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Aria encounters India


Aria’s vigorous bath“Has Aria had a bath yet?” I am asked for the second day in a row by one of the maids here at CBN. She hadn’t, because I was unsure of how to go about it. There are no bathtubs and the sinks are too small. I had simply improvised by giving her a wipe down with a diaper wipe. However, this was not satisfactory to the maid, Savatri, as they made it a practice of giving our supervisor’s baby girl a bath everyday. So I responded,
“Not yet. I’m not sure how to.”
So Savatri decided to help me. We went into the bathroom and she filled a large bucket full of warm water. Then I passed my naked baby to her and Savatri tried to get her sit in a small shallow bucket. Aria, however, was not in the best of moods and wasn’t cooperating. So Savatri held her upright with one hand and poured some warm water down her back, trying to get her interested. This did not make Aria happy and her fussing grew. I watched anxiously from my perch on the toilet seat as Savatri proceeded to give Aria’s wee bod a vigorous scrubbing. Oh, my! Aria was upset now and began to wail. This caused Savatri to hurry all the faster, which was probably not to Aria’s advantage. A firm hand energetically rubbed water on Aria’s face and head and though it was so funny, I felt bad for Aria as she experienced her first major bout with culture shock. We got her dried off and I rocked and nursed her to comfort her and help her to relax. I assured her that she wouldn’t have such a bath again.
The next morning I took her out onto the warm balcony and gave her a gentle, relaxed bath in the round, shallow bucket filled with warm water. However, I must add that in spite of her intense bath, Aria really seems to like Savatri and enjoys playing with her.

On Aria’s six month old day (February 11, 2006), we finally decided to give her food. She had satisfiedbeen trying to get at the food on our own plates for at least a month already and seemed excited that we were finally going to let her have some of her own. I mixed up the brown rice cereal and snapped pictures as John gave her the first few bites. She showed hesitancy and a little surprise at first, letting the sensation tickle her tongue, and then she really got into it. Wide open went the little mouth, in went the food, out came the spoon. Then I took the spoon and Aria began to grab for it. Her first feeding and she already wanted to feed herself. Little Miss Independence!

Aria has also made a friend. Our supervisor and his wife, Kumar and Smita, have a four and a half month old daughter called Manisha. She is very sweet and, like Aria, likes to talk. She isn’t too sure what to think about Aria though as she’s far more used to adults. But Aria is enamoured with her and makes happy baby noises almost everytime she sees her. Aria and ManishaIt’s funny to see them interact. Sometimes I’ll hear Manisha crying and I’ll think it’s Aria—it’s so crazy how similar they sound. Also, they both squeal and talk in the same delightful way as only baby girls can do. And they both continuously delight all the staff here!

P.S. More pictures from these experiences coming in the photo gallery. We’ll keep you posted!

One Response to “Aria encounters India”

  1. Nobue Kunito
    February 16th, 2006 12:49

    Dear Rachel and john,

    I am so excited to hear about your arrival and adjustment to life in india. I enjoyed reading about Aria. This will be so precious memory for her to read it when she grows up.
    I will be praying for your family.

    Please send my greetings to Kumar and Smita.
    I didn’t know that there were there!!
    I didn’t know that they had a baby either.
    I wonder if this is the same couple who used to be at Bethany or different one?



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