So while we were readying ourselves for the summers, the universe- and I do mean heaven and earth- was conspiring against us! For one, the temperatures plummeted back down to freezing and it has been raining on and off since the past three days. To make matters worse, the PWD swagger in to start digging right at the spot where we set up Street Smart every day, outside Orient Cinema. Now there is water and mud sloshing down to almost the middle of the road. So today while we were running after the kids to take them to the food thela, as is our usual routine the Vikrams (large, blue shared auto-rickshaws in Dehradun) that earlier parked on the roadside were parked or driving in to park almost mid-road. There was mud, water and pebbles sloshing about our feet, it was drizzling and there was the usual crazy traffic along the road and in all, let us just say it was not one of our calm moments at work!Since the park is not an option with clouds overhead threatening to burst any minute, we took refuge in the covered passage next to a few shops in the lane adjoining Orient Cinema. The building houses a pathology, a psychologist, a hair stylist and a chemist. This, incidentally is the place where Rajkumar and Sunita sleep every night. So we set base there and are sitting in the nice, wet weather to do some painting and a lot of Play-Doh with which the kids made incredibly beautiful things today. We took a couple of pictures from Shaila’s camera that I will get from her and post tomorrow.On the downside though, the older boys were out of control today that ended- what was going on as a fine day- into quite a mess. They were high on their respective substances and walked around throwing things at everybody, until the younger kids started leaving the group. But that was today and though tomorrow (and the near future) does not seem any better on the addiction front, we soldier on!

On to happier developments, there was a wonderful photographer Erin  Steigerwalt (www.erinsteigerwalt.com) who had come to Dehradun as part of a workshop on advanced photography by the US-based organization Momenta (http://www.momentaworkshops.com/index.php). Erin visited Street Smart and our school for children from the slum community under Bindal Bridge here in Dehradun. She took lovely pictures of both projects and we will be sharing a few of these soon!

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