19 August, 2010
10 August, 2010
My first impressions of the school are mostly positive. The children are shy, but very bright, and once they began to feel more comfortable with us, they began to ask questions about the United States, our travels, how we were finding India so far, and of course American popular culture. Sadly, some of the worst of the U.S. has made it to even the remote villages of India. The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) was mentioned, along with Justin Beiber, Miler Cyrus, and Michael Jackson. Oh well! I guess we can’t control what makes the leap and what doesn’t!
The classes, along with much of society, are extremely gendered. The girls sit on one side of the classroom, the boys on the other. When the boys speak, the girls listen, but when the girls speak, the boys tend to chat amongst each other. This attitude is reflected in marriage practices, family life, and most definitely in the political realm as well.
The younger classes are very cute! Their English comprehension and speech are not quite as good as in the Holy Cross School. I hope to sub in one of their classes at some point so I can spend time with them as well! Here is a picture of class 1!
One of the most eye-opening moments of the day for me was when a student asked me where in the world I had traveled. I told him that I had been to over 20 countries and the whole class let out a collective gasp. I asked them how many of them had been to Delhi, the Indian capital, not one hand went up. The vast majority of these children have not left their small state of Tripura, some potentially never seeing past the city of Agartala.
In other news, our neighbor Jinu (7 years old) has begun to teach me to play cricket! It is a very interesting sport that resembles baseball (but only a little). I will admit that I’m not very good at it, but Jinu says that there’s hope
for me yet! I hope he’s right!
We also took a group excursion to a local zoo! It was a very exciting to see all of the monkeys, rhinos, leopards, lions, and tigers! While we were there, one of the monkeys actually escaped! Here is a picture of the Royal Bengal Tiger that we saw.
I think that is all for now, but I will most definitely keep you all posted! ~Ben
05 August, 2010
01 August, 2010
We have already met several students at the school. Two of our neighbors Ginu and Bijoy have come over to the cottages a few times already to meet us and just spend some time. Ginu is about 7 or 8 years old and Bijoy is in the 11th grade. Today Bijoy taught us a new game called Carem. It is a mixture of pool, air hockey, and paper football! Here are a few shots of us learning and playing!
After this, Ginu spend some time with us playing spoons and go fish!
In the afternoon we traveled to meet the Bishop of the diocese and then toured the campus with Fr. Emmanuel. He then took us to the girls hostel were it was tutoring time. We walked up the stairs and straight into a classroom of almost 30 students! I have never seen so many beautiful smiles! All of the girls immediately said, "Good evening Ma'am, Good evening Sir," which will definitely take some getting used to. They sang us a beautiful welcome song and gave us paper flowers to symbolize friendship and then asked us some questions before we headed back to our cottage for the night. It has made me even more excited for our teaching experience to begin!
I think that is all for now, sorry for such a long posting, but so much is happening so quickly!