India Blog 2019

India Blog 2019

Day 7 - Friday : Come Back Soon

dmanton on: India Blog 2019

After another tasty breakfast from Sanjay and Meena, we were picked up once again by the lovely, smiley Suresh.  He has entertained us each day on our journey to school and has taught the children some greetings in Gujarati.  It was a day of mixed feelings as we are looking forward to seeing our families at home but we are sad to leave our friends at Bachpan.

Susan Ma'am enjoyed a lovely welcome and song when we arrived as it was her birthday.  Lots of the staff had come to wish her a happy birthday.  

       

Our last teaching sessions were with the older children who really enjoyed the maths challenges we gave them.  The teachers enjoyed them too and we gave them a pack containing lots more maths challenges for them to try when we've gone.  Each class sang happy birthday at the end of the lesson!

After lessons it was time for morning tea which today included two (!) birthday cakes for Susan!  Happy birthday was sung again and we enjoyed tucking in to the cakes.

All too soon it was time for the Come Back Soon assembly.  After listening to speeches from children, a parent and teachers we enjoyed some dancing and a funny skit.  Then we were seated at a special table at the front of the hall and presented with lots of lovely gifts which we are looking forward to showing you in assembly next Friday.  We said some thank yous ourselves, gave them some gifts and promised to come back soon!  Happy birthday was sung to Susan again.

We were then treated to mehndi patterns, which are usually used to decorate hands and feet for Indian weddings and special events.  The patterns are very detailed and intricate.  

                 

After some packing and tea we had a final get together at Chetna's house where we met her lovely family.  To welcome us, there was a beautiful rangoli pattern which included all our names which had been designed and completed by Chetna's daughter.  Susan was then presented with another delicious cake and happy birthday was sung for the eighth or ninth time!  We'd lost count by then!  The children enjoyed playing with Chetna's son - he was a rubix cube expert and taught them a few tips and tricks.  We had wonderful evening finished off with another delicious cup of chai.  The children were thrilled to get a quick ride on the moped of Chetna's son - they couldn't believe that he had a moped at the age of fourteen. 

         

Tomorrow will be spent driving back to Ahmedabad and preparing for our long flights home. We're looking forward to telling you all lots more about our amazing Indian adventure - Tom, Will, Ella and Olivia have called it 'a once in a lifetime opportunity'. It has blown their minds! Ours too!

See you back at school. 

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Days 5 and 6 - Wednesday and Thursday

dmanton on: India Blog 2019

Wednesday was another really busy and fun day.  We taught some more maths lessons to some lovely groups of children and we also sang with some of the younger children - songs we recognise from Southroyd: Follow Me and Peace is Flowing.  We also learnt a new song with the grade 2 children: Be Careful Little Hands - we are hoping to teach this to Key Stage 1 when we get back.

At school  we enjoyed another fantastic art workshop where we made some paper crafts including a moving bird, origami dogs and colourful crowns. All were decorated with shiny sequins and beautiful colours. 

               

In the evening we enjoyed meeting Chaitali's family and were cooked another delicious vegetarian Indian meal.  The children especially enjoyed a sticky sweet dessert called Gulab Jamun which are fried milk balls soaked in sweet syrup.  Naughty but nice!

Thursday began in style with an amazing PE assembly. Here we watched a range of year groups produce dazzling displays of dance, a routine with dumb bells which had a strong drum beat, yoga, zumba, a bamboo dance and a fanstastic gymnastic display of human pyramids. They just climbed on each other with ease! 

       

Another highlight today was a Rangoli workshop. We made patterns from coloured sand, flower petals and wheat and grains. The Bachpan students gave us really clear guidance on how to create these and we were pleased with our results.

        

To cram even more fun into this day, we were then taken on a three hour tour of a chocolate and sweet factory. We saw actual Cadbury Eclairs and Polo mints being made! The smell of mint in the polo factory made our eyes water! It was really interesting to see how sweets are made on such a large scale and to see all the machinery that mixed, cooked, added flavours or labelled packages. 

On the way home from the Chocolate Factory we visited a beautiful temple which had lots of statues of Hindu gods and goddesses.  The temple was set in beautiful gardens which were lovely to sit in at sunset.

      

     

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Day 4 - Tuesday: The Garba

dmanton on: India Blog 2019

Again, we had another interesting journey to school.  There are no rules on the roads - anything goes!  We saw lots of things out of the car windows: cows, more cows, barber shops giving outdoor shaves, piles of chillis ready for sale, mopeds, street dogs and lots of auto rickshaws zipping about.

We had a fun day teaching more maths and enjoyed an art workshop where we decorated some ceramic pots.  The rest of the day was spent preparing our outfits for the Garba.  This is part of the Hindu Navrati festival which happens in October but Bachpan put on a special event just for us.

       

Here's what our children had to say about the Garba:

Ella: It was very colourful and lots of the lovely children helped us learn the dance moves.  My dress was very beautiful with lots of mirrors and decorations which made it heavy to wear.

Tom: I enjoyed making some friends and learning some dance moves which were tricky at first but okay once you got into the rhythm.  I enjoyed listening to some Indian music which made a nice change (I picked up the rhythm quicker than my Mum!)

Will: I thought the music was very different to English music and it was nice to hear different songs.  It looked like everyone was happy and enjoying themselves - I enjoyed it too.

Olivia: I loved wearing my colourful dress and jewellery.  Lots of people wanted to take my photo and said I was cute!

               

              

We finished the evening with an amazing meal at Chitra's house where we met here lovely family too, including her 90 year old Grandma.  We enjoyed the delicious food finishing off with chai tea - traditional India tea. All the children loved this too as it was so sweet!

      

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Day 3 - Monday: What a welcome!

dmanton on: India Blog 2019

Oh my goodness!  We have never experienced a welcome like this before.  

We were up early excited and a bit nervous about our first day at Bachpan school.  The drive to school was fascinating as all journeys here seem to be.  Once we arrived at school we were welcomed like royalty with rose petals, fireworks and lots of welcoming faces.  We were given a tour of the school by some of the older children - some of them have been to Southroyd before so it was good to catch up.  We were given lots lovely gifts, cards and flower garlands as we visited some of the classrooms and met the children.

       

        

Later, we taught our first lesson - maths problem solving.  It was a new experience for the Bachpan children investigating problems in such a different way but they tackled them enthusiastically.  Our children also had fun teaching some English games to a small group of Bachpan students.  A great way to make friends!

        

This evening we visited a farm just outside of Surendranagar.  It was a beautiful evening and we saw lots of different Indian crops growing and we finished the visit with a lovely picnic outside and watched the sun go down.

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Day 2 - Sunday: The Road to Surendranagar

dmanton on: India Blog 2019

To finish our day yesterday we visited a Krishna Hindu Temple.  Inside were beautiful pictures on the walls and ceilings showing the deity, as well as statues with offerings of flowers and fruit.  It was full of worshipers and it was really interesting to see the prayers.

We ended the day with pizza - yummy.

This morning, we packed up and set off for Surendranagar.  What a journey!  

Olivia said: "It was fantastic and I saw a camel!"

Tom: "I can't believe I'm actually in India - there's so much to look at."

Ella: "It's hot!  The journey was really comfortable and we made a tally of how many camels, goats, cows, dogs and buffalo we saw.  Cows won!  It's amazing."

Will: "Oh my gosh.....so many animals to look at."

            

We stopped for a little while on our journey and took a look at some of the crops in the fields.  We picked cotton which was very soft to touch and had a look at some castor oil seeds.

             

Arriving at Sanjay and Meena's house, we received a warm welcome with a fabulous home cooked meal.  We all tucked in and particularly enjoyed the puris.  We even had a puri competition - Will won after eating 12!  Olivia came a close second.

We are really looking forward to going to school tomorrow and meeting all the children.

           

          

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