It was 113 degrees today when I left the luxury of the air-conditioned office to go on my first fact finding mission (already, on just my 3rd day)! I went with a Hindi speaking co-worker to interview a new young mother who had just given birth at a homeless shelter, check on the health of the baby, try to ensure that a doctor will come soon to check on them, and investigate the level of sanitation and standard of living in the shelter. Well, this place was not what I envisioned a shelter to be. There was not much more than walls and a roof to this 4 story building. No beds… just men, women, children and infants sleeping on the ground. Stray dogs doing their business throughout the shelter. Other than one manager, it didn’t seem like anyone was working there. But on the other hand, kids were smiling and playing, and everyone seemed to be helping and looking out for each other. This was my first time seeing an infant on its first day of life. She was just 7 hours old and so tiny. Out in this heat, dust, pollution and swarmed by flies, I have trouble imagining how this frail little baby will survive. But then again, all the older children running around likely had a similar start in life.
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