What's it all about?

40 nights for the orphans of India. My 'Lent in a Tent' is about raising hugely needed funds for 'Shining Faces in India' orphanage in Salem, Tamil Nadhu, by sleeping ouside the Chaplaincy at King's Bruton for 40 nights. My target is at least £10,000 - which amazingly is only enough to feed the hundreds of children there for about two months.

I hope that many might be inspired to trade 40 pounds for my 40 nights. Actually, in the back of my mind I'm convinced that we could smash through the target and go much much further ... I wonder.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Finnish line ... 17/40

Not the finishing line ... just the Finnish line. You'd have seen it if you scanned the BBC News home page today ... 'The babies who nap in sub-zero temperatures.' Finland giving the Finnish line on sleeping outside! If you're not a Fin, give thanks for your warm pram-time years.

"When the temperature drops below -15C we always cover the prams with blankets", says a Mum. What?! -15C and you only get a blanket!

I've been scouting for 'stay warm outside' advice among friends and websites. I've had army friends telling me to strip to boxers in my sleeping bag, and an editor of a well known schools magazine passing on trade craft from when she was tracking wolves in Norway! And I'm only on a lawn in Bruton ...

The Finnish advice was brilliant. One Mum said, "It's very important the children have wool closest to their body ..."

So I've been scouting out those woolen undies my dear grannies knitted for me when I was born. I'm not Finnish but I'm definitely slimmish so I should still fit!  As I search I'm remembering the wool in India. Not clothes, but square patches like part-made tea-cosies with lines to tie off under the chin. Imagine this little one ...

You met her before on night 5/40. Here's what she does. In the morning, and in the evening, when the vast sun sinks low on the horizon visible only through the broken shards of coconut leaves, she takes her square of wool and lays it on her shaven head. Then she knots the four ties under her chin with a careful bow and wanders from her one-room-for-everything into the safe openness of the orphanage without a single care for how she looks ... the point is she's warm.

She's never heard the Finnish line on wool for warmth, but she knows it anyway. Cultures cross through nature's provision. Wool warms wherever we are. It's nature's way of uniting lives in which we should rejoice and delight. I wrote about it on night 2/40 and often re-read that post. We cherish shared practice that brings our parallel lives closer.

News is we're about to burst through £6,000. That's not me, but all you gracious givers who have sunk your stake in the ground.

Thank you. On to the finishing line ...


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