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Review Volunteer Year 2009/10 Report No 3

 

Once again, it’s time for a little review. This report covers the months of December/January, almost exactly 9 years ago. The described trip with my family is by the way the model for my two-week “journey through the heart of India” in Madya Pradeh and is therefore very close to my heart.

So, it’s time again for a report from me.

The last 2 months at work have been really exhausting. The children have grown so close to our hearts during this time that we have given all our strength every day to give them a particularly beautiful time in the center and have always been fixed and ready after these intense three hours, although, I must add, this exhaustion is a positive and fulfilling one. It gives us such a great joy, when the children run towards us in the morning to wish us a “Good morning, Mam” with a broad smile and  take us by the hand to lead us to the center.

In the morning ritual, which until now consisted of a prayer, national anthem and counting exercises, we have now taken on an integral part. Afterwards we sing with them English songs, to which we have come up with movements. They are very enthusiastic about a series of movements in which we go through the start of the day.

After noting, that the children are at very different levels in the individual classes, we decided to say goodbye to our frontal lessons to support the teachers in giving the children individual tasks instead. We also often encourage new methods, such as combining Hindi and English, or including the board and worksheets.

The center has meanwhile developed into a real small children’s paradise, after we bought a lot of toys from our project money. Gradually, the children get used to the permanent presence of toys and learn to play with them.

With many of these children we realize, that they just need a lot of love and affection, often we take these children in the arm and cuddle with them. Others, on the other hand, need attention. By trying to give the children what they need, we are now making even the most restrained boys cheerful, there are fewer tears and the new children seem to have less difficulty in getting involved.

Nevertheless, there are also children who still worry us. They are  just sitting on the floor and looking at the surrounding events in complete dismay. We are trying to approach them gently.

Furthermore, two trips were planned by ABHAS. One to a playground and one to the zoo have taken place recently. The children are always very excited to leave their village and go to the city.

The day at the playground was wonderful. Many of the children had never seen a slide or swing in their lives and really freaked out. On the way back, everyone fell asleep exhausted, that was so sweet!

The trip to the zoo was similarly successful. The many animals that the children saw, are in their heads for eternity. Especially the lions, elephants and tigers fascinated them!

In addition, we organized a small Christmas party during the Christmas season, where we gave away big toys for the center as well as small packets filled with Christmas chocolate from Germany, writing material and nuts to every child. Before, we had made Christmas decorations with the children with whom we decorated the center. Of course, during the Christmas season we also had an german christmas calendars. The children loved to open a door on it every day.

After this exhausting and intense time, a holiday was urgently needed and it actually was hust around the corner, because my mother and sister visited me over the Christmas season for two weeks. Our journey was no less exciting and intense. We had rented our own car including a driver and visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, admired in Gwalior the Jain statues carved in rock and up to 18 meters in size, did rafting in the small, medieval Orcha, visited ancient temples with erotic statues in Khajuraho, went for tiger Safari in the Bandhavgarh National Park and explored Varanasi, the holiest city of India.

In Delhi we now feel at home, although it has become very hot and really cold lately (around 10 degrees). The houses here are not insulated and do not have heating systems. I am particularly sorry for the children, who continue to walk barefoot in their slats and without a jacket. Everywhere you can see small campfires on the side of the road on which the men sit.

Otherwise we continue to spend our free time with yoga and Hindi (in both we are making quite good progress) and have also started with tennis, which is great fun for us. India feels like home.

Until next time

Sarah

Report Nr 1

Report Nr 2

Report Nr 3