Team Journal for Monday, 21st December 2015
It is great to be back in India again, now for the sixth time. This year is extra special for me as my “friend”, Erich joined in on the adventure. It’s rewarding the share such an important part of my life with the people I love.
Now here, it’s hard to imagine that we almost called off the trip due to the flooding. I’m impressed with how this community has bounced back and is forging forward.
I enjoy coming over Christmas as it allows for more play time with the kids in addition to being here to celebrate the holidays. With this being the holidays, no two day’s schedule will be the same. Today was no exception.
With the kids in their final day of school for the holidays, we took up an offer extended by the principal of Montfort to tour their school. The youngest children from Assisi, Jasmine, George, John, Sophia, Augustine and Silvia attend Montfort. We are honored to be invited to see their school. The principal invited us into his office and shared an overview of the school. There are 2, 700 students from ages 3.5 to 17 years old. The school has been around for 14 years. All classes are taught in English (except for language classes). We were happy to hear that most students go onto college and that colleges are recruiting Montfort students. The assistant principal walked us around the impressive campus. I liked seeing that they have in an inclusive approach to children with special needs. They have an impressive variety of class offerings include arts in the curriculum. Last year, Montfort added a robotics offering and this year the class competed in an international competition taking two first place prizes. The students were excited to showcase their robotic skills for us. We also took in a rehearsal for an upcoming dance competition. These girls were exceptionally talented. We also found out that the Assisi Illam children have been taking music lessons from the robotics teacher. I am continuously impressed with the opportunities that Sister Rose provides for these children. We even had a tour of the principals’ rooftop garden. The highlight was seeing two of our children, Sophia and Augustine in action at school. It is comforting to know that these children are getting such an incredible education. I wish the rest of the children at SEAM and Assisi Illam had the same opportunity.
After a quick break for lunch part of the team continued on for a quick stop for shopping at the Government Emporium Center. As we approached the store, we saw all of the beautiful garments and carvings soiled on their front yard. With the recent flooding, their excess inventory stored in the basement was ruined. It was just a small taste of the disaster.
We continued back to Assisi to continue with the Christmas decorations. The Sisters are very particular about how they’d like things decorated and we did our best, although sometimes that isn’t good enough.
At SEAMs we continued to work one on one with the children focusing on having them speak in complete sentences and reading comprehension. The children are eager to work with us and love the one on one attention. We still have some work to do because when I asked Lazar what his favorite subject was, his response was “banana”. At least Roshan got a good laugh out of it! We have a plan for a more structured group lesson followed by small group practice sessions that we are going to kick off tomorrow. SEAMs isn’t the same without the girls and older boys. On the bright side, with only 10 children, things are under much better control and we’re able to give them more dedicated attention.
As a team, we walked to a new nearby restaurant to enjoy a variety of Indian food. Roshan was the entertainment for the evening.
It was a good day.
Entry Submitted by : Katie