Monday, February 23, 2009


Without even doing anything in slow motion this week the days are still seeming to last a long time. In fact, this seemed like a very long week. For my English classes I did a lot of review with the 5-7 group. I was very happy to see how much they remembered. They remembered the difference between “this” and “that” and “these” and “those”. They remembered contractions and pronouns. I also introduced possessive pronouns and they picked it up very quickly. They were using correct verb tenses when they spoke. It was awesome. I just hope that we can build off that. For my 1-4 group I was tired of them goofing off all the time. One day I kicked half the class out and another day I kicked Monica and Sanju out. In fact, I literally threw Monica down the stairs. I love India. Later that day when Mommy came home she asked me why I kicked them out and I said, “I didn’t fly 3,000 miles on a 24-hour plane ride for them to not listen to me.” Mommy laughed and said she wishes she could do the same but she has nowhere to send them. Kicking those students out helped me a great deal though. I was able to get more done with the remaining students. We worked on using correct verb tense and I introduced pronouns and possessive pronouns to them. For my high school class I began the week off by having them work on four worksheets I made for them. Two were on synonyms, one was on antonyms and the other was on possessive pronouns. They did alright with this so I am planning on having them work on the same stuff next week. This week I was also able to have computer class for both groups twice. I had them use Typing Tutor and I also made a chart to document each students progress through the lessons and tests. After every lesson and test that they pass they will get to put a sticker by their name for that lesson. I hung the chart up above the computer so all the kids can see how they are doing compared to everybody else. Now everyday the kids ask me to have computer class. So English classes went well this week. I only have few weeks left so I hope I can continue teaching them enough that when I leave, they can hopefully understand some of what I will tell them.
On Thursday the kids had kind of a holiday so we had a day of fasting and prayer. Now before you label me as a Saint, I have to say that I didn’t really fast at all. The fasting was between 8:00 and 14:00, I don’t eat between those hours anyways so it was like any other day. The fasting was for the kids who had to go six hours without any food. They eat breakfast at 7:00 and lunch at 9:30, so it was more difficult on them. So the kids went to school at 8:00 and then came home at 10:30. It was a day to honor a king from the 1700’s who helped establish the state of Maharashtra. The Mumbai airport is named after him. It was actually quite annoying that the kids had to go to school today. Wednesday night we were all set on taking the kids on a picnic and I was excited to ride in a truck bed full of 65 kids. But then the kids told Mommy that they had to go to school for a morning program to honor him. So no picnic and no riding in a truck Indian style. So the kids came home at 10:30 and the little kids ate lunch then took a nap. At 12:00 the older kids gathered in the big hall and had a prayer session from 12:00 to 14:00. During the session the kids had multiple prayer requests. I also noticed that everyday some kid prays to God thanking Him for protecting them as they were almost killed on the way to school. It’s really amazing how almost everyday one of these children almost gets hit by a car. So there was lots of praying and singing. One thing I really liked was that all the kids were sitting in a circle and Daddy had the kids to pray for their friend on their left. For most of their praying they all pray at the same time, out loud. So it sounds like chanting and it really freaked me out the first time I heard them do this. It reminded me about this time I was having the funniest breakfast in history at Catins in Puyallup with some of my buddies. At the table next to us there were two women and six or seven little kids all dressed the same. And while we were sitting there the women would lead these chanting sessions with the kids and it really freaked us out. Anyways, when the praying was over the kids at lunch and devoured their food. It was funny to watch because they didn’t do much talking with their friends, they were to focused on eating their lunch.
As my time here is drawing to an end, the kids are starting to realize this. They ask me when I’m leaving and they tell me not to leave. Mommy also told me not to go. I told her with Obama leading my country and Gregorie leading my state down the drain, it might not be a bad idea to head back to India after Amsterdam and live there for the next four years. These kids are awesome and find new ways to amaze me everyday. On Friday the high schoolers didn’t have school so I helped out in the kitchen with my incredible chapatti making skills. We had a great time and there are plenty of video clips and photos to prove this. On Saturday night two of the boys, Stavan and Naresh Dongre, slept in the guesthouse and I stayed up with them till 21:30 studying. For the whole hour and a half they went through their English-Marathi dictionary and would ask me the definition of some of the words. Ever answer I gave they would say correct, like they were the ones teaching me. I was really impressed how much they’ve gained from my English classes as for some of the words they would tell me some synonyms and antonyms for that word. I would also show them how changing the suffix on some words changes the word from an adjective to an adverb. These kids are all great and I hope that I’ve impacted their lives in some way, but it might be them who have impacted me more. I want them to realize that this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. A beginning with no end in sight.

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