I can’t believe that the third month is already coming to an end, as these last three months have gone so fast. Although it seems like ages ago that we were arriving for our orientation week at the FSL center at Kundapur.
We had a whole week to get us prepared for the new Indian lifestyle, our projects and so many things that should be challenging us for the next 9 month. It was a really nice week to get to know the other volunteers, prospective travel partners and friends. After that I was pretty sad that it’s already over, but also so excited, as it was the day when I finally got to know my host family where I would stay together with Marie, my co-volunteer.
It actually live in a very nice family. Our host mother is so kind and even though we can’t communicate so much due to the language barrier, she always smiles so nice that it is hard to don’t like her. Host father and host uncle aren’t that often at home as they are working and as they don’t speak English, we don’t have so much contact with them. With our host sister Ramya we have the closest contact. We’re always talking about how the day was, but also about India, Germany and so many other things. She even showed us how to cook some Indian dishes. Sometimes our two host brothers are at home, too. They are fun and it’s nice to talk with them. Actually I am very happy with that kind family and the place where we are living is just so beautiful, too.
My project, Anagalli Higher Primary School, is located only five minutes’ walk from home. It is a pretty small school with only about 50 kids from 1st to 7th standard. The headmaster gave us a schedule which we usually follow as far as the teachers or the kids don’t ask us to change classes or anything. So we have between 4 to 5 lessons to give per day. As I am teaching together with Marie and the classes are pretty small, we have the chance to concentrate on the several pupils that have very different levels of English skills. It is important to try to support each pupil just as they need so that the intelligent and quick children won’t get bored and the slow kids won’t be left behind. It is kind of a struggle to reach that, but we really try. We also realized that the main problems of English language for the pupils are not the vocabulary but the spelling (many have hard issues with reading) and the speaking in whole sentences. So we always try to get them to talk with us, which are pretty difficult because of their low English knowledge, and do many spelling tests. It isn’t that easy, but it makes so happy to see at least some results and the kids are so nice and friendly.
In general I am having a great time here. It is just kind of impossible to describe it all. The time during the week in school is sometimes exhausting and there are some frustrating days, but most of the time it’s fun. Two days per week I joined a Bollywood dance class at FSL center where I meet up with some volunteer friends and enjoy dancing. On the weekends we often travel together (yet Gokarna, Hampi, Mangalore, Mysore, Bangalore) what is really exciting and a wonderful experience or we just meet up to drink some juice at the beach.