This week I did a lot of reflecting on how exactly I want to spend the rest of my time in India. It’s so crazy to think that I’m pretty close to hitting my half way point. I studied this country for so many months before coming (and am still reading India books here during my free time) that it’s sad for me to realize that very soon I’ll no longer be a part of it. For future Scholars, I would definitely recommend trying to plan your trip for as close to three months as possible. With only two months it really does take a few weeks in the beginning to get in to the swing of things, and then by the time you’re able to start really appreciating everything you only have a few weeks left. We’ve been keeping very busy by picking up more spoken English classes every day before and after school. On top of that, we’ve finished almost all of our interviews we needed for our heritage appreciation project and my own honors project is coming a long, as well. I’m interviewing a lot of the staff members and the language barrier makes it pretty difficult to convey exactly the question I’m trying to ask, but the personal stories they end up telling me are so interesting so I think I’ll be able to still pull some stuff together.
I already know it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to the kids. We’ve become really close to a few of our students and the hostel kids, and every few days they ask when we are going back to America and when we will be back here. They are so smart and creative and always get the biggest smiles whenever they see us. Right now they’re in a gift giving mood so everyday someone will bring us a drawing or paper animal they made. Because of the kid’s strict schedule we really don’t get to spend too much time with the hostel kids unless they’re in our classes. They get about an hour of play time after school to play hand ball, throwball, and soccer before they have to start studying for the night but this is normally when we’re talking with the old folks. At first their schedule seemed really extensive, and I guess it still does, but I do realize that the staff are just trying their best to let these 80 or so kids succeed. And, honestly, the kids that live at Sevalaya probably do have it better than a lot of kids from poor families that live in the nearby villages. They get fed three huge meals a day, have a very safe place to live, are around educated people all the time, and are really motivated to do well- even if I might think it’s a bit much sometimes. There are so many topics I wish I could explore with them, like getting the perspectives of both boys and girls on the common practice of arranged marriages, but with the time restrictions this will probably be impossible. I would really love to do a big group discussion with some of the older girls and boys and get their opinions on a bunch of different issues so I might try to set something up like that. I’m still really enjoying my time here and hope the end doesn’t get here too quickly.