‘Tratthi’ is Hindi for palm. And the girls performed excellent ‘tratthi’ strikes two days ago at Babuan. It was also a way to get them to use their voice. Silent One did a little better; she started silent, but took less encouragement this time to get to yell out. Another girl could not manage more than a squeak, and not for lack of trying. Mouth full open, the muscles in her little neck straining, only a modified screetchy whisper escaped. So I am working with her, too.

I am tired with not just bags but luggage under my eyes as I sit here typing. The fan died in my room two nights ago, so not even that relief from heat, so sleep has been elusive. I am guzzling some of the coffee I brought to wake myself up; I’ll be leaving in 45 minutes. This will be my last class with these beautiful youngsters. My heart is so heavy, and yet I have to be happy for them, for the experiences they have and will give me. I want to make this last class useful. I want them to learn. I want them to be heard from this day forward.


  1. Amy Abboreno said,

    September 5, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Belle, you have done more than you can ever imagine! They will be heard from this day forward, thanks to you!!!! You are truly an inspiration to all of us, and I am so very, very proud of you. I am sorry about the luggage under your eyes. I hope when you get home you take as much time as you need for yourself, both physically and mentally. I can totally understand your heavy heart, as I would feel the same way. You will always be in their hearts, even though you are leaving them soon. They will never forget you. Take care, my friend. We’ll see you soon. God Bless You!!!

  2. Belle said,

    September 6, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Amy, luggage is somewhat gone because I changed rooms last night to one that has a functioning fan!!!! Oh, happy day! On six hours of sleep, I feel like a million bucks! : ) And thank you for your thoughts and caring. I didn’t cry until I was on the motorbike getting ready to leave, and Urksilla’s mother started to cry and shake her head for me not to leave. In fact, Ritu’s entire family had asked that I spend the night at their house. Very emotional.

  3. katie mckeever said,

    September 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    You have shown those girls a whole new world and they will remember you for it. You impacted their life so much, and you should be proud of what you accomplished. see you at home-
    Katie M.

  4. Belle said,

    September 13, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Katie, thank you so much!!!! I’m back in the States, so I hope to see you at the dojo soon and give you a big hug for all of your support! : ) Belle

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