t wait to tell her and show her all the things we got for him so far. Nilima asked Addhu if he wanted to go back with them to the orphanage. Addhu shook his head and said ni ni ni! I guess Paula and I made a very good impression with Addhu and we take that as a good sign!
Friday we left the hotel to go to the airport with Sanjeev. Addhu did fine at the airport though he was getting restless as we waited to make our way into the main part of the airport. A couple trips to the bathroom for him broke up the time and before we knew it we were making our way to the airplane to take our seats. For the flight, Addhu was good, albeit for a 5 year old whom never flown before. The entertainment with the tray table and the inflight magazine helped keep him occupied as we flew to Delhi. Mommy was nice and bought Addhu some cookies which he liked. We landed in Delhi right on time and made our way to get our baggage and wait for our ride to the hotel.
Mini arrived and got us to our van and we got to the Ashok before we knew it. After getting our luggage out and us checked in, it was a grand moment when Addhu realized that Sanjeev wouldn’t be staying at the hotel, that he would be going home. He was confused at first but eventually was fine, no big tantrum or fight occurred so we said our goodbyes and headed up to our room for a quiet evening. We ordered some room service for dinner and relaxed. Before we knew it was time for bed and Addhu climbed in with us, taking his spot in the middle. Not bad for such a long day!
On Saturday, we headed down for breakfast at the coffee shop for our buffet. Addhu didn’t know what to make out of the food, it was different from what he was used to at the Raddison Blu and nobody here at the Ashok spoke Marathi. We found a few things for Addhu to eat and he settled in on some spaghetti. Must be an Indian thing, spaghetti for breakfast. He ate it so it was good.
Then later that morning we waited in the lobby for Sanjeev to come and get us to take us for Addhu’s medical examination for his visa. After a harrowing journey to the medical center through a downpour of monsoon season rain, we finally made it and ran into the place to avoid getting soaked. Once inside it was a confusing maze of corridors and stairwells to go where we needed to go, to register in one spot and then head over to another to sign in with the nurses, etc. If it wasn’t for Sanjeev we would of been walking in circles! The nurses then checked his weight and height before we had to wait.
Once it was Addhu’s turn to see the doctor they ushered us into a small examination room and she came in shortly. The doctor was very nice and spoke good english, which was nice. We gave her Addhu’s medical file and she reviewed it and then gave him his exam which he did not like at all! He was very scared and cried when she tried to listen to his heart beat and look at his back. She didn’t torture him too long, she did what she had to do fast and let him be to collect himself.
After that, Addhu had to get tested for TB and was no fan of that prick
on his arm! We have to go back on Monday to get the spot on his arm checked for the results.
Once we were done with the doctor, we decided to do some shopping. It was pouring down rain so Sanjeev said that going to the Dilly Hut (an outside market) would be better on another day. So, he took us to an indoor shopping center. It was really cool inside! It reminded us of a giant World Market. About four floors of various departments from tea, to linens, clothing, children’s toys, and furniture. They also had several sections for various tchotchkes: sandal wood carvings, silver, brass, and even gold plated items of various Hindu gods, animals and etc. Our heads were spinning as we walked around. One of the nice things was you got rung up for your items per department but did not pay for them yet, they took the items to a pickup location at the front of the store. You just bring all the “receipts” to the cashier, he would ring up all the totals, then you head to the pickup with your main receipt. Not too bad. We bought some various tea, a few nicknacks for Addhu, some linen, and “few” bangels for Cecelia. I also bought myself a nice “Indian” design tie for the holidays.
When we were done, we dodged the rain drops and got into our car and headed for lunch at a large food court. It was pretty good, we ate at the Tikki World. By that time, Addhu was getting unruly and over stimulated with all the people and noises. We quickly finished and headed back to the hotel for a decent evening to end our day.
Now if you have been following us the last few days on Facebook, you would know we have been getting some lousy service and just unsatisfied with the Ashok Hotel. Long story short, its an over-gaudy, over priced, outdated hotel suited to businessmen who can charge it to their company. Their wi-fi stunk (you had to keep changing passwords every morning) their rooms were ill maintained, and they kept to a strict “no dinner” before 7:30pm rule, which did not help with a hungry child!! So, Paula dumped them and got us re-booked at the ITC Maurya.
So on Monday, we packed up, checked out at the Ashok, then went to get Addhu’s TB test results (no TB) then we got checked in at the ITC. I must say, I am very impressed! Very nice, great staff, and all very friendly! Not only did we get a chocolate cake as thank you for booking, the staff went out of their way to find anyone they new that spoke Marathi to help us, if needed, with Addhu! We got free cocktails, a glass of wine, a glass of beer and a bag of chips for Addhu. We also get four free articles of clothing washed daily, and since we are staying in one of the ‘towers’ we also have a butler at our service 24/7. Their chefs will also prepare any meal you request, too, at any time. No more hungry child! To add to the bonus, there is also a bathtub in the bathroom, so Paula gave Addhu is first bath! He really enjoyed it and did fantastic!
So, now its almost 9pm and just about time for bed. Tomorrow we head to the US embassy to file for Addhu’s visa. Another step closer. Namaste!