And so Asha’s story continues. On Tuesday Asha had her first English lesson with Bethany which resulted in post-its left all around the house – even on the dog! 😉 We also visited the Butler Centre – the school that invited Asha to study English through playwork. Later on, for a little bit of fun and relaxation, Dawid introduced Asha to an Xbox version of Fruit Ninja (games she likes to play on Ipad). Well, it was a lot of fun!
On Wednesday I took Asha shopping – just for a little bit of ‘girl-time’, but also to involve her in celebration of Poppy’s Birthday. Poppy was four years old so we showered her with toys and tennis balls, of course.
On Thursday Asha had another lesson, another visit to the Butler Centre, and a little bit of skateboarding – we managed to sneak out to Faringdon skatepark. We were so impressed with Asha’s skating skills!
Knowing that Asha likes to dance (and remaining realistic about my own lack of dancing skills) I have ordered the Just Dance 2017 Xbox game for the kids. Asha rocked both Bollywood dances (something we were rubbish at!) and hardcore rock! Well, I tell you – we all had so much fun – our legs, hands and bellies (from a number of giggles) were hurting in the end and Poppy looked at us in amusement!
On Friday Asha and I went to Oxford to check in with Prakhar – our friend who helps us translate to English. I just wanted to ensure that Asha is happy with us and all her needs are met. We fine tuned the ideas for food – both Indian and English and showed Asha around Oxford again – this time in the gloomy, almost rainy atmosphere.
Our landlords are currently away so I was asked to water their plans – this gave me the opportunity to show Asha the main house which is actually full of Indian furniture and artwork – my landlords spent some time working as medics in India and always feel very attached to their memories of those times. I also found out that parrots are Asha’s favourite birds;)
At the weekend we took Asha to Leicester to visit my best friend, Krysia, and her husband, Zoli. They are lovely, kind, warm people so I really wanted to show Asha a different part of the country. Leicester is more industrial and historically very familiar with Indian culture. Saturday was dedicated to shopping in Indian areas – Asha finally got to enjoy some really good food:) In the evening we wnet out to the More Indian Restaurant where Asha’s stay was celebrated with a complimentary non-alcoholic drink. It was such a nice gesture!
Sunday was a real treat for Asha – turns out that Leicester is a key location for skateboarding in the UK! We took Asha for a few hours to the Broom Skatepark. I know that skateboarding, just like coding, comes with a certain collaborative, tolerant, inclusive and supportive culture, but it was so nice to see Chris Straw (as it happens one of the owners of the place!) stand next to Asha and help her skate down the higher platform – just when she was hesitating before that first jump. I tell you – that gesture of “hey, can I help, give me your hand and go!” moved all of us so deeply. It’s the simple things! Chris and his friends were really welcoming, told us a few facts about the place and the city. It was really lovely to see Chris recognise the fan page of Janwaar Castle! We quietly hope to be back there sometime! Asha was the only girl in the place and she rocked it!
After our visit to the Broom Skatepark we took Asha around the centre of Leicester. We walked around the old and modern part of the city….
…we ate very English food in a small, lovely, a family owned bar, and we talked a lot. We tried to keep Asha busy as it was the Mother’s Day in India (she sent me a lovely message over Messenger in the morning for which I am really grateful!) – we just worried that it might be a day when she would miss her parents more than ever. So we took her for longer walk and later on recorded a group greeting from us to her Mum.
We came back to Wantage on Sunday evening exhausted! With a new week ahead we used most of the evening to do…nothing!