Jim and I and Colonel Singh and Joy (the directors of Joybells orphanage) are so impressed by the amazing effort and dedication of this year’s group of NMH student teachers. They are working very hard in their teaching teams of Math, History Science and English, despite the intense heat and muggy weather. Each team consists of 3 or 4 students who are responsible for teaching their particular discipline to all the classes of orphanage children (from preschool through 10th grade) each day of the week. Some classes are small, with only 3 children, and some classes have as many as 11 children. The NMH student teachers are putting a great deal of creativity and thought into their lesson plans and projects for the children. They are also learning firsthand about the care and effort that go into the job of an educator, and from this, they are naturally developing a much deeper appreciation for their teachers at home.They are touched by the many rewards of teaching, especially when they come from this particular group of children who are so loving and eager to learn. Tired by the end of the day, the NMHers sometimes go to bed as early as 9 PM!
Today was Thursday, the day that the orphanage children forgo their midday meal and take the food they would have eaten down to the poorer children who live in in the shanty village by the river. We fasted along with them for solidarity of spirit, and some of us accompanied them to the shanty village at lunchtime, helping to serve the rice, veggies, and homemade mango pickles to the hungry children. Across the river, we could see a newly constructed college of law with so many beautiful buildings. The stark extremes of India are evident wherever we go, astounding, frustrating and mystifying.