This week we started two new assignments at Sevalaya. One of them is called the Functional English Program. Before and after school a group of fifteen students from 8-11th standard come and practice reading, writing, and speaking English for an hour. For the hour in the morning students read a column of the paper and pick out unfamiliar words. They then define the words and construct sentences with the words. In the hour after school they are to write 500 words in English on any topic they choose. I’ve been working with the 9th standard students and they have trouble sounding out words. Apparently children learn to memorize answers for test while learning English in secondary school and this really handicaps the when they go to university. I think the idea behind this program is great, but I also think that the students aren’t necessarily at the levels that they are supposed to be yet.
Another assignment Tayelor and I have started helping with is getting the girls at the hostile ready for school in the morning. We have to wake up at 6 am but it is worth it when you walk through the gates and you see their smiling faces and hear all their excited screams saying, “Hi sister!” It’s a great way to start our morning and the sun coming in our windows wakes us up an hour later as it is.
Now that we have switched our classes from four to one it’s nice to have new responsibilities although I do miss all the other classes and whenever they see us they ask when we are coming back to their class. Since we can’t teach all of the kids were want we have decided to start a drama club after school for anyone who wants to join. It is clear that the kids are extremely interested in this form of art and use it quite frequently. I think it will be a great tool for them to express themselves and it can also give us the opportunity to connect with more kids. There were a lot of kids who wanted us to come do a drama with their class that I hadn’t even met before.
This past weekend Tayelor and I booked our train tickets to travel up North for the last two weeks of our trip. I’m beyond excited to go to Varanasi, New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur! There is so much to do and see in two weeks!!! We have four weeks left here and before that we to finish our project at the old age home by getting the pictures printed of the elderly and translating the information into Tamil so that it can be displayed in both languages. We are hoping to be finished either next week or the week after.