India Service Trip 2016: May 27 and 28, written by Juia McClellan
Today we teachers enjoyed our first day of classes. many of us started with name games in order to begin the daunting task of learning all of the children's names. Than we spent the day delving into the wonders of language arts, science, math, and history. I think I can speck for all of the teachers when I say these kids are truly incredible. They are smart, thoughtful, and curious, not to mention nuggets of love.
The various levels of classes all began with different projects including the reading of Charlotte's Web, learning about the systems of the body, doing tricky long multiplication and describing the atmosphere. We also enjoyed a thrilling game of soccer in which we lost by a mere 2 goals with the help of Joybells best players. Some of the younger children also experimented with some beautiful braiding and one even taught me ballet.
This morning the students put on a spectacular assembly for us lead by one of the 10th graders, Palmo. The kids sang three wonderful songs for us. Rangdol and Mary prepared speeches for us and we all joined in prayer. Five year old Mary taught us that crocodiles cant stick out their tongues, beasts are blind for one month after giving birth and reindeer have 6 stomachs. All in all, it was a successful day in our little paradise overlooking the Himalayas. We can’t wait for our trip to a Tibetan village tomorrow.
Today was wild. Some of the kids joined us as we traveled to a Tibetan Buddhist Temple and then a Hindu Temple. Afterwards, we ventured to a Tibetan Women’s Handicraft Village and watched talented women weave amazing carpets. The efficiency and delicacy of the work was truly incredible. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the price of the finished product, the women were underpaid and undervalued for their artistry and work. On the way home we stopped to buy a myriad of mangoes and most of us caught some afternoons Z’s. Once back home at Joybells, we rested from the heat and excitement of the day. Then some of us ventured to the local convenience store to buy some of our favorite chips and cakes. On the way back, we escaped a sudden rain shower at a local chai shop run by a lovely widowed woman. She told our guide that she looking for a husband for her daughter. Unfortunately, we couldn’t help her with that project!
We then joined the kids for our daily regimen of volleyball and soccer. It was a thrilling game until the approach of thunder and lightning. The teachers came out on top, thanks to the help from some Joybells’ players, notably our rock-solid goal keeper, Nawang and our 3 offensive players, Lalith, Delea and Suman. The game was cut short so we could avoid the coming storm, and what a storm it was! It acted as both our entertainment and showers for the night. We are all now mostly dry, admiring the fading thunder and lightning and enjoying each others’ company without lights or electricity, and thinking about tomorrow.