The second half of the final week was just as much fun but quite different. Thursday was a national holiday so all the volunteers took the opportunity to make one final trip to Jodhpur for sightseeing and shopping. Many scarves, lots of fabric, saris, teas and spices were bought but by early afternoon we were all back at the Guest house to escape the heat.
|So many colourful things to buy!|
|The impressive Jodhpur Fort|
During the final week we have been distributing bookshelves and books to all the 5 schools we have been working with. Surendra organized custom made shelves with plenty of room for more donations in future. We have given the schools a mixture of English and Hindi books. Some are Indian stories and some from UK and we have distributed all the books we have used over the past 6 weeks. Hopefully the teachers and the pupils will be able to make use of the new libraries in their schools. Sanjay and I took Thursday’s school their books on Wednesday to ensure they wouldn’t miss out. All the teachers seem really grateful for the donations.
On Wednesdays we have been working with all the classes from 1 to 8 and it has been amazing to see how much their confidence has grown, they are happy to see us come and eagerly await their turn, wondering what things are inside the BookBus bags! Some of the pupils in class 7 and 8 are exceptionally bright and it was great to see their excitement when they understood the exercise of a code challenge, where A=1 B=2 etc, at first puzzled, when it clicked you could see their sense of achievement. Wednesday’s school is a Sanskrit school, which means that as well as learning Hindi and English the pupils also learn Sanskrit from an early age, a subject which is usually reserved for high school children.
On Friday Sanjay decided to take us on a “cross country” ride to school. A kind of route that has no “real” roads and shows you exactly dry how the landscape is, how the people live and farm there. It was all great fun, especially when we got the 2 jeeps stuck in deep sand! A lot of pushing and dry branches under the wheels and we were out but not before we all got a sand bath! The highlight of the ride was seeing a huge orange and yellow rattlesnake slither across our path like lightening; too fast for cameras but a great sighting.
The children at Friday’s school made sure we had a fantastic last day. They are always so full of energy, keen to learn and happy to take part in anything. The teachers really got stuck in with the colouring and the activities too.
Pipe cleaners were all out by Friday but the children here got windmills which are always a hit wherever they are made. The last books were distributed, the final worksheets filled in and the last renditions of favourite songs were sung and then it was time to leave. It was a very fond but sad farewell with many smiles and waves and a promise of more times together in the near future.