Friday, July 20, 2012

98% DEET

Day 8 - 20Jul2012

I woke up this morning with my alarm at 6:00AM.  I was able to Skype with my family and FaceTime with a friend.  It was fun to talk with them face to face.  Romba Kaaram was assigned to education rotation today so we headed to school at 9:00AM.

Today I tutored in reading and math only.  My first assignment was going through a book with an entire class by myself.  I was at the front of a classroom with eight kids and their regular teacher.  I would read a sentence out loud and they would follow along and then they would repeat the sentence back to me in unison.  After that, we went through the worksheets about the book.  The book was about the moon and the phases of the moon.  So I drew three circles on the blackboard and we colored in a full moon, a new moon, and a half moon.  The other worksheet was practicing placing quotation marks at the appropriate places in a sentence.  I wrote all the sentences on the board and then called on students to place the quotation marks.  It was the funnest time I've had tutoring this whole time.  I was able to tutor my favorite girl, Jayanthi.  I quickly realized that she is behind in her reading abilities.  She is II Std. (Second Standard = 2nd Grade) and should be able to read fairly well without having to slowly sound out every word.  However, she can't. Every word was slowly sounded out and it took her a few seconds to realize what the word should be.  Harder or longer words were sounded out correctly, but then she couldn't remember the sounds long enough to put them together.  On the plus side, she comprehended everything that we read and did really well on her worksheets.  I just love it when she holds my hand and smiles at me with her huge brown eyes.  And she has the cutest gold nose ring.  I also tutored Mymonisha in reading today.

During recess, I came back to the Elephant House to fill my water bottle.  When I got back to the school, a couple of the other volunteers said that a couple of girls had asked about me.  It was Jayanthi and Mymonisha :)  At lunch, I have the option to eat with the kids or come back to the Elephant House.  I came back to the Elephant house and ate EasyMac.  Food from home tastes 10 times better here than it does at home.  After lunch, I was in the computer lab tutoring math.  School ended at 2:00PM and I had free time until 4:30PM so I took a nap and it was glorious!

At PT, I started to play tag or "catcher" with Mymonisha and Jayanthi, but a few other little girls came up to me begging for my attention.  I played with them for only a few minutes, but that was enough time for Jayanthi and Mymonisha to be upset with me.  They did not like sharing me.  So much so that when I tried to go play with them again, they would run away from me.  I finally caught up with Jayanthi and told her that it was not nice to ignore someone and that if she was mad at me, she should talk to me about it.  She said that she did not like "this girls."  I told her that I would sometimes have to play with other kids, but that it didn't mean I did not like her anymore.  She smiled at me and wouldn't let go of my hand after that.  Mymonisha took a lot more convincing.  At one point she even cried.  I had Jayanthi talk to her because she wouldn't talk to me.  Mymonisha would come over and talk to Jayanthi in Tamil and then stop, glare at me, and continue talking.  It was difficult to understand what the problem was, but I think I figured it out.  A couple of days ago, I took a video of Jayanthi, Mymonisha, and Annu.  Every night, I download all of my pictures from my phone or camera to my computer so that I have all the memory card room I can for the next day.  So when I went to PT tonight, the video of them was not on my camera.  Mymonisha was upset because she thought I had erased the video.  I tried to explain to her that I transferred them to my computer, but she didn't understand.  I was not able to get Mymonisha to talk to me again tonight...maybe tomorrow.

Dinner was delicious tonight.  We got an order of bananas in.  I love them!  And we had tortillas with rice and guess what else?!  Curry!  I know, I know, pretty amazing.  It was a good type of curry though.

At family time, a boy that is not in my house named Basha, told me that I was a grinch.  And he went on and on in broken English about me being a grinch.  He laughed and laughed when I told him I wasn't.  He brought his friend, Vijay, into the conversation and they spoke in Tamil and laughed at me. I still have no idea what they said, but I punished them with by tickling them :)  Ranjit had to do some homework tonight.  He was doing his times tables.  He had a little eraser that was in the shape of a flip flop.  I put the flip flop on my pinkie toe and they all thought I was hilarious.  I also took song requests tonight.  The usuals came up - The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Jingle Bells, Row Row Row Your Boat.  Another volunteer got henna on her hand from the house mother.  I need to buy some henna so mine can be done.  I'll probably do that tomorrow.  The bugs in the kids' hostel are the worst.  I finally remembered to put more Jungle Juice (98% DEET!) on before heading over.  After about a half an hour, I looked at my arms and they were covered with the carcasses of dead insects.  Gross!  But better dead than biting me!

Now I am all showered and ready for bed.  I feel like today was pretty uneventful.  As I lay here contemplating the day, I recognize some qualities about myself that I need to improve.  I need to be more outgoing.  I get pretty quiet when I'm in larger groups and I think that makes me seem standoffish when I'm not.  I'd really like to get to know the other girls that I'm volunteering with better.  I know my roommates really well, but I haven't really talked to other girls much.  I also need to work on my gratitude.  I am so blessed!  And I don't feel like I show my gratitude as much as I should.  This has already been such an amazing experience and I can't wait for what next week's service will bring me.

Tomorrow we are going to Pondicherry to shop!

Day 8 Complete

Firsts: I discovered Nutella!

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