Today was Team #146’s first day together in India: Emily, Jo Carol, Yvonne, and myself. After a FANTASTIC breakfast, Stephen led us through our orientation, which consisted of team introduction, descriptions of our work projects, the weekly schedule, and team goals. Agreeing as a team what we wanted to accomplish throughout the upcoming weeks was challenging, yet exciting. Because we had never met each other before arriving in India, this was a wonderful opportunity for us to learn how one another think. By functioning as an effective team, here is what we are working toward:
Team Goal #1: TO EXPERIENCE GROWTH
Team Goal #2: TO IMMERSE OURSELVES IN INDIA
Team Goal #3: TO SHARE OURSELVES WITH THE CHILDREN
There is a map in the Guest House. This map has little pins inserted in it all over the place. The pins represent past volunteers. To be able to see the hometown history of the India program volunteers was moving. Knowing that I will now be part of this movement is an honor. After our morning orientation meetings and lunch, our team took turns adding ourselves to the map – leaving our mark.
In the late afternoon, Stephen, Sheeba (Stephen’s wife), and Roshan (their son), took us to meet the children at SEAM Children’s Home. SEAM Children’s home cares for about 40 orphaned, semi-orphaned, and poor children, ages 5 – 18 years old. We will be volunteering here every evening, so this was a glimpse at the rest of our week. The children each introduced themselves and proudly (and might I add, loudly!) sang a few songs for us. After sitting and conversing with the girls at SEAM for a while, I expressed my interest in learning Tamil, the language they speak. We decided together that while I help them with speaking English, they would help me with learning basic Tamil. This way, we will both be teachers and learners.
We ended this long and productive day with preparing lesson plans for tomorrow’s work projects.
I look forward to the adventures, challenges, and accomplishments that we will face this week. Let the journey begin!
Emily and I taking a selfie before we head to bed for some rest! J