Thursday, June 23

daily life

FINALLY! I have a schedule for my days! Something I've struggled with so far is definitely the lack of planning here in India. I love having a plan, I love planning for myself, for others and I love having everything figured out in advance; but in India, plans don't exist, which is probably why the people are far less stressed and just go with the flow... something I can definitely learn from. But finally, I was able to pin down the head master and Lilly and we came up with a schedule. My day looks like so (in case you were wondering):

8-9 a.m. English with my fave Colombian nuns
9:15-10 a.m. 2nd Grade English
12:30 LUNCH
1-1:40 p.m. 4th Grade English
2-2:40 p.m. 1st Grade English
5:30-6:30 p.m. Computer For Nuns

Thrilled for this progress! Today, I spent some time with Lilly, teaching her Powerpoint and setting up her very own Skype account! Then, I went to the school to observe classes for the second day in a row. Teaching is very different here, and I'm not a teacher anyways so this is definitely something I'm concerned about. For example, there is no raising hands to answer questions; all of the children answer in unison, which is a little overwhelming at first, but also in a sense much easier (especially when their names are going to be quite hard for me to learn). I watched Berna (the current teacher) and was given a 1st grade book to flip through. I feel better after day two of observing, but I'm still really really nervous to start tomorrow!
Everyone is super reassuring, though. I guess I'm scared of failing, but aren't we all. And thinking rationally, how badly can I fail? Yesterday was a tough day, but today is much better. Every day I gain more confidence in myself, whether it be through a positive remark from a nun or an encouraging Facebook message or comment on my blog... so thank YOU for that and thank you for following my story and believing in this cause.

We went into town so I could use the ATM (rickshaw-style, LESS THAN $1 TO GET ABOUT 10 MINUTES INTO TOWN... tell me that's not a bargain), and I finally got to snap a photo of this house/business (I'm not sure) that I've been admiring since I first saw it. This is a perfect example of sort of a theme I've noticed in India: beauty amongst the filth. Riding into town, I can never understand where I am. Between the lack of street signs, the uniform stands and shops and the Telagu language, I feel instantly lost (thank goodness for the nuns and the crafty rickshaw drivers). Plus, India is probably one of the dirtiest countries I have ever been to, but strangely it is not bothersome, because you see amongst the filth, something beautiful everywhere that you go.

For example: the rickshaws, a go-cart meets bumper car mobile, rickety on the outside but often there is beautiful fabric covering the interior. Or the beautiful women in BEAUTIFUL sarees, amidst the drab, brown homes and poor landscaping. And something I've seen several times, run down buildings, almost visibly deteriorating before your eyes, yet inside awaits the most beautiful tiling with incredible detail and colors. Or, finally, this house. Bright and cheery, sitting amongst dilapidated stores and businesses. It's the contrast that makes this country so beautiful.

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Changing the subject, heehee, I also snapped a picture of maybe my favorite meal so far: white rice, boiled carrots and fried cabbage (I have been dying for veggies, so this was great)!

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This evening was a lot of fun too! The nuns and I plucked leaves and basically dissected their stems (they call them simply "greens") off of these pre-picked branches and apparently they are made into some kind of dish to eat? I'm interested to see, we'll probably be eating those tomorrow. And I watched my first Indian soap opera. Even though I clearly don't speak Telagu, it seemed like a similar plot to the American soap operas: girl cheats on guy, guy finds out, has evidence, girl cries, guy is angry blah blah blah. Even more ridiculous and hilarious in Telagu/with an Indian setting. I enjoyed it!

Wish me luck on my first actual day on the job (tomorrow)!

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