It's been a busy week since my last blog, with visits to three schools and a teacher training day. But every day has been brilliant and as always, all the staff and children we work with have been great!
Our first trip of the week was to Mahachap. The welcome we received here was incredible! My face (and shirt and trousers) were covered in tikka, and I believe they must have picked every flower within 5 miles of the school! We had a look at some land the school had previously purchased, believing that they would be able to build on it in the future. While we can't currently help with building we discussed a number of other ways it might get used, including as a extra play area or as allotments for children. Whichever is done, some work will be required and we 'll do our best to support the school in that. We managed to spend a little time in class, where the children were very shy, but I am determined to make them a little more lively when I return!
Our next visit was to Jandeep school in Dumre, which will be our newest twinned school very soon. We had two wonderful days there working (and singing a lot) with a number of classes. I spent a lot of time with a very enthusiastic class 3 who got into all the activities and songs with very little shyness. The highlight was getting some children into the library and having year 9 pupils read with small groups from year 3. The staff seemed very enthusiastic about following this up so hopefully we'll see them doing in more in the future. Saran added to his role as coordinator, translator, driver, project manager and general 'sorter outer' by becoming a teaching assistant and model, covered by children in post-it notes showing body parts.
The final school visit of the week was back to Pipaldanda, to meet with labourers and villagers about the ongoing building project. We were amazed at the amount of work completed since our last trip to the school. The atmosphere was really positive and we hope the work will be completed early next year. Saran is now even busier, collecting quotes and estimates for railings, paint, furniture and 101 other things!
We rounded of the week with our second teacher training session, for primary English. This time I was able to take a lead role, and once the nerves wore off I really enjoyed it! We talked a lot about getting the most out of what resources we have, and I'm looking forward to seeing teachers following through in schook over the coming weeks. As last time, the teachers were really keen to take ideas on board. It was a very hands on day, with lots of presentations and teaching by the attendees and I was delighted with the way they threw themselves into it.
I'm now in our most remote village, the stunningly beautiful Okaldunga, while Barbara has returned to Mahachap. Plenty more about that next time.