Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Indian Summer

Hi - Vanakum!
I'm in Tamil Nadu (southern India) for a 5 week stint of volunteering as an english teacher. This is my second trip to the school and yesterday it was a huge delight to visit the girls again and see how much they've grown, and just to talk with them again.

The school rescues young girls from factory work or house keeping - some of the girls have worked since they were 4 or 5 yrs old and have never been to school. Their families were forced to sell them due to the extreme poverty here in the rural regions. When they come to this school to live, between ages 8 -12yrs, they start an intesive program to bring them up to a mainstream standard in yr 9 (2nd yr highschool).

My friend and I arrived on Sunday, and since then, we've met with the regional district education officer, and had another meeting with a educational advsor who supports the local teachers. Their english has been quite good, but some of the local school teachers have a basic english level. Our job is tofacilitate the students learning through conversational english. They also have english lessons (provided in Tamil) from a local teacher.

We will start our classes tomorrow, taking the 7th standard 5 days a week for english tuition and conversation. We will then also do story time and games with 6th standard class once a week and have 'girl time' conversations with the older girls one night a week. It's all fun, and a great joy to be involved in this project.

While we're here, we also hope to do a little travel. Maybe this weekend visiting the Madurai Temple - world famous and of high regard among the Hindus in India.

On books - Im currently reading the "Marriage Bureau" and a Murukami novel. I was reading Forbidden Colours at home before leaving, but felt it was inappropriate to bring it to India given the topic and content...I'll have to pick it up later.

For now, it's time for an afternoon nap. It's currently about 35 degrees C and very dry.... the country desperately needs rain.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hi T - it is so wonderful to hear about your experiences. Sounds like you are settling in to your new routine and still managing to get some reading in! xox