I went to observe in two more schools. The first was a disaster - the young girl had 30 3 - 6 year olds and it was very clear she had absolutely no idea what to do with them! It turned out that she was filling in for the teacher who was on a workshop somewhere! All very familiar!! Once again there was very little in the room and she made the children endlessly recite the alphabet in English and Nepalese whole wielding a long piece of hose pipe that she slapped on the floor to get the attention ofwanderers' quite terrifying! My heart went out to her and the children as she really did not know what to do with them!!
The next school had two teachers whom I could tell at a glance were experienced but once again the only thing happening was little fingers holding pencils or pens and writing Nepalese and English letters in battered exercise books. There was a young Turkish volunteer/girl who asked me what she could do with the children now that they knew their body parts in English which I think most volunteers do with children! She had brought a box of memory picture cards so I showed her how to play the three period lesson with them to teach vocab to small groups of children. She caught on immediately and asked Deepak who was with me to give her all the words for the instructions in Nepalese so the children would understand her. She was starting with another host family and had had two terrible nights because there were rats in her room that crawled on her bed- I was struck dumb!!! She went to sleep with her host sister on the first night and was told that they did nothing!!! Rats or mice who cares- that is tooooo much! I hope by now that VIN has sorted her out.
The great thing about this school was Anita one ofvyhecteachers told me she had done a 5 month Montessori course 2 years ago. When I asked if she had any manuals she told me they were in the office. I went to see them and was thrilled to find great practical life write ups and illustrations with photos for each step.
She told me that all the teachers had given a list to VIN of the material they would like for their classes and that this was being delivered on Sunday.
Deepak and I then walked home to his house - once again- I surprised myself with how far I could walk without my feet complaining!!!
Jennifer had left to return to the monastery. I stayed on and ended up peeling the potatoes for Saili dai's 44th birthday celebration meal that night. It was a lot of fun - chicken and veggies were added to the usual fare and a small glass of lemonade. Deepak had bought his dad a musth sweet sponge birthday cake with lots of creamy icing and two bi 44 shaped birthday candles which Saili dai blew out while we all sang to him and after his brother had smeared some of the icing on his face - which stayed their all evening. The other interesting thing is that his daughter in law colored his hair in the morning using a toothbrush to carefully colour each hair!
It was a super evening especially as there were three more volunteers all girls in their early 20's(2 French, one UK) who arrived to stay with the family for about 3 weeks - it's obviously a form of income but also an incredible experience for the volunteers. They had two rooms off the middle floor patio.
There was a Nepalese man and his wife who also stayed over for Saili dais birthday. He was my age and fascinating as he could speak English because he had been in the British army for some 20 years. A really nice humble man whom I hope might visit SA some time as he has a daughter in the US and another in the UK whom he plans to visit next year.