1 Candle – Nov 2010

The Story of Rahul and Leila
(Louise Beynon put this together from my notes)

Today we celebrate Rahul and Leila’s first birthday. And what a journey they have made to be living in Chengdu and making all the friends who are here with them today. They began their lives in India, cosy and warm in their mummy’s tummy. But Rahul and Leila were so impatient to get out into the world, they decided to make their appearance a little earlier than planned in Hong kong. So their first weeks were spent in hospital. But Rahul and Leila were fighters, and got bigger and stronger and were allowed home to be looked after by their mummy and grandparents. And for their first Christmas all their grandparents, aunts and uncles came from all over the world to celebrate together. That meant lots of presents and lots of attention!

When Rahul and Leila were five months old they were strong enough to travel and came to Chengdu and the family of Natasha, Maher, Rahul and Leila were finally together. They grew even more. Leila started to crawl and climb and Rahul’s first two teeth appeared. And when they were nine months old the family went to Lebanon to see Raymond, their daddy’s grandfather and swim in the sea for the very first time. Rahul loved it! So when Rahul and Leila were eleven months old the family went on holiday to Thailand, swimming in the sea every day and eating lots of delicious fish, their favourite food.

Leila and Rahul love music and dancing. Leila dances with Natasha and Teta Houda, and Rahul, who is just about to walk loves to drum with Maher and play all sorts of instruments with Jiddo Kamal. Every day on Skype Nana Ravi and Nani Varsha sing their special songs to them. And as well as their Sing and Sign DVD at home, they have songs and dance every time they come to the Music Box!

Leila loves to move. She climbs out of the high chair, squirms and squeals in the car seat and pushes any obstacle out-of-the-way when she wants to go somewhere. She greets everyone she sees in the street

Rahul loves details. He spends ages examining table screws or the pattern of the grain in the wood, and loves intricate drawings. He charms every woman he sees in the lift!

They love their ayi’s (nannies) dearly and love each other more and more as they grow up together. They smile and kiss each other, push each other over and fight over toys and attention from Natasha and Maher. They sleep in the same bedroom but have to be cuddled to sleep and still can’t sleep all through the night. Poor Natasha and Maher!

Rahul and Leila are blessed to have such a big and loving family. In December they will go to India to meet Natasha’s grandfather. And they are blessed to have so many friends here in Chengdu to celebrate their special day with them. Happy birthday Rahul, happy birthday Leila.

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