Getting started – My first weeks in India

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The first days in India were simply overwhelming. The sounds, the smells and the people all combine to completely overpower your senses, at least they did with me. This happened to me in Delhi, where I was driven through the most insane traffic I have ever seen while driving past people yelling, the most colourful of buildings and a hand-full of cows standing in the middle of the road.

In contrast to all that, the village is a peaceful corner with happy people and playing children. In all honesty I didn’t know what to expect when I got here.

I arrived at the community centre, after a never ending train ride, feeling completely exhausted due to the lack of sleep and the humid and hot air.I got sorted, comfortable and started getting ready for the first classes with the kids.

I believe I can help teach the kids some english and some sense of music with my guitar and the songs we sing with them, each of which is thematically similar to the topic we are handling in class. So far the kids are responding astonishingly well to all the songs (and my singing, to my surprise), remembering the words of the songs and using them in the conversations we have with them.During the most classes I try to support Evelyn, who is doing just a fantastic job, in helping the kids with their pronunciation, checking their work books to see if they’re doing it right and if they’ve finished yet and answering any questions they have.

We have also come up with a weekly teaching plan together in which we set our goals for the children and ourselves, hoping to get the children speaking semi fluent english as soon as possible. All of this can be quite demanding but on the other side, can be so much more rewarding when I can hear them using the new words we just learned in a conversation with them. In any case the children have just so much energy and are so willing to learn that it’s barely believable but also makes our jobs a little bit easier.

We have also started to teach in the government school, just around the corner, in addition to the normal classes in our community centre. The classes are different because we have some more children in these classes of which a good part isn’t in the education programme. These classes can be a bit tougher, but in combination with some games and songs can also be very fruitful.

I have also started going on the morning water runs with our little van, during which I see so much of the village, its surroundings and of the people who make every run into a great experience. It also feels good to give the people access to clean mineral water, opposed to the close-to-poisonous hand pump water which they would be drinking otherwise.

fd96bbaf-1da5-4b31-b2e2-5f277dcef8b4All in all my first two weeks have been demanding, rewarding, colourful and full of wonderful people.

At this part i want to thank Tara, Evelyn, Sonia, Pyle and Bijender, Krishna and Vischal who are all part of the team here in Tirmasahun, for making these two months here in India so pleasurable for me.

Alex for United for Hope

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