Delhi Day 3, post 2 of 2, Learning More


Delhi Day 3, post 2 of 2, Learning More

We all went to our placement yesterday and were expected to dress in our outfits we bought. We learned that in India teachers are expected to be treated with respect. The female teachers here wear the salwar kameez or a saree. This is considered more formal clothing.

I learned that there are two types of pants that go with the salwar kameez, loose and tight. Here I am with the tight pants on. This is before wiggling the rest of the pant leg over my foot on the one side. I let the sales girl pick out everything except the tops. I  chose a top and had her choose the rest.

Here we are in our work outfits. We bought two. I will show you the rest tomorrow. From left to right we are, Patrice, Alecia, Blair, and Wendy.

These are our chefs making saag paneer. After getting the spinach, saag, ready they left the kitchen. I took a piece of another vegetable they hadn’t chopped up yet and ate it. AFTER THAT, what an idiot I can be sometimes, I asked if it was okay to eat it. They said yes but only after it has been washed. 6 pepto bismal tablets later I was back in business. I did not get sick either so no lesson learned. I am writing this the next day. I had been so careful up to that point too.

For the first two dinners they made us what I consider unhealthy types of American food. Pizza, chips, soda, veggie burgers, and fries. Sean has LOVED it all. At breakfast I asked if we could have India food instead for dinners. They told me that they were making the food for Sean, lol, so he would feel comfortable. How thoughtful that was! Sean thinks they make American food better than Americans. I have to admit, the fries were something special.

We are having dal instead of pizza tonight.

Vickey has 5 colors of turban he wears. He interchanges them. His beard is also long, coiled up, and pinned close.

These photos are the lane we take walking to the school in the slum. Every single person we saw said hello (almost all said it is English) and smiled. The feeling we got was very warm and welcoming.

India is a place splashed with color everywhere.

Sean and I are learning to play the Indian game Coco.

It is a tag-like game with 2 teams. One team crouches down with every other person who is crouching facing opposite the person next to him or her. The other team runs around the people crouching tapping some of them on the back of their head. You can only tap them when they are facing away from you. Once tapped you can get up and chase the person or anyone else on their team. If you catch them they are out. You can sit down when you want and let someone else from your team be tagged and get up and run.

This is the group Sean and I are working with for the first 2 hours during our placement. They are 2nd and 3rd grade students who need extra help. I am to teach them science (can you believe the luck!) for the first hour. I was asked to teach them about the nutrition and what the different food molecules do in your body.  Sean will be tutoring math for the 2nd hour.

The first group of children is where Jim and Alecia work for their 3 hours. The second is where Sean and I work for the last hour. They are the little ones. Two of them got into a fight over who could sit next to Sean, so I separated them and put one on either side of Sean.

Here we are at the large Vidya school.

This is a chemistry lab, all funds for constructing and running this school come from donors, many of them corporate donors like GE.

The school was started by a woman who was horrified to learn that many of the slum children, particularly the girls, were not receiving any education.

The students learn computer coding starting in 1st grade.

The school is a gem in the middle of a slum area. It made my heart feel bigger to see what these people were doing to help these kids. I feel really fortunate to be even a small part of it.

As we were driving back I saw this girl, she ran across the busy street and here she is walking alone. The striking contrast there compared to all the school children we saw is heart breaking.

For the first half of the women’s issues class Sean had a lesson in how to play cricket. He loved it.

Check out part one of this post here.







Our second full day in Delhi, India with Cross Cultural Solutions

Cross Cultural Solutions

Our second full day in Delhi, India with Cross Cultural Solutions

I waited to shower today until everyone else had showered. Our flat ran out of water after 4 people showered. It wasn’t a big deal. I don’t always shower everyday at home anyway. Jim said, “Ran out of water? How does a flat run out of water?” I don’t know, but it did. Sean hadn’t had a shower either. He was cool with it too. Sean has been doing really well. He is enjoying this trip greatly, rolling with it all and getting into the spirit of the experience.

Looking like I need a shower!
Looking like I need a shower!

Today we spent in orientation and clothes shopping. Tomorrow we will begin our volunteering. Sean and I have been assigned to a 1st/2nd grade class helping with math and English, then we will help Jim and Alecia with the preschool class until 12. It was the 16th or 18th (sorry I forgot which) anniversary of Cross Cultural Solutions today.

The cake had a core of sliced fruit. I am going to have to try that at home. Below is a photo of the staff. The woman in the center is Bella, or Bella-Ji as my Hindi teacher Sandeep told me she should be called. I really liked her.

Here is a photo of Lalit, a member of the staff at CCS, pointing at the newspaper telling about the election results.  They have no majority now after the election, so unless a couple of the groups can form a coalition there will have to be another election in 6 months.  Notice the mark on his pointing finger. It was made with indelible ink, so it takes a few days to wear off. It does not wash off. It is the mark that shows he has voted.

This is Bella giving us information about CCS. I like her.  She would be fun to hang out with, I can tell.

She had us tell our motivations for coming. That is what the list above is.

We are very lucky to have such a great group.

Yes, they are as small in real life as they look in the photo.

We went out to lunch yesterday and had dosa. I promise to come home knowing how to make them. They are Sean’s favorite dish now. The person with the turban is Vicky. He is a Sikh-man. His hair is down to his butt, if he were to take his turban off. He coils it around on top of his head after he washes it so he can put his turban on. Sikhism comes out of Hinduism. It used to be that each Hindu family would give their oldest son to the Sikhs to become a warrior to protect the country. These men formed the foundation for Sikhism.

Isn’t that cool. It matches my rings.

Oops, they all have the flash in their eyes. The group is waiting for a delicious lunch.

These are the appetizers.

Jim and Wendy.

The man in the back has concrete blocks balanced on a towel on his head. That has to be so heavy on his neck. Ouch!

We finished the day by going shopping for the traditional clothes the women have to wear when volunteering. Some of us loved it more than others. I knew it was going to be like that when Jim started asking how long the shopping was going to take before we even left the office.  Half the group bailed and went back while the other half kept shopping.

Don’t you love the bright colors? The outfit we bought is called a salwar kameez. I bought two. You will see them when I wear them to work.

Check out out part one and two of our first day in Delhi, here and here.

Check out the next post here.