Sunday, 30 November 2008

Delhi Belly

It's a hot hot day and the electricity and fans are already out by the time we get there at 10AM- I work with the little ones today and we mostly just color. They all come up at once and I try to write down words and have them repeat them, but after a while it isn't worth it. To be honest, the day doesn't have the same energy we had the day before- the kids are going crazy and just want to color, not learn proper English. Also, parents are dropping off their little kids so I feel like I'm running a daycare center rather than an English school. There is a two-year-old running around, stealing the coloring pages from the girls; I finally have to send her home. We break for lunch to compose ourselves again but most of the kids just stay to jump rope and color. There are now a few little boys running around and wrestling, which just adds to the pandemonium.
At one point, Hannah says, "I think we may have actually lost control..." I am exhausted, annoyed and frustrated. The big girls only want to color and sit in front of the fan. I keep suggesting that we send the kids home but they keep playing around. Finally, an hour later, after just horsing around, they finally all leave. Priya shows Hannah and Amanda around the colony. When Bandhu picks us up, I hint that I might not be there tomorrow...
We go up to the Sector 15 market and have a dance party in the CD store, where we buy all these fantastic CDs. I take a nap when we get home and feel nauseous right before dinner. I end up vomiting all over the driveway and later again in the night. It seems that Delhi belly is unavoidable. Whatever I ate, my body doesn't agree with. Bandhu takes me to the market to drink a BIG glass of grapefruit juice from a fruit stand. Reena brins me some watermelon and yogurt to help my tummy. The street kids come later on- we regain control and do number exercises, like drawing 3 squares and 4 circles. I work with this adorable little boy, with the biggest brown eyes. After a few tries of writing a number and then drawing that amount of circles and triangles, he FINALLY catches on! Yayy I'm so proud of him!
Thursday night is Bandhu's last night of freedom before we go away for the weekend. After the kids leave, Vidit comes down for a while to play with water and color with pencils. Little monster!
Once the girls come back, Hannah is ill from whatever I had the day before. We head up to the roof to lay out in the sun and smoke more Indian cigarettes. When we run out, I hop on the back of "Bad-hu's" motorbike and we scoot our way over to the shop for illegal alcohol. That's mostly all I remember from my last night at Bandhu's, great conversation with the girls up on the rooftop.
Last day at the leprosy colony :( After my day off, I'm ready to come back and make the most of the day. It's pouring out today which means the room is hot as hell, and humid! I feel a bit lost today, unsure what to teach the big girls. I give the younger ones to Jessica and take Karmini, Laxmi and the other bright one. We work on active and passive voice from Karmini's grammar book and laugh trying to make sentences work. I make Lakshmi read every sentence to improve her reading skills. God, I wish I could tutor her privately because I can tell she really wants to improve and has so much potential. We find a way to communicate with each other based on big smiles and even bigger laughs...
We end the day with a big round of duck-duck-goose. Looking back, it is a great way to do something with all the students, both big and small, and to laugh with them. They love to choose me! And always laugh when they see me running running after the little kids.
I say my goodbyes at the school, attemping to hug some of them but they don't reall understand the gesture haha. Lalita especially is very sweet: "Ve vill miss you Didi," she keeps saying. Whenever I picture sending computers to the school, I picture Lalita or Lakshmi using them. My favorite image of Lakshmi is her running around the circle, her curly hair down and bouncing around and her sari blowing behind her, and just the biggest smile on her face.
The girls give me a little metal bracelet for a gift. I wave goodbye at the families standing outside as Bandhu's car pulls away.
Back at home, we scamper around to find last minute stuff before our taxi arrives for RISHIKESH!!! My sanctuary...
We're going away for the weekend and are all just so excited. There's five of us: me, Hannah, Amanda, Jessica and Delphine. Bandhu looks so sad as we pull away- that we're leaving him for the weekend!

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