Monday, June 24, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Quote: “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” –Mother Teresa

Today started as any other as the team split up after breakfast—Christie and Terry returned to the SEAM home to work more on the painting project, Anna and Amanda headed to Assisi Illam to help with the daycare and Lisa and I went back to Christ King school to teach English.

Teaching is done very differently in India, and children are encouraged to simply copy all the questions and answers from the board instead of critically thinking about or understanding the reading materials. Lisa and I have tried our best to bring games, songs and fun into the classrooms of the 4th and 5th standard classrooms with varying success, but definitely to the delight of our students.

After we gathered back at the guesthouse, we were served a traditional Indian meal that one might enjoy at a wedding or other party. All the dishes were served to us on banana leaves and we all tried eating with our hands. With Stephen’s patient guidance, we all succeeded only using our right hands to eat and enjoyed the vegetable curry, okra, rice and desert!

After lunch, Terry, Lisa, Christie, Amanda and Anna packed up their suitcases and headed to the airport. Their Indian adventure continues in northern India. Stephen, Sheeba, Roshan and I went to SEAM and spent a quiet evening with the children, playing with bubbles and assessing their needs—toothbrushes, soap, etc.

The days continue to speed by in this dusty, hot and beautiful city. Ice cream melts almost before you can pay for it and air-conditioning practically seems a necessity, if just to get some sleep. The children at SEAM and Christ King have stolen my heart and I’m afraid I’ll never get it back from them, but I am filled with joy at the prospect of another week to spend here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. - Robert Louis Stevenson

Today was a very busy day! We started off the day with Anna and I working at Assisi's day care where the children were very excited to play with all the bubbles we brought. Christie and terry went to seams to paint some more of the walls. They did a great job and the walls are much closer to being done. Lisa and Lianna went to Christ king school where they had fun teaching children new English words.

At lunch we had the wonderful opportunity to eat at Stephen's house with his family. His family is very nice and it was a great experience to get to meet them.

After lunch we returned to seams where we played with the children and my family and I had to say goodbye to them because it was our final day. The children sang us a goodbye song and we took many pictures with them.

After saying goodbye we went to an Indian dance. The dancing was beautiful and very fun to watch.

After the long, fun day we came home and had a very nice sleep. All in all it was a fantastic day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Quote: Never look down on anybody unless your helping him up. - Jesse Jackson
We continued our adventure by starting our day with our usual activities of day care, school teaching, painting and playing with the children. We had a special treat of having a cooking lesson and got to enjoy the food for dinner. Our evening activity involved a hot, harrowing drive to the busy shopping district. We enjoyed walking through a busy department store with a massive selections of kortys, shawls, shirts, longes and other clothing articles whose names are unknown to me. The colors and selections were beyond description. Indian fashion is colorful and ornate and beautiful. We went into a jewelry store and discovered the high cost and fascination that the people have for jewelry. We concluded our shopping adventure by strolling down the busiest street in the city bustling with shops, merchants and willing customers.

We returned home to enjoy showers (the day and night was very hot and humid) and a pleasant sleep.


Tuesday – June 18, 2013
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today was our second day working, and so we were able to accomplish a lot more because we knew what to expect The day started out wonderfully with a very interesting trip to the flower, vegetable and fruit market. We were amazed to find that all of the gorgeous flowers we were looking at would be sold at the end of the day We got a few flowers, saw a few new fruits and veggies and took too many photos, overall a successful visit.
After our visit we came home to have a wonderful breakfast of idli and to prepare ourselves for our second day. Amanda, Christie, Terry and Anna went off to the Assisi Iliam where they entertained the kids with bubbles, nursery rhymes and keep away. Lianna and Lisa went to King Christ School where they were able to teach the kids some English, play a few games with them, and learn about the educational system in India.
After lunch and a short break everyone headed to seams to paint. Anna and Christie got the fun job of painting under the beds, while Amanda and leana had the possibly more fun job of painting the ceiling. At the end of the day one more dorm room was nearly finished, and the outside of the dorms had a nice new layer of orange. We then played the hokie pokie, Simon says, and down by the banks with the kids, taking breaks to teach them about the wonder that is the iPhone.
Our day ended with a lovely dinner and an interesting new flavor, the bitter gourd. Stephen will need to keep searching to find someone that likes it as much as he does. Stephen then talked to us some about superstitions and religion in India, telling us some very interesting stories.
Overall a great day. Can't wait for tomorrow!
Monday, June 17, 2013

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. - Phil Jackson

Today, we started our various jobs. Terry, Anna, Christie and Amanda were off to the Assisi Children's Home to work with toddlers, many of whom were not very happy about being dropped off by their parents for the first time this year. Fortunately, our team was able to coax smiles from all by the time they returned "home" for lunch.

Leana and Lisa travelled to the Christ the King School with Stephen to meet the principal, teachers and many smiling children (as well as some lower kindergarten kids with damp eyes on their first day of school). Tomorrow, they will begin working with the fourth and fifth form students.

In the afternoon, this multi-talented team took on the job of painting the dormitory at the SEAM Children's Home. With teamwork and a lot of sweat we were able to paint two of the girl's rooms and clean the outside of the dorm in preparation for painting. Our efforts were met with the appreciation of the children when they returned home from school. This tired crew managed to pull out enough energy to play with the children for a bit before returning home for some dinner and rest.

The day was capped off by an extremely interesting and informative discussion of the caste system by Stephen.

Happy with our accomplishments, a tired team went off to shower and sleep.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Lao tzu
Today was a very good orientation day. We began the day with another delicious breakfast and started going over our teams goals. After going over our goals and rules we had lunch. Then we went shopping at a gigantic store with many beautiful Indian art work and clothes. After an hour of shopping we all had gotten a fair amount of souvenir's. After shopping we came home and took naps and then got to the most exciting part of he day, meeting to children at seam. As soon as we walked In the children were excited to see us and ran up to shake our hands. We then went across a line and told the kids our names. After we told them our names each of them walked up to us and shook our hands individually and shook our hands. They were adorable. Then they sang to us and we got to have some free time where we played with them. We can tell it is going to be a fun week! After we met the children it was time for dinner and we had to cross the busy road. It was a hard and scary task, but with Rajas help we were able to get across. After our outstanding dinner we came home and had a very good nights sleep!