Wednesday, June 25, 2008


June 24, 2008-(Tuesday)- Palumpur, India

I woke up about 4:30am, then I got up, dressed and ate breakfast, all in preparation for my first day of volunteering.
Once at my placement, I became a bit confused. The name of the school is Gayan Deep Public School, and it is located in the village of Arla. The school is run by a man who started it in hopes of bringing affordable education to the poorer citizens of Palumpur. His name is Rajash Shearma. The school was unorganized, lacked even basic resources, and the teachers were without experience. To make it more difficult, the teachers spoke little English and the students, although they had supposedly been taking English courses for years, knew few phrases and words. I did what I could, but I was feeling very inadequate for the task. I was put in with a class of about 10, 9th graders and attempted to converse and teach them a bit about the U.S. The kids were very respectful and curious. We traded questions and answers until it was time to go back to the home base for lunch. After lunch, we had another meeting to debrief from our first days as volunteers. I was not too surprised to find that my experience at the school was not unusual and the program manager promised to help clarify things for all of us tomorrow. After the meeting we were put into groups of 2 and given a task in the city. Each group had a task such as: Find out where the post office is and how much it costs to send a letter, or find out where to buy a phone card and how much it costs in Rupees. Me and Becky had the task of finding out how much material costs and the price for having it made into clothing. This was great as I needed some clothes made for my size. I got a great deal on the cloth and tailoring and will pick up my outfits on Sunday. (total cost for 2 outfits- hand made to fit me: $20) Palumpur is a quaint little town. the people are really nice. The only thing that I just can’t get used to is the filth. Open sewers, garbage everywhere, broken down homes, half- built homes, and animal feces everywhere. I frequently ask myself why they don’t clean up the place. I am hoping to instill into the children at the school a respect for cleaning up their country in order to preserve the beauty of it. I want to start by getting them to clean up their school and the area around it. I will talk with Rajash tomorrow. Well, after dinner I was here, writing this journal/blog. It’s late now, I’m going to bed !

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