Monday, 18 March 2013

Book Bus India - First impressions

A report from Sarah on her first week in India.

After a brief but fascinating stopover in Delhi, including a traditional rickshaw ride in the maze of chaotic and narrow market streets of Old Delhi, I was greeted by a friendly and familiar face at Jodhpur's small airport; Kelly, my tour leader from my Book Bus trip to Zambia in 2010.

I met my fellow Book Bus volunteers during the afternoon and heard the experiences of the first week of school in India over a cup of local chai tea. We're working with five village schools on the rural outskirts of Mandore, which we reach by jeep (avoiding the many many cows which wander freely anywhere and everywhere - roads, motorways, markets - due to their sacred status in Hindu religion), and we've been welcomed with unfailing enthusiasm and excitement by the children and teachers at all of them. During the current winter term, school starts at approximately 10.30am and the children break for lunch at 1.15. We split that time between classes one to five, varying the books we're reading and exercises we do afterwards to ensure we're building the children's confidence and ability in English while introducing them to new words, games and ideas.

This weekend, we're taking an early morning tuk tuk ride to the imposing Fort and museum of Mehrangarh and then a trip to the ancient Rajasthan city of Osian, an oasis in the Thar Desert, inclusive of a camel ride for those daring enough to try it!

- Sarah Morrissy, Mandore, March 2013