I was not going to write an entry for this week because Caleb and I taugh the same material for the same Health class. But I do feel it is worth at least a short entry because the kids were really great. The previous week we taught at Tagore Public School in a slum near Sainik Colony. This week we traveled a lot farther to Miracle orphanage and school. Miracle is a Christian organization run by a very nice man named Jeremiah. There are around 30 kids at the orphanage who either have no parents, 1 parent, or parent(s) who cant take care of them. The orphanage is the upper floor of a concrete building, with multiple 6-bed dorm-style rooms, a common room, a kitchen, and 2 bathrooms in a very dirty slum. The children have devotionals every morning, eat breakfast, go to the school nearby for a few hours, come back and eat lunch, have some recess time, have dinner, then have bedtime. The school nearby is where we did our classes, and has about 100 students on the roster. The school building is one long concrete building with 4 very small classrooms. 1st-7th grade is taught, with 2 classes sharing a room except for 7th having its own (I believe). The 7th grade class knew a lot of English so we were able to teach them easily and engage them with the lesson, which went so well because they knew some of the material but didnt know other parts. The younger classes were a bit harder, but we did have a translator from the 7th grade class come in which still meant they could learn and get the information. As with the week before, we adjusted the worksheets and information given based on their age. The children at the school were all very friendly and very bright. By the second day, so many different kids would ask us to come teach their class that day, and wanted to hold our hands during recess and play hand games with us. They do the same thing with the 2 IVHQ volunteers placed there, and I guess just extended the warmth to us because we were also different. I can definitely see how volunteers get attached to kids while working in an orphanage, because I was starting to care about them after only 5 days.
Every day after the school teaching this week, we went back to Tagore and worked on a second project: painting our sign by the bathrooms! The wall was concrete and had dirty paint flaking off, so we decided we needed to make it a multiple-day project and do it right instead of just painting over it. On the first day, we got some sandpaper and steel wool to remove all of the paint and old plaster on the rectangle we wanted to use. The next day, we mixed up and spread a layer of new plaster. The third day, we sanded the dried plaster until it was smooth, then painted a coat of white. The last day, I got up early before placement and did a second coat of white, then after the orphanage school we came back to actually paint on the words. We decided to write “Use Soap” in English as well as Hindi; the school emphasizes teaching English but we still wanted younger children and those not good at English to be able to understand. I was complimented on my Hindi writing skills haha. I apparently can copy it very neatly. I was quite proud of our sign, and very glad we got the chance to leave our mark on Tagore Public School.