8 girls, 1 bathroom

With the exception of having female roommates in college I have never known what it is like to have sisters.  I have three brothers, two older and one younger. It always baffled people's minds when they find out I'm the only girl with three boys in the family. “What's it like?” they ask. It's just normal for me, totally used to it. Dirty bathrooms, smelly laundry, bro' talk... the usual. A little over a week ago 6 girls (ages 12-24) moved into Ashraya Mission, finally! We all call each other sisters, I love it.

The eight of us (KB and I, and the 6 girls) share one bathroom. We manage to keep it all clean-ish. KB and I are woken up every morning anywhere between 5 and 6am to shouts of "Katie Sister! Hannah Sister! Good morning!" Sometimes we aren't as enthusiastic to be waking up.

With this many females hustling and bustling about the house, clean up time is over within minutes. There are many chores to be done though- COOKING, sweeping, mopping, and laundry just to name a few. They girls are eager to pitch in- they outwork every American I've ever met. They have sewing and school lessons from 10am-5pm everyday. They never complain, or at least I don't think they do. Did I mention KB and I speak  no Kannada and the girls speak no English? This provides for some very interesting and hilarious interactions.

Although sometimes it can be very frustrating.  I have had to move my homework time from mornings to late at night, hoping the girls will get to sleep so I can concentrate. That's the only complaint I would have if you twisted my arm.

I wouldn't change it for the world, though. Meeting and living with these girls is my favorite gift God has ever given me. We all prayed SO hard for them to get to Ashraya Mission, and we have been living with them for almost 2 weeks now. They have each been through so much. All but one of them have witnessed their mother die. None of them know who their father is. Many of them have worked as prostitutes or as laborers to support themselves, their siblings, and/or their children. None of them have graduated from high school. But don't let this fool you. These girls are learning to dream big. Three of them are working towards applying for a nursing program in about a year, and one girl wants to become a police officer. How great that these girls are thinking beyond becoming seamstresses.

I have learned more from them than I could ever hope for. Always work hard, laugh hard, dance and be silly, be open and honest, don't be ashamed about your past no matter what it is filled with, and be thankful. They are each so thankful for Ashraya Mission, and I am thankful for them.