Sunday, July 20, 2008

New York Cares

This weekend was rather hectic. I had to travel from Jersey to Upper West Side of New York. I kept cursing myself for having to wake up at 7.45 am on a lazy Saturday morning.

A calls.

A: "Wake up sweetie. You have to go play the kids today.."
M: "Groaaaaannnnnnnn"
A: "Do you know what train to catch? How much time does it take?"
M: "It takes a million years.." [Me pulls the rug over me]
A: "So eat something real quick and lets go!!"
M: "Leave me alone!!!!"
A: "Shall I call you after 10 mins? You can sleep till then.."
M: "aaaaaaaargh..why do you have to be so nice to me?"

So finally am up there..on a subway..punching in my debit card pin and buying a ticket..

By the time I reach 135th street its already 10.05 am.
And am supposed to be at 10 am on 138th..some peach colored building full of kids waiting on me.
"Oh ya, this darn unprofessional of me...late by a whole 15 mins..", I think to myself.

"Hi! Morning. I volunteer for the New York Cares..", I introduce myself, gasping, to the guy behind the reception counter. He leads me in to this tiny kid's room full of crayons, pencils, paint brushes, game boards and snacks. A nice small couch and a TV and a wash basin, a table and lots of toddler chairs.

"Look at my shoes..they are so BIG!!", yells a 6 yr old from her seat..
"Big..and purple!",I add :)
"Mine are even bigger", says her twin sister..

The next 1 hour was fun knowing the kids, filling in colors into Olympics bear on a white sheet..

There was this guy Joshua, who was very creative.
"I want to draw Shadow", he declared and started to draw on the back side of the sheet.

Within 10 mins he drew the side, rear and front views of this character. Pretty amazing stuff.

We then went to the New York Library. It was the reading hour for the kids.

This is where, the twin sisters kept me on ma toes. They go by name Janais and Anais.

Janais kept clunging to ma legs and Anais kept pulling out books from the shelves @10/min.

"Dont you wana read Anais"?, I asked calmly..trying to settle my nerves.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", she would scream and run around the library..

She then had a fetish for a book on corn all of a sudden.."I want a book on Corn" she announced and pulled me to the lady at the desk.
"Lady, can i have a book on Corn?", Anais asked and the lady reluctantly walked to the aisle of books and showed me where the food section was.

Then she continued "I love candy...No I love chocolate..I want a party book...I want a book on tigers..I want to read Dolphins..I want baby whales..I want to read about penguins"

I drenched in my own sweat running around them...They made the library a park and sought hide and seek to reading books.

Soon it was lunch time and we made some ham and peanut butter jelly sandwiches for them. As I neatly arranged them on a plate with chips, raisins and carrots, the kids would neatly remove the carrots out of the plate and stick it in my

Post lunch it was story time. The kids had to write a story each with the help of their volunteer.

One kid wrote..

Title: A boat that could not float.

Once there was a boat that could not float. One day somebody taught the boat how to float. So the boat floated and sailed away into the sea.


At the end of it all, I don't think it was so bad after all to drag myself out of bed so early:)