Jocelyn’s post reminds me of my favorite part of the last five years living in the wondrous, sometimes ponderous, always mysterious Kerala: these kids. Our gang, Thevara. My hoodies. They have all been growing by leaps and bounds, while leaping and bounding through the streets. This photo, taken some hours ago, could have been taken five years ago except for the heights of these fellows. And these young ladies on the right side of the photo below (also just taken) were but infants when I arrived into their world.
They welcomed me with cheers and high fives from day one, and continue to welcome me today with the same enthusiasm as on day one. So I have felt most at home in Kerala when I am walking through our shared neighborhood. My name, to them, is very simple: Saip. It is a term of endearment, at least it seems so to me. They all speak Malayalam, the language of Kerala, and almost zero English. But that is changing. The older sister of the young lady in the white starry dress is the most advanced in English, and now serves as the translator for the neighborhood when I walk through. I will bring her voice into the next post from Thevara. For now, my hat is off to the kids of Thevara, and those in Tacacori, Costa Rica where Jocelyn is having the same opportunity I have had, to make the children the center of our attention.