Tuesday, July 19

high fives for everyone

While Nivedita was here, I was able to learn of all the INCREDIBLY intricate details, time and planning that The Miracle Foundation does to acquire a new orphanage and not only provide the necessities for these children but give them above and beyond care, education and hope for a future. From a perfectly balanced diet (complete with a chart of how many calories each child, depending on their age, needs...I'm telling you... intricate) to educating the children on puberty, peer pressure and body image to discussing how to get the most milk for the children from the cows we have here (AND SO MUCH MORE). It was a very interesting conversation and made me even more proud to be apart of something like this, that is truly life changing for these children. As promised, here are some photos from Nivedita's visit:

All of us... see if you can spot me (I think I stick out just a tad)

It was also Mariyani's birthday! She's in my 5th grade class and definitely one of my favorites. She's an excellent reader, always volunteers to help and word on the street, she's interested in becoming a nun! (How GREAT is her outfit by the way?!)

The other day, the convent I'm living in had dinner with the convent next door, so I was able to chat with the other sisters who I don't usually get to hangout with on a daily basis. I met Fatima, my new favorite nun and we spoke in Spanish, since she spent the past seven years in Colombia (although she is Indian). I know this will come as a shock to anyone who studied with me in Spain or who has heard my Spanish, but she complimented me on my accent (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) We bonded over food, obviously, and talked excessively and in detail about empanadas, paella, arroz con pollo... all of our favorites! I told her, in my broken Spanish, that even though I NEVER eat McDonald's in the States, I had been Googling McDonald's locations here, absolutely craving those french fries and dying to try the potato burger that's on the Indian McDonald's menu. She laughed and said she didn't blame me and absolutely LOVED McDonald's and all American food.

Back in class, the children have their exams starting tomorrow! I'm a little nervous because this will kind of test me as well and show if they really are learning the material I'm teaching and just how well I'm doing as a teacher. We have spent the past few days reviewing the lessons and they seem to be doing well, so I'm crossing my fingers! I also received my first "big" compliment and it completely made my day, maybe my week! One of the nuns approached me and asked me to start teaching other classes, which I had planned on anyway, because apparently a lot of the parents had heard about me and they all want their kids in my class! Something small, but it boosted my confidence and really made me feel like I was actually a making a dent in helping them learn.

In addition, I've started rewarding them when they finish their class work with a high five, a notion that is not so popular here. It's really amazing how something as simple as a high five can light up a kids' face. Like I said, most of these children are SO happy, playing and laughing just like any kid would. But there's a handful that I've never seen smile, no matter how many pats on the backs, smiles or 'good jobs' I give them, they haven't cracked. But EVERY SINGLE CHILD in my first grade class couldn't help but giggle and smile after their high five yesterday and today. I'd consider it a successful few days!

That's all for now... but before I depart...


Someone forgot to rub in all of the lotion on their face... Santhosh. Our favorite game is to make funny faces at each other... he's obviously really good at it.

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