First Day of Service
My first day volunteering started with waking up for a rosary, The Divine Office/Holy Hour, and going to Mass with the Missionaries of Charity at 6am. I was then assigned to a place called Daya Dan, a home for mentally and physically handicapped children. To get there, a group of us had to take a public bus 20 minutes to another part of the city, and hop onto a three-wheeled vehicle called a “tuk-tuk,” big enough for three people (four people uncomfortably), and ride another 5 minutes to our destination. Mind you, lane-changes that occur while driving almost always result in going into oncoming traffic, so these vehicle rides were intense!
After weaving in and out of traffic to reach Daya Dan, we walked into a side alley and into our building to begin our volunteer work. For the first hour, we did laundry the old-fashioned way – hand washing. We would take each article of clothing and run it through a series of water tubs until it was sufficiently clean, then wring it out and haul all of the articles up to the roof of the building where other volunteers would hang them up on drying lines. All the while during the washing, we were getting soaked because of how much water was being splashed around.
Finishing our laundering duties, we were each assigned a child to hang out with and play with for the rest of our time in the morning. I was given to a child named Nirmal, who has epilepsy, is physically disabled, and is non-verbal. After taking him out of his wheelchair and laying him on the ground and talking to him, I decided to carry him around our play area. Each time I would walk around to certain places his face would light up and he would let out a happy coo. There was music playing at the time, too, so of course we danced around a little bit.
It was during this time with Nirmal that I realized how much God loves these children. These children are not able to take care of themselves and are so well-loved by the sisters and the volunteers. Their prayers are so simple and pure and how they react to the volunteers with kindness and love moved me. Almost all of these children were abandoned by their parents. It was incredible to see how wanted they are by the volunteers and the sisters. How loved they are!
The Lord has been generous to me this trip, and I am blessed to be volunteering at Daya Dan with some of God's most loved ones. His little ones and simple ones make God tangible. I am happy to have been able to serve the Lord in the poorest of the poor.