Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Millinium Development Goals Achieved by this team from   October 05 to - october 08.

48 Hours of class room instruction in conversational English and computer skills by 2 volunteers and 49 Hours of preparation time

2 Children's Home's and over 65 students impacted.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Nelson Mandela)

Today we met the children at Grace School. All the students were eager to see us and we split up with Dustin working with forms 4 and 5 and Bill taking on forms 2 and 3. We met first with two of the teachers but did not get any guidance on what we should pursue. Accordingly, we did it on the fly (as seems to be the mantra here) although we had both been somewhat prepared for forms 4 and 5. The first day is difficult as we do not know what work has been covered or have any idea of the level of performance of any of the children. The two sessions went quickly and we had a brief break over lunch before heading back to SEAMS. Dustin worked with younger children on their English and Bill met with Shanthi, Surganyat, Kalibain and Rogesh. He worked on reading and reading comprehension. Neither was particularly successful as the noise level made hearing difficult. As noted earlier, the older children know the words and read just works, with no expression or understanding. Bill then jumped to Scrabble and the game progressed slowly with some assistance now and then. Rogesh understands the game but the other players seemed baffled. The game attracted a small vocal crowd and Bill can only hope that all tiles were recovered.


October 6, 2010

“Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better. “

Hermann Hesse

Bill and I woke up early so we can have our regular Yoga session but apparently our Yoga instructor doesn’t work when it rains outside. So we were on our own…

With everything running a little late this morning we rushed through breakfast so we can make it on time to Grace School. We pretty much had the same schedule as yesterday. Bill will work with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders and I will work with 5th, 4th, and 2nd graders. Well today the entire 3rd grade class didn’t show up so we switched it up a little. I started with the 5th grade class. We practiced reading out loud and creating sentences. When time was up Bill and I got a quick break where we sat with Principal Esther and Teacher Selvi. They wanted to practice their English just as much as the children. They were very interested and Bill and my backgrounds. They asked many questions and we got to learn a lot about each other. After our break I taught the 4th graders. We practiced reading and writing and when time was up I finished the day with the higher kindergarten kids. We did all our ABCs, numbers, shapes, and colors. They weren’t part of the original schedule but they were a pleasure to work with. The Bell rang and it was time for lunch.

Bill, Stephan, Sheeba, and I all sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed a wonderful meal along with good conversation. There is always a new topic and something to learn about India from Stephan.

Back to SEAMs in the evening. We are coming down to our last few days. So I just stayed the course. I had Stephan split up the children and I worked with about 3 different groups on their English before time was up. Bill looked like he had a good game of scrabble going on the other side of the room.

We only have two more days left.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” (Albert Einstein)

Our tour of service is coming to an end and we have already started reflecting on the experience. We did what we could with such a small team and can only hope we had a positive effect on the children we had the pleasure and privilege to work with. Working at Grace School is challenging and exhausting but the children are eager learners, delighted to see us each morning and enjoying a break from the rigorous discipline that I sense pervades when the “substitute” shows up! I worked with forms 1, 2 and 3 today. Yesterday form 3 was not in attendance because of a “malady” or just because they were “absent”—take your pick. Dustin worked with forms 4 and 5 and then was introduced to the kindergarten, which tested his skills as an organizer and presenter. At the break we enjoyed another conversation with the teachers with them asking all the questions and the two of us giving all the answers. They looked at pictures Dustin brought and asked us to bring cameras tomorrow.

At SEAMS, Dustin worked with flash cards and at the chalkboard with the younger girls, which they enjoyed immensely. I took over the laptop and tried to get Shanthi, Kaliban and Rogesh to create a story. I wanted them to use their imagination and prodded them with opening sentences and ideas but they stuck to the basics of their life, school and study. I realize this type of exercise is outside of their curriculum but hoped against hope that they would seize the opportunity to let their minds wander far from SEAMS and the environment at home. The exercise was a bust. Hari bowed out without trying, as is his way; Kaliban got frustrated; Shanthi picked up her accounting book; and Rogesh stuck with me but managed only a few times to get away from the world as he knows it.

For dinner we went to the Grand Residence and enjoyed dining on the roof-top terrace. We also had a good laugh when they forgot to bring Stephen’s order of fish that came as chicken and failed to get dessert because they simply did not get around to dessert today!!!


"Everything happens for a reason."

Kendrick Cloud

October 8th, 2010
Well here it is my final journal entry for team #93.

Bill and I woke up and headed out to Grace School for our final day. Not knowing what to expect like most days, I packed the bag full of just about every teaching supply available.. I taught all 3 classes like a pro (well the best I could) and even let each class finish with coloring. At the end we sat with Esther and Selvi. Said our goodbyes and were able to take some photos. Unlike the kids at SEAM, the Grace kids were more interested in lunch then pictures.
So that was it! Bill and I completed all 3 weeks teaching English I’m an official Global Volunteer! There was only thing left to do is say goodbye to the SEAM kids. So in the evening we headed over to SEAM. They have done this many times but it was all new to me. I really don’t like goodbyes and really enjoyed the last 3 weeks at SEAM.

The kids had a going away celebration ready for us. They sang a few songs and even did a few dances. Bill got up and sang "This land is your land" and even put his own twist to it. We bought some cookies handed them out and spent the rest of the night just saying our goodbyes. Words cant describe the way this made me feel. I hope the kids learned just as much from me as I learned from them.

This was an amazing program and coming into this I did not know what to expect. It was probably better that way because we needed to be flexible and patient. That and a few other things to be the successful team we were. I have so many memories. Cows in the street, horns beeping, controlled traffic chaos, smiling faces, the heat and humidity, the list goes on. I met a young girl in the streets the 2nd day we were here and she was just so nice and welcoming, it turned out that she was one of my 4th grade students. I didn’t realize it until tonight when Bill and I shared some photos. And I will never forget my final day with Sophie at Assisi Home. It probably was day 14. She forced her way up to the second floor where I was teaching computers to the older kids and forced me to read flash cards. Well I shouldn’t say force cause I don’t think I could say noJ

I just wanted to thank all the children, their hosts, the local team, Bill, Global Volunteers, and all my friends and family back home.


Official Global Volunteer - India

"Goodbyes are not forever.

Goodbyes are not the end.

They simply mean I'll miss you

Until we meet again!"


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