Saturday, September 19, 2009

Indian joy!

Class under the tree, Narikudi School
(my school)

Wedding Guests

Indian Bride

Sunset from my balcony, Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu

My lane in Tiruchuli.
I'm having a fantastic time here. I teach english to girls at the Narikudi school in the mornings, I catch the bus to and from school (which is a truly Indian experience), and Im working on a Human Rights Grant application for my boss here ( in the afternoons. Life in the village is a daily experience. Yesterday my room mate lost a small item of clothing down the loo 'cos thats the only drain we have in our room so we do our laundry there... very funny experience. We love our sunsets, our quiet lane (although the quiet usually ends about 5 am when the sweeping starts), and we are loving the food. Since being here, we've had the joy of being invited (spontaneously) to two different Hindu Weddings (same same but different).. which were definetly new experiences... very colourful.
Until another time... Vanakum!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reading suggestions

I'm currently volunteering as an english teacher in Narikudi, Tamil Nadu. While I'm here I have some reading challenges, I'm currently reading Murakami's Blind Willow Weeping Woman, which is a collection of short stories... I find it difficult to read these consequetively, so I read one and put the book up for a while. One the book on the bookshelf in the volunteers room is the Good Earth by Pearl S Buck. It looks interesting, but wondered if anyone had any thoughts about it. Will it be easy enough to read while Im dealing with a lot of other stuff around me???? I'd appreciate your comments.

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.