Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Monday 26 May

 Today we taught our first class at the monastery- all a bit and miss as at the nunnery! There is no plan or record of what has been done before. I went in with a plan once again mistakenly assuming that as this was the most advanced class we could look at a globe and show them where we are from but we were met with blank expressions. It seems written their English is in most cases ahead of their spoken English but once again, difficult to ascertain levels of comprehension. We ended up playing action games - a two hour lesson which actually works better as it gives one time to ring the changes and end up with the famous copying! I messed up completely by using a permanent marker on the white board so Jen went off to get various cleaning agents to sort it out and spent the rest of the lesson painstakingly cleaning  my mistakes and residue from who knows how many lessons as well!! It was pretty noble of her and fetching it entailed down three floors across a long courtyard and the up fourvfloors to our rooms and of course back again!!! 

I then started getting tummy cramps - possibly from a mango I had eaten yesterday- anyway I felt extremely sorry for myself so opted out of teaching the afternoon session. Jen joined the French girl with class one . She said it was a nightmare with 40! Kids each wanting the teachers attention. It is really hard for her as she had no experience with children. 

Anyway on the up side - I slept most of the afternoon trussed up in three layers of clothing under two blankets. It rained and thundered last night which I enjoyed altho I battled to get to sleep once again. At least I have bought milk powder so tonight I will try it with calcium powder and honey altho maybe not the best for tummy at this point! Wow fascinating what becomes ones focus and how ones decisions are so different - not decisions really but what one's priorities become and what takes on such significance . Really getting a sense of what it is like in very different living conditions and circumstances. Bottom line I guess I have a feel for what a fish that's jumped out of its bowl might feel like!! Certainly comfort zone takes on a new level of understanding!

Josh sent me some wise words saying that travelling is such a great mirror, it manifests our unconscious stuff so readily for us to see; so conscious travel is like life on fast forward. He added "keep those compassion levels high especially towards yourself. Remember you are in the perfect place for what you need to go through...." He then reminded me to take time off and relax. So thank you dearest josh who set off yesterday (27th) with Kate Louise, his wonderful girlfriend, for six months to South America - catching the train from B.A. to Tucuman in Argentina to spend time with his family from his Rotary exchange year, then north thro Bolivia to Peru. 

Jen and I bunked afternoon classes to take a taxi to the VIN office to gobthrobtheir store room of donated activity books to bring some back for us to use with the boys. So easy to say - we caught a taxi - what a mission to accomplish!! It involved setting off on foot, stumbling across a row of taxis with sleeping drivers inside  - on the way Jen got chatting to a woman who as far as we could figure out, wanted us to come and eat at her house for which we would not have to pay - I took her number and she insisted on taking my email address - watch this space... Anyway Jen phoned dinesh who told the taxi man where to take us and negotiated a price having first asked us if we were inside the taxi yet! Once again driving is like nothing I have ever experienced - like orchestrated chaos with motor bikes coming from all sides, cars a centimeter away on both sides and no anger or impatience - just the never ending hooters warning of one's prescence!! There appear to be parts of this enormous sprawling city where the road widening is complete and there is no building rubble in the roads but still there is nothing like the order we are used to in our streets! The upside I guess of the shocking roads and the congestion is that one  has no option but to drive slowly and I guess this is why there are so few accidents in spite of what one would expect. At one point we were so a steep hill and were convinced that the taxis clutch cable would snap - most of the taxis are absolute rattle traps not surprisingly given the condition of the roads! So enough we made it there and back and felt pretty good about what we brought back! We spent the evening cutting up limitless books and sorting for classes! 

Last night was a bitcextreme though - I had no lights in my room, there was no water in the bathrooms and we ran very low on our supplied bottled water... We did have water in the kitchen which of course needs to be boiled. We do have a two plate gas cooker so they much to say thanks for! 

Tum a little shakey but I'm feeling much better. .... It is amazing to me how contact with home and loved ones uplifts me - I suppose it is a no brainer - I have given a lot of thought to the early missionaries and people who set off not knowing where they were headed or what they were in for - incredibly brave and trusting souls and of course without any of the benefits and back up that  we have - least of which being medical!! 

I realise too that one of my high lights is to blog so hang in there those of you who are still journeying with me!! Do excuse the errors as I can't always see that well!! And sometimes I just want to save what I have written without editing so I don't loose it!! 

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