10/11


October 11

Dear Diary,
Five days a week, my sister Satura goes to clean houses for other people. She is sixteen and has been cleaning since she was ten, just my age. My mother has been picking tea since she was eight, and goes to the tea fields six days a week. My father, who cannot walk, fixes whatever small motors or machinery people bring him to repair. It is not often, and so the women must make the money in our family. Sometimes I sew glass beads on silk sarees—the beautiful dresses that Indian women wear—for Durga, a seamstress in the next village, and make extra rupees that way. When I'm not sewing, I pick tea with my mother. Our lives go in a circle: we work hard to make enough to eat and live, we eat and live, then work some more. There is almost nothing extra, but Satura and I save what we can. My parents don't know it, but I am going to change our lives. I have a plan.

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