Hello!!! January 27th
There is not a lot knew today. I am sure there are a lot of things that I have not thought to tell you about, it seems that every day we are seeing something knew, learning something we never even thought about before. But our schedule is pretty much consistant right now.
It looks like this.
6:00 Wake up.
6:30 Tea Time.
7:15 Help the little girls to bathe and get ready for school.
8:00 Serve breakfast.
8:30 Eat breakfast.
9:30 - 11:00 teach 1-2 grade english.
11:30 - 12:30 (starting next week) tutor the kids who are behind in school.
12:30 Eat lunch.
3:00-4:00 Tamil Class for us. (Mon, Wed, Fri.)
4:30 Tea Time.
5:00-6:30 Play with the children.
7:00 Girls devotions. (we can watch or we can teach if we want.)
8:00 Serve girls dinner.
8:30 Eat Dinner
9:00 Bed time. (only we never really get to bed:-P)
Saturdays and Sundays are different of course because the children don't have any school.
There are Indian woman who teach the English classes, but we help out in the 1-2nd grade classes. Different of the children are at different levels in english, so she seperates them into groups. They don't have school desks, we all sit on mats on the floor. She tries to keep me with the same group each day so I don't get confused. She has cards and books that we go through with them, so it's pretty easy. I have one student who is very smart and loves to learn, but the other three don't really care. I read them the card "BUG" and Kavia says "B, sister?" then if I sound out the word for her she can say "B, U, G" She knows her alphabet so if I tell her the letters she can spell. The other three like to peak at my card or at Kavias chalk board and copy. They really don't understand or care to understand what is going on.
When they ask questions I try to make them think, I try to get them to learn not just copy what I've written, but some of them don't like that:-P. It's hard to because even though they are learning spelling already they don't know to much english and I can't explain to them the strategy I am using, or tell them what to do really. It's easy, yet it's hard. One problem too, is that when we are doing reading they memorize the order of the words in the list, or the photo that goes with the word and don't really see the letters. There is one card that is "hut", all of them are SURE that it's a HOUSE. They all say "no sister, no sister, HOUSE" Well I tried to explain, that yes it looks like a house, but actually H.U.T. spells, hut. oh well, maybe they will understand one day.
One of the first days I met the children Kavia caught my attention right away. She was the first girl whose name I learned. And yes, I finally got her straite with her sister, Manju (sp?). To me she seems maybe 6, but you never know with the kids here. Her bright eyes seemed to bounce around her face as she bounced around the yard. She's super hyper, and if she wasn't in a skirt, I would have for sure thought her a boy at first. She's got short cut hair and as much mischief in her as any boy could have. A complete camera hog, but as cute as cute can be. I never would have thought her to be an attentive student, but she's my best one.
Amanda did a 7th grade english class one day and taught the children all about snowmen and different things. They were so facinated. She had a lot of fun, but the younger children are where they most need us because they have 20 children maybe in one class with one teacher, and these kids go wild.
Well I must go now because it is not long until we leave for the internet cafe.
My Dear Friends and Family, 2-3-10
Yes, I am indeed still alive and I have an even more lively story to tell you.
In the small village of Vadamalapuram somewhere amidst the buffillo and chickens, there rested a woman on the steps of a very tiny hut. Her face was filled with wrinkles and showed the signs of many many years, but her eyes shone with the curiosity of youth. On this particular day as the sun shone down so brightly, she sat more heavily on her crossed legs and resting her head in her hand, it appeared she was thinking quite deeply. She'd heard the stories of the white people that came from afar, and taught amazing things, but she'd never seen one. What were they like? Why did they come? Their thoughts must be profound to travel so far. As she sat thus she heard a great noise in the distance. Jumping awake from her thoughts and stretching herself to see the ruckas she startled a few crows who flew to their safety in a nearby gooseberry tree.
Far far away she could see hundreds of children marching down the road. As they made their way closer her excitment grew. In the front of the parade was a tall white girl. A blue bandana was pulled loosly over her hair, which still seemed to flow everywhere as it brushed against her sun-burned cheeks. A black blouse was followed by smooth denim skirt. Her feet were dirty and slipped into a pair of small, black, foam sandles. She didn't appear to be much more then the hundreds of school children that were following her down the road, but it seemed they must have an important message. The children were shouting and banners were being held high. As she cocked her head and listened once more she heard exactly what the foreigners have to say "SAVE THE FROGS!"
Thats the exciting story. Heres what really happened. I was sitting outside spending some time with God when I heard a huge ruckas and going to see what was the matter, I saw all the children walking by the road on a protest. They called to me and I went to join them in their walk. I was put in the front of the line. I then realized what I was on a protest for, Frogs. I felt somewhat silly to be honest. I couldn't care less about a frog, and I'm still not sure what the point of the whole thing was, but I laughed the rest of the day. It was kinda sad too though, I imagioned that the town would remember it as the american girl leading the school on a parade to save frogs. Thats the message that missionaries bring? I guess I learned something too.
Otherwise life has been good. I've played silly games with the kids, played silly games WITHOUT the kids, had to be the "doctor" when a girl fell and gauged her head, ate fresh coconut right from the tree, rode in the autos, comforted crying children, gone for evening walks, ate rice, wrote lots of letters, attempted teaching english in the 2nd grade class to a slew of boys who really don't care and just beat each other up, served hundreds and hundreds of plates of rice, ate rice, failed at jump-roping, taken lots of cold showers, washed clothes by hand, prayed with the children, craved sugar, gone to the store and bought some strange chewy candy, ate it, ate more rice, written more letters, dreamed about home, broken up fights, taken pictures, eaten chicken, corrected the 10th grade english papers, played "jacks" with rocks, gotten dirty, taken more cold showers, eaten more rice, had fun, laughed, cried, and over all had a good time. I love you all. Sorry I can't post more often. Love, Lydia