Wednesday, April 19, 2006

School Days

I'm bursting with joy. I have so many photos I want to share but I just don't know where to start.

Monday morning at the RLEK Khausasi Primary School starts with a straightforward inspection of every student's cleanliness. Toes, fingernails, clothes, from top to bottom are inspected. Since most of the students spend their afternoons herding cows and goats, roaming the nearby mountains for wood and fodder, the theory is hopefully on Monday everyone can arrive at least slightly clean.

Witnessing the cleanliness inspection was a little hard to take. A few of the kids had some dirt on their ankles and their fingernails, I guess they just didn't make the cut and my co-teacher, Pushpa Madame, used the age old smackdown and walloped a couple of the kids on back of the noggin. Two others got their ears pulled, Roald Dahl "Matilda"- Miss Trunchbull style. And then one unlucky lad got his hands smacked with a stick for throwing rocks on the roof of the school over the weekend.

The students are incredible. They show up to school with whittled away sharpened pencils, small lead poking out both ends and the pencil, itself, merely the size of the eraser head on one of our famous number two's. Each day the kids rock the same ole' ragged uniform, torn from rummaging through the mountains and constant wear.

I taught english and art for a week. The kids love being given a fresh white sheet of paper, no lines, and some crayons. Draw your dream home- always more room for the animals than the family. Draw your favorite animal- to understand that your lion can be yellow or blue, purple or red!! Truly awesome!!

I slept outside on the verandah of the school and cooked rice and daal every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One evening a ferocious storm rumbled down from the big mountains. I've never seen anything like it before. Winds coming in at 100 kilometres an hour, rains and hail the size of golf balls lashing my aluminium (al-uew-min-e-um) roof. The decibel level was incredible and I had to retreat from the verandah to a small room reserved for the teacher. I tried to fall asleep, but the noise and a small country mouse scurrying beneath the flicker of a candle kept me awake till dawn.

Love to all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sky is beginning to lighten hre. birds have been chirping for two hours. why are thye up so early? why am i up so early? the writing is wonderul.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i want a copy of thethird photo0 from the top.


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