Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Teacher's Day

Today was Teacher's Day! Teachers Day is on September 5, which is Sarvepalli Radhakrishna's birthday.  He was India's first vice president and second president in 1962, as well as educator and philosopher.

For this day, the students celebrate their teachers.  The oldest children even taught the classes and they have impressive classroom management skills. :)  Because they were teaching, it allowed me to take lots of pictures and just enjoy talking with them.  Today was the first time I brought my actual camera and they were all begging to be photographed.  They call me Didi Laura, Didi meaning elder sister.  So I must have heard "Didi, Didi, me, me, me" a hundred times. 

(At the very end of this post are two movies)

This is Betsy the school dog.  I am very curious about how she got this name. :)

Some students do not live at the school.  Instead they are bused in from the local villages.

One of the best smiles I've ever seen!

The students who do not live at the school get a small meal during "interval" or break time, before heading home. The others eat a larger mid-day meal after school.

The oldest students help to prepare meals, and serve food to the children and tea to the teachers.

They even wash their own dishes!

Three of the oldest boys read a speech about the importance of Teacher's Day and the history behind it. The table behind it has gifts for all the teachers. I received a beautiful purple table runner. 

One of the eldest girls applies a bindi to each of the teachers as we receive gifts.

Here is the lead teacher, aka principal. She is consoling a little one who was too nervous for his performance during the celebration.

When I saw the children practicing this dance yesterday, it had boys and girls.  Sometime since then the girls must have decied the boys were not paying attention and they kicked them out! It made them a little confused afterwards, but they worked very hard.

Here is a game all the teachers played. It is similar to "hot potato." While the music was on we tossed a bean bag around the circle.  If the music stopped and you had it, you had to act out something that was written on a paper in the center, like charades. It was very fun and the kids loved it! Luckily my task was to tell the qualities of a certain student... others had to sing or make animal sounds!

The final two.

These two learned a short story in English in just two days! They workey really hard to understand it and learn all the words. 

I am truly enjoying working with these kids, even if teaching English is not my forte. It's not until I have had to explain so many things that I've realized how challenging it is to learn the language. It makes no sense!

After teachers day, I went out to lunch with a new friend named Diane.  I met her through the Jaipur Expats Facebook kind of felt like online dating when I messaged her, but I am desperate for a friend! She is from France and owns a jewelry shop here.  She recommended a new place for lunch, and we had tomato, basil, mozzarella paninis.  She has been here 6 years, and married an Indian man 3 years ago.  We had a good time, and she recommended many new restaurants/things to do that I'm excited to try.

I met another American today at the Airtel (phone service) store.  I had to go to Airtel because for some reason our driver Ajay is the only person I cannot text! It is driving me crazy because there is no reason I shouldn't be able to text him.  Of course the customer service couldn't fix this...iPhones are very rare here so many people are not familiar with them.  I did however meet a guy named Ben who was in the same boat I was in 8 weeks ago. It was his third time at Airtel attempting to set up the iPhone he brought from the U.S.  He has only been here a week, and is staying with a family who generally hosts exchange students.  We shared phone numbers, and I recommended a few places to shop and eat.  It felt strange making those recommendations.  When we first got here I never thought I'd be to the point where I was knowledgeable enough to help out someone else.  It made me realize that even though I feel totally lost some days, I do know so much more than I did a few weeks ago. 

Overall, today was a very good day.  My next task is to try to contact Apple customer support and fix my phone.  Wish me luck!


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