I went to bed last night with an immense sense of joy and relief. My biggest fear about this trip was that I would come out here, get in people’s way and not be any use. But in the 3 children I met yesterday I found something I could offer which was actually needed, and heaved a sigh of relief.
I spent this morning typing up my notes from yesterday, producing reports on the 3 children I had seen, with suggestions for strategies that might be successful with them, and trying to put together some useful material for the teachers, to help them diagnose other learning disabilities that they might come across in future, and make action plans for successful learning for such children. At some stage I hope to observe the 3 children myself in their lessons, and then to sit down with their teachers and help them to draw up IEPs for them.
I spent the rest of the morning writing a lesson plan for an English lesson I’ve been asked to take, on creative writing. My brief is to stimulate children who aren’t accustomed to using their imagination, so I hope what I’ve prepared will take them by surprise and make them see the world from a quirky angle they hadn’t thought of before.
After lunch I again went to the school in the apartment, and spent the afternoon doing some embroidery with the girls, making bookmarks which I hope to sell at the Karuna Action Christmas Craft Fair on 29th November at the King’s Centre, High Street, Aldershot. Now you have the date and venue, so no excuse not to be there.
Tonight I went along to an evening of Bible teaching at the church, where the pastor shared what the Bible teaches about wave-particle duality and quantum entanglement, thought-provoking stuff. But seriously, it’s exciting to see how science is discovering principles that have been in the Bible all along, and how we really do have the power to change the things that are not in alignment with God’s will, and by our words and actions cause His Kingdom to come in the place where He has put us.
I haven’t said much so far about the city itself but today I’ve walked its streets a fair bit, so maybe it’s time to describe some of what I’ve encountered. Firstly, there are only two kinds of pedestrians here, the quick and the dead. At every turn you are likely to be mown down by a motorcycle or autorickshaw, or have your eardrums exploded by a car creeping up behind you and sounding long blasts on the horn. As there are no pavements (and indeed no road surfaces) and everyone walks up the street, it makes for interesting outings. There are lovely spicy smells drifting in the air, and if you like people-watching, there is much to fascinate: so many people, some rushing around, some standing chatting, some hollering up the street in Hindi for who knows what reason.
The streets are always full of puddles of water, and since it hasn’t come down from the sky I assume it must have some up from the drains or out of someone’s waste pipe. That said, although the city is dusty, it doesn’t smell dirty.
There is much building work going on in this part of the city and rather than using hods like builders in the UK, builders carry their bricks on their heads. I was cheerfully assured today that there are a thousand ways to die in India and one of them is having a brick dropped on your head from a partially completed building!
My father used to say that wherever he went in the world, he never saw any more elegant female dress than the Indian sari, and I can second that. The ladies here are beautiful; they carry themselves with poise and grace, and their clothes are a glorious riot of well-matched colours.
For someone who hates cities, and worried that I was going to struggle being confined in one, I have to say I am loving this place so far, although I do think I shall be longing to walk barefoot through some green grass by November. And here’s the biggest mystery of the city so far: there are stray dogs roaming everywhere, you can hardly walk 3 paces without nearly falling over one. And yet you never see a single piece of dog poo. How does that work?