Namaste from India!
It has been a long time since my last blog entry, and I fear that in the time that’s gone by my integration into Indian life has resulted in my forgetting how to write in English. No matter, I shall do my best.
The last couple of months (as with every other month before) have been an up and down affair, with events that have delighted me as well as those that have left me in the depths of despair.
On the school front, things are going fantastically well, with the villagers beginning to understand the long term benefits of the school as well as coming to trust us and our judgment. Where two months ago every new innovation was met with resistance and grumblings of extra work with no extra pay, now the staff enthusiastically take on new activities, often without prompting. We’ve started giving milk- an unknown luxury- to the children, with the cooks enthusiastically cycling off to the nearest town to collect. On the last school holiday my heart jumped with glee when I arrived at the village to find the teachers and children singing, dancing and playing our school Dholak (local drum) simply because they wanted to with the cooks serving up a small snack for whoever had turned up even though it was their day off.
Things, however, have hardly progressed on the administrative front, with no-one to keep an eye on things once we’re gone as well as our accounts being desperately out of date. I must admit that the difficulties I face with RBKS- our Indian partner organisation- often result in me neglecting this side of my responsibilities, but it seems that our long search for a coordinator we can trust may be coming to an end. I just need to convince RBKS that they should relieve him of his other duties so he can focus on our school. If we manage to bag him we should hopefully have a great system for monitoring, account keeping and continuing to improve the school established by the middle of February.
Other than this, it’s great to be reconnected with the wider world. I can sincerely say that not a day goes by when I don’t think about how incredible it is that people thousands of miles away have stopped to spare a thought for a few kids in a small school in tribal India and a few of these people have spared more than a thought in order make that school possible.