Linda Lesage — Wasaga Beach, ON
Look into a child’s eyes. There you may discover true feelings.
I chose to
interview one child and have written as if she were writing in her personal
journal on that evening of the day she received that special bedkit.
out of respect, I shall be called Auntie.
My Journal — January 29th 2012
Name — Jyotsna
Age — 11
Just three months ago the man at the sweet shop told my mother about a program. I didn’t know what a bedkit was but I was told that I would receive goodies. My mother was given a pink ticket and told us we should go to the school at Guskara on January 29th.
Last night I went to bed early. I was so excited that I woke up at 2:30 a.m. .… too early … back to sleep until 5 a.m. When it was finally time to get up, I washed, oiled my hair, and dressed. My mother, grandmother and I ate a breakfast of tea, white puffed rice, and goodies.
My mother and I walked to the sweet shop to meet three other children and their parents from our village. Together we walked to the train, boarded, and found seats for the one-hour ride.
It was a short walk to the school, through the gates, and into a schoolyard full of children. We sat on school benches outside and ate good food; rice, cauliflower, sweet chutney. As I ate, using my right hand, I could hear an honoured guest making a speech. He had white skin … I think he was from Nepal. I finished my food and rushed to a classroom marked GIRLS.
I stayed close to my three friends. We were given a red backpack. I unzipped it and found new clothes! I quickly changed into my new dress and put my old clothes into the backpack. I was very excited.
I didn’t mind being bumped, pushed, and pulled. I had many sores on my feet. They hurt. Auntie asked if I’d gone to the toilet since I arrived. I said, “No.”
Again there was another lineup of two rows; one of boys, one of girls. I was very excited. I knew I was going to have my picture taken. I didn’t know until later, when Auntie told me, that the items on the mattress were mine. I thought the bedkit was a display.
A man from the Rotary Club asked me to be interviewed and he would interpret. I said, “Yes.”
Auntie asked me many questions. I told her about my home: one large room with the kitchen and toilet outside. I could see my mother waiting for me behind the fence. She was anxious for me. The man brought her to us. He was very kind and explained to her why I was talking to strangers.
I said I was restless. Auntie said she understood and I should go and get my bedkit. Auntie said she wanted to thank me, she put four pretty bangles on my wrist. I said, “Thank you.”
I handed my ticket to a man who pointed me in the direction of a bedkit. My mother and I were very excited.
This was the best day of my life!