Team Journal by Fran for Monday, 25th July 2016: Busy First Day Volunteering in India.
Message of the day: One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from the eyes of another human being.
The message for the day seems especially appropriate because seeing our reflection from the eyes of a child is truly meeting oneself. It is with some concern that the children will see me as a loving and caring person. Today promises to be very warm and quite humid, but I welcome the weather and all that goes with it. After breakfast and sharing my journal and word for the day, We drove to Assisi Illam to spend time with the small children at day care. As we made the drive, my senses relived the drives we made two and three years ago while volunteering in India. There is a feeling and something that touches all of one’s senses: the aroma of spices, the closeness of the people on the roadway, the cacophony of the traffic: the horns, the motors, the colors of the saris, the vehicles, the mass of signs painted along the way, the buildings and animals. It is as if all of creation is condensed in one street.
When we arrive at Assis Illam, I immediately spot familiar faces. Sister Rose wears the same rose colored sari and the same beautiful smile. The children seem smaller somehow. Then I learn that day care is provided to two and three year olds. They are so small and so beautiful. At first they are a bit standoffish, but after a short while they gather around when I share books with them. It will be a challenge to keep them occupied. Imagine 26 young children who speak limited amounts of English. Yes, it will be a challenge. After lunch and a short reprieve, I met with two young people, Nishanth and Maheswari who are hoping to become more competent with their English skills. I used today to get acquainted and assess what might be helpful to these two motivated young people. I will work, actually practice, with Maheswari so she can be more forceful in her next job interview. With Nishanth, I will simply work on vocabulary so he can better understand the lessons in his college classes. As a bonus for the day, a teacher dropped by to practice her English. She is really quite good, very interesting, and a delight.
It has been a busy day volunteering in India; first days are often exhausting to me, but it is also a day of joy. Fish for dinner and a good night’s rest will complete a wonderful day.
Visit Global Volunteers’ Volunteer in India website page to learn more about service opportunities in Chennai. Or, chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators. We’re ready to assist you with project descriptions, travel questions, registration guidance and other program details.