Wednesday, 3 August 2011

India: Wed/Thurs

Purnea School gate
Doing drama (they are trees)

Two more days of observations. It brought a smile to my face and almost a couple tears to my eyes seeing the teachers trying out new strategies. Even more so seeing the students getting really excited. I saw a couple of teachers try games and drama activities that we had done in my session. The kids were ecstatic to be doing these sorts of things in class, it was amazing to witness. It was like watching a total breakthrough for students and teachers that they can have fun with learning.
Group work!Sticker rewards :)

Washing up lunch dishes
I also made a breakthrough on the shower/swollen feet situation. In the house there are two bathrooms we can use. Both have the option of bucket shower (put water in large bucket and use smaller scooper to pour water on yourself) and one also has a working shower hear. My room was upstairs and the shower was upstairs so I mostly used this one. My (ingenious) idea was to fill the larger bucket with some water and stand in it while taking my shower. This allowed my foot to be actually submersed in cold water, and thus helping slightly with the swollen situation, but mostly just felt heavenly. I came up with this idea after showering earlier and lifting up my leg to scrub my foot only to discover it was actually hot to the touch despite having been in a cold shower for a good 5 minutes.  Although, as mentioned before, all are only temporary remedies, as sweating commences virtually the second the shower is turned off.

Indian roadblock

Thursday night we took our hosts, and others who had helped us out a lot during the week, out for dinner. We went to a hotel in the city and it had air conditioning! BLISS!! I travelled there in an 'auto-rickshaw'. Driving is always an experience, this even more so. The experience started as soon as the driver got out and walked behind us so that he could pull the lawn-mower-like cord to get us going! On the way home, us white folk had to all ride in the jeep for security reasons. We started out the journey with a game of I Spy. But as it got darker, we turned to a much more relevant, and entertaining, game of I Smell. Oh, the smells of India are truly indescribable.
Perfect fit
Bonus: we all survived

A couple of examples of cultural differences:
1. On our drive home from one of the schools we were observing at there was a sudden downpour of rain. To our surprise not everyone took cover. Children began running into the street and stripping naked so that they could shower in the rain.

2. One teacher decided he was going to ask more questions to his students to get them more involved in the lesson. His lesson was on adjectives and started out innocently with nice as a quality adjective, and tall, then it turned to this.

Teacher: Stand up
Girl stands
Teacher: I am a fat girl. What kind of adjective?
Girl: Quality adjective.
Teacher: Yes, quality adjective, fat. Because it describes you.  Good. Sit down.

... Not exactly what we had in mind.

Pretty mosqui net - I'd rather be closer to the fan!
By now I had given up on the whole mosquito net thing in order to sleep closer to the fan. The night after the rain it had cooled off and the fan was on almost all night. I actually felt for the tiny cotton sheet to put over my shoulders in the morning. Again - Bliss!

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