It's hard to pick your favorite days when you're here at Rising Star Outreach in India - every day is so amazing, whether you're digging up pipes or playing with the children. I feel like love is so tangible here & my heart is so full, even when my shoes are full of dirt & my face is dripping with sweat.
Today a part of my group traveled to a nearby leprosy colony where we washed the patients' feet before they were given new bandages. It was stunning to see the extent of these people's wounds - one woman had an ulcer that went as deep as the muscle & spanned the length of her foot, yet she felt little pain from the effects of leprosy. After washing for a while, I was able to go into the hospital & visit my good friends Ravi Chandran & Sinivasen. Ravi & I had another great photo shoot featuring many "Roomba roomba nandri" - "Many many thanks." Then he asked me if I would sing for him. I've been singing some lullabies for the children, but somehow singing in a small hospital room in front of about 5 Indian men was a bit more intimidating, so I sang the first song that came to mind- "Edelweiss."
I've never enjoyed singing a simple solo so much in all my life. My two dear friends seemed so happy, just to hear a little song from my favorite musical. But the joys didn't stop there - then Ravi started showing me how they sing random sound notes in India, seeing if I could copy & build on what he sang. He would sing, then I would sing what he sang & add my own American twist,then he would sing again. After a few minutes we were both smiling & laughing so much it was hard to continue singing - & then we got shushed by some of the hospital staff - apparently we were being a bit too rowdy. oopths. But it was worth it.
It always amazes me how music has the power to transcend barriers - barriers of faith, barriers of language, barriers of life style, & barriers of age. There's something pure that connects you to someone when you sing together. Songs can bring back memories in the most vivid way. Music can bring comfort to an aching heart and soothe a little one to sleep. Song can strengthen faith and pride. Music can unite people that cannot communicate in any other way. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of that today. :)
(Again, sorry for the lack of pictures - I'm working on it!)