Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well I thought I had at least another week to go but I got surprising news Saturday night that nursery school was over and most of my crew were leaving tomorrow.  These are the kids that I play with all afternoon, everyday, while we wait for Mommy, Daddy and the other kids to come home.  In fact, we bonded so well that many days we played on our own even after the other kids have come home.  Roshan lives at the home, so he’s always here.  Stuti will most likely go home with Sunil, but may leave before that if here grandma comes and gets her.  And Yerusha was back Sunday and ended up staying the night which surprised me because I would have thought that her mom would have only brought her back to get her things.  So she might leave tomorrow.  And Salomi was still here tonight.  So total, nine of he nursery kids, my crew, have left.  I told the remaining nursery kids to never leave, to stay at the Home forever and I would stay also.  But let’s jump back to the beginning of the week.

Monday I went and made worksheets for my English classes, three for my 5-7 group and four for my high schoolers.  The 5-7 students did very well with their worksheets.  One was on pronouns, one on contractions and one on the difference between is and are.  They did well on the pronoun sheet and I most of them seemed to understood.  The trick is seeing if they can use them when I ask them questions, which most of them can.  The contraction one was easy.  Now actually the third worksheet was pretty easy for them as well.  The interesting part came during the second part of that worksheet.  At the bottom there is a picture of a farm with some animals and a boy.  The directions were to write two sentences about the picture, one sentence using the word is and the other using the word are.  Now Thursday after we finished the first part, I told them the second part was extra and gave them the option if they wanted they could do it and show me the next day.  I don’t think they understood what I told them because they all had it done by Friday morning.  Now half of the students did a great job with this, and the other half copied off each other.  So for half of the worksheets I got I had for the sentence using are: “Chicken licken and started to run.”  I told them that didn’t make any sense.  I was very pleased with other half I got as they all were able to correctly fill out that part.  The four for my high schoolers turned out to be fun.  It’s basically just a word from one of the worksheets that turned into an inside joke of ours.  Two of the sheets were full of words and they had to go through and tell whether the word was an adjective, noun or verb.  So they’re going through the worksheet very easily, with a few questions here and there.  Then they came to the word, squat.  They didn’t know this word and I didn’t know how to define it to them, but I knew they knew what the action of squatting looked like.  So I squatted in front of them and they all started laughing and yelled out, “Bathroom!”  It’s funny because that is the position Indians use when they are dropping a deuce.  Which brings up an interesting observation I’ve noticed.  When Indians have to go pee, they go a little ways off the side of the road and turn away from the road.  But when they are doing #2 they simply squat on the edge of the road and face the road.  I just thought that was interesting and thought I’d share it with you.  So now whenever they see another kid, especially another high schooler, squatting, they yell, “Brother look!  Squatting!” and they all laugh and the person gets embarrassed and changes positions.  On a serious note, I feel as though the high schoolers main problem, besides vocabulary, comes from comprehension and fluency.  And not even really fluency as they can read very well.  Mommy found a comprehension book and I copied some lessons onto my computer, changing the names in the stories to names of the students.  I hope to get these copied so I can use them next week.  The students did very well in computer class this week and I look forward to Vishwas and Peter finally passing Lesson 1.  Overview of this week’s English classes is very impressive.  The youngest kids were using correct verb tense and are learning pronouns and possessive pronouns and my other two groups successfully completed their worksheets.

Pretty much every week with the kids is usually fun, and this week was no exception.  One day while Mommy was in the kitchen observing the girls working I brought her another chair so she could put her feet up.  She told the kids about our recliner chairs in America and that prompted a Q&A session after I told the kids that they will see those chairs for themselves when I take them all back with me in a suitcase.  Some of the questions asked were about how I was going to feed all the kids?  How were they going to take baths?  How would they breathe in the suitcase?  Stuff like that.  I played a little cricket this week and one time I was batting left handed at the Home and hit a monstrous drive.  If it were baseball it would have for sure been a home run as it bounced off the right field foul pole.  However, the foul pole happened to be Usha’s spine.  The shot was very impressive, though, as I was trying to hit Chaitali who was sitting on the other side of Usha.  Usha just got in the way.  One of the best moments came on Saturday after I found out the nursery kids were leaving on Sunday.  I was feeling a little bit sad that my crew was leaving so soon, and I thought I still had a week to go with them.  So I had all of them sign my T-shirt but I was still sad.  My sadness quickly ended as they kids had an evening program where they got to rip each other.  The kids would go up in front of everyone and imitate each other’s actions or just tell a funny story about another kid.  And nobody was safe from this abuse, not even Mommy and Daddy, past and present staff members or me.  Well, I guess Danny was safe and when I asked some boys the next day why nobody made fun of Danny, they said it was because they are still scared of him because he used to beat them when they were younger.  On Sunday we went to Rajesh’s village.  Now when we went to Ashok’s village I described his house that it could fit in my living room, well this village could fit in my house.  There were five, maybe six, houses that made up this tiny village deep in the heart of India.  We had church service in Rajesh’s house and Vishwas and Stavan’s family came from their nearby village to join.  The boys sang some songs and Daddy gave the message.  Afterwards we had lunch and since it was so hot I didn’t go outside for very long.  Before we left I took some photos of the kids with their families except for Rajesh as he got sick after the service.  I took his families photo without him.

During this week I began referring to all the children as, “Babu”, even the girls.  Babu means little boy and is usually used when referring to your younger brother.  And just like the evening program, no one was safe from being called Babu, not even Mommy, Auntie or Dede.  Another thing I started to call the kids was sparked after I watched “Slumdog Millionaire” for the third time.  I started calling the kids, “walas.”  If someone brought me chai, I called them chaiwala.  When the kids were making papad, they were papad wala.  Some of the other types of walas the kids were: pani wala, cuti wala, cutting wala, food wala, washing wala and I am photo wala.  Obviously this doesn’t make any sense, but that is what makes it so funny.

I leave for my trip to the Taj Mahal and Pune in less than a week.  We leave next Saturday and I am pretty excited.  It’s weird to think that my next blog entry will be from somewhere in Agra.  This trip is defiantly going to be exciting as it will be the first time either of us has been to the Taj.  It might also be good to get to some cooler climates as the heat here is very intense.  It’s now in the 40’sC., which is 104F.  In fact, that is the reason the nursery kids got done so early.  There is massive water shortage all over this region so the schools are finishing up about three weeks earlier and Dede had the nursery kids finish this week.  This is actually an inconvenience for me as, depending on when each grade finishes, Mommy and Daddy said that as soon as they are done with final exams they are going to let the kids go back to their villages.  So basically instead of one big good-bye to the kids, I may have to say good-bye multiple times.  I’m really hoping this isn’t the case but what are you going to do?  I am trying to put together a slide show for the kids before they leave with pictures from my childhood.  I am having my Mom scan and then e-mail them to me.  I am still waiting for her to send me more(hint, hint) as the last time she scanned them some goofy way and I was only able to get 2/3 of the photos she sent.  This upcoming week is going to be interesting to see what happens.  I can just see my journal entries now: “I took my daily nap and woke up around 15:00 and sat around and twittled my thumbs for two hours until the kids came home from school.”  I hope this isn’t the case though.

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