Lots of people ask questions enquiring about what Caitlin and I do after school, or in the mornings, or what we have for breakfast. Here I’ll try and summarise what we get up to on a daily basis to give you all a better idea of what my life is like here!
Generally our day goes like this. Morning wake up at 5.45 then usually I lie in bed until about 6ish, then I get up and join Sarah for our morning yoga routine. It’s been so wet recently that we’ve been doing it on the porch of the accommodation block instead of the roof. When we’re done (About 6.30) I’ll go and write some of my diary and have coffee. We have a mini kitchen that we can use for making tea and coffee and snacks. I’m also over a week behind in my diary so spending every minute trying to catch up, I need to learn how to be succinct! At 7am Caitlin will wake up and I will go and shower, well, throw a jug of water over myself in an attempt to wash. The water here is full of calcium which makes it really hard to soap things up, I always feel like I’ve got a tonne of shampoo stuck in my hair and it’s all sticky and straw like! After that I’ll get dressed, do my make up (everyone here incl the kids are so conscious about what they look like so I bought some which constitutes what you would get free in a magazine when you’re twelve!) put my bindi on(which i’ve been managing to forget about lately), get changed, Sarah will come into her room with her coffee, we’ll chat and I’ll fishtail her hair.
By 8 o clock, Caitlin’s ready and left the room and I’m still running about with a towel on my head and no idea where the key is. Eventually I pull myself together, literally strapping my ankle bracelets and sticking on my pourtu on the way to the new classroom block. There, C and I have started reading with Jammun and Banyan classes in the mornings for 45 mins before breakfast. I read the Gruffalo to them this morning and all the boys started growling and showing me their claws! They were so frightened but loved the story.
Breakfast is at 8.45am and the cooks have a lot yucky things in their repatoire, N Maam has had a wee word with them recently and this week it’s been idli and dosa. Idli is like small rice squished into a semi sphere shape. We usually eat this with coconut chutney, or poori powder. A spicy brown powder we mix with our fingers with oil. Dosa is similar to a thin crispy pancake which is only semi cooked in the middle, it’s folded in half and we eat it with coconut chutney or poori powder.
We have a break at 10.45ish where the kids get given ‘kaanji’ a nutritional warm drink which tastes gross but is supposed to be really good for them. We have coffee (it’s horrendous!) here I like the tea but not the coffee, at home it’s the opposite!
When school finishes we’ll go to the big dining hall and get snack (Which is nearly always gross except when it’s onion pakora) and tea or chai (which is always full of sugar). Then we’ll stay there and chat with the kids and play until the bus comes back for them and then they’re all gone. Head to my room and tidy it up, do some more bits and pieces, usually making flashcards for Nandini Ma’am! At 5.30 Rajesh, Sarah, Caitlin and I walk for an hour (usually until it gets dark) and chat about things that we wouldn’t get a chance to talk about with the other staff. Yesterday it was just Rajesh and I and we spent the whole time discussing the education system in India and Scotland and also comparing governments. There’s lots of similarities between the UK and India and the government system is pretty close to ours back home.
When we get home the power’s usually out and Caitlin and I will hang about, writing our diaries, doing work for school. This week I’ve been making posters about coconuts for Neem and writing a play to do with coconut trees! The power tends to come back pretty soon after we get back from the walk and I’ll come to the comp lab and use the internet. Then by 7 it will go and I’ll go back to the room to find Caitlin conked out asleep on the bed, I’ll waste some more time and then wake Caitlin up and we’ll do excercises that Caitlin’s Grandad apparently taught her! She’s tried to teach me some ballet stuff too and that just does not work out.
At 8.10pm we’ll be prompt for dinner, absolutely ravenous. We rinse our plates and wash our hands and get ready to stuff ourselves with the best meal of the day! Meal times are really sociable as we all eat together in the big dining hall used for school. We all chat and have a laugh and it’s really funsies! We usually pass out exhausted by 9.30/10pm and are ready for action the next day!