My name is Anuschka Lütje and I am a LTV from Germany. Since August 2015 I am staying at the Mariella Children´s Home in a small village near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
The orphanage was founded by a christian pastor 25 years ago. During all the years he never lost his aim to help poor children for getting education and a structured life, which he still follows strictly. Now-a-days 30 girls and 20 boys are living here and former 10 senior students are going to college for free. They are between 12 and 18 years old.
The staff is very friendly and tries to create a hearty atmosphere. One of them is called Amma by everyone which means mother in Tamil. Somehow she is a real mother or maybe like a grandmother for all of them. Anna is an other LTV also from Germany. I am staying with her and my chief´s wife in a small apartment. During the week nearly everyday is simliar. I get up at 6.00 am, go by a shared-auto to MCH and stay there until the children are at school. The mayor part of my work in the morning is covered by kitchen work, helping the children to get ready for school, serving them breakfast and then we cross with them the highway on their way to school. When all is finished, we take our breakfast. I am always excited to eat Indian breakfast or at least anything of the Indian kitchen! Santhi, my contactperson, is a very good cooker and I enjoy eating her meals. Hopefully I will learn to cook indian food. Before the children come back home I have got some freetime and do all my duties like washing clothes, writing articles for my own blog or just relaxe and calm down a little. In the evening my work is nearly the same. Normally I go back to work at 5.00 pm, but sometimes I come a little earlier, because Arlene, my chief´s daughter, is giving me Tamil class three times a week.
Like in the morning, I also do a lot of kitchen work in the evening (e.g. cutting vegetables, washing the dishes, helping cooking, etc.). At 6.30 pm studytime for the children starts and I am helping them with their homeworks and learn with them for exams. Studying ends when dinner is finished. So a normal working day always ends with eating dinner together with the children, wishing them a good night and going back home. Mostly I am so excausted that I go very early to bed. Sometimes when the children have holidays Anna and I are staying there for the whole day and we are giving English class, doing some handicrafts with the boys and the girls and playing a lot of games. In November and December 2015 heavy rain falls affected many parts of Tamil Nadu, including my children´s home. Sometimes the dormitories were completly flooded and many things got damaged. The children got leave and didn´t go to school for nearly an entire month. That time we mostly stayed the whole day at the project and spent time with the children. The rainy season is luckily finished and we went back to routine. Some children are writing their final exams right now and going to sign in for college in summer. I am very happy to be a part of the MCH family and to stay here. The children are so lovely and they are always happy to see me or to spend time with me. I am looking forward to all the nice things which are going to happen here.