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Camels and Elephants and Monkeys, Oh my!

What a whirl wind of a first week. Sirohi has greeted me already with exotic animal sightings, festivals, parades, field visits and teacher’s trainings. I have already been involved in so many things and I have been here only one week. My week has been filled with getting to know colleagues, the town and simply how to live. It’s a whole new way of living from customs, food and how to get around. I have 3 meals a day prepared for me and my room cleaned by my caretaker.  I am interning with a Non-Government Organization called Educate Girls. They strive to bridge the gender gap in education and learning. They have created a structure of teaching called the Creative Learning Technique that introduces Math, Hindi and English is a way of hands-on learning using flash cards, charts and the like. It is a 15 minute walk to work in the morning but it’s acceptable to show up between 9:30 and 10:00am. Time is not of true importance for this relaxed lifestyle. It’s quiet nice to not be rushed and ruled by the ticking hands of a clock.

This week I went on a field visit to a school in Pindwara and got to see CLT in action. That afternoon we visited a small begger community to continue in the negotiation of sending their girls to school. Since the daughter’s are already engaged (even at age 6) the father’s see no need in educating the girls.We have a long ways to go in the relationship but progress has already been had. I also got the chance to attend 3 days of teacher’s training. The trainings were required by government and were put on by Educate Girls in order to introduce CLT in the schools. On the third day I found myself sitting in the middle of the circle at lunch time and being peppered with questions about American culture and the education system. It turned into a time of singing and dancing even though I had no idea what I was doing. They brought me candies and sweets to enjoy while in the meeting, they knew the way straight to my heart.

The parades were amazing. 3 festivals of different religions fell on the same day and it stayed peaceful amidst the pride.

The parades were amazing. 3 festivals of different religions fell on the same day and it stayed peaceful amidst the pride.

Mid-day meal at the school where I got to engage in some very good discussion with teachers

Mid-day meal at the school where I got to engage in some very good discussion with teachers

The teachers also wanted their picture taken :)

The teachers also wanted their picture taken :)

Meeta, a Team Balika member, engaging in the Creative Learning Technique with young students

Meeta, a Team Balika member, engaging in the Creative Learning Technique with young students

Each village gets to choose their own slogan with Educate Girls

Each village gets to choose their own slogan with Educate Girls. This is the EG symbol.

Teacher's training with the best Master trainer in the world

Teacher’s training with the best Master trainer in the world

This is my guest house where I have it all to myself!

This is my guest house where I have it all to myself!

My companions at the guest house

My companions at the guest house

My first day at the office this guy was working right outside

My first day at the office this guy was working right outside

What a welcome to India, I couldn’t have asked for a better first week of my internship! Packed with excitement and joy, amazing food and people, unusual wild animals and sights but this is my life now and I choose to embrace it. ~Anna

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgivness, selfishness and fears.” ~Ceaser Pavese

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One thought on “Camels and Elephants and Monkeys, Oh my!”

  1. Amanda Rolens on January 24, 2014 at 12:17 am said:

    Ah your posts and pictures prove that you are having an adventure of a lifetime! I am excited to read more as time passes and read about the adventures and work you do for all the wonderful girls! Keep up the amazing work and enjoy your time :)

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