The atmosphere was calm and everyone was feeling well rested and ready to take on the second day. We have all somehow quickly adapted to the manic traffic that makes India so special. As we quickly zipped past tuk-tuks, rickshaws, motorbikes, cows, goats, buffalos and elephants we all reflected on how amazing yesterday’s first seminar went and what we were hoping to experience from the second day. Today I travelled with the second group of volunteers which consisted of Can, Ellie, Luke and Serena so I had the opportunity to see some of the other schools that our teachers are working with. The first school we arrived at was the “Anuj Public School” in North Delhi. When we arrived the headteacher greeted us with open arms, and she was so grateful to have us there. She opened up the school in 1989 when they only had 70. Now 29 years later, the school has 800 pupils enrolled and 22 teachers. After more observations at another two schools, we made our way back to City Modern Public School where the second seminar of the week was taking place. Serena and Sharon hosted an incredible seminar on “Praise”. I find myself getting emotional throughout the days watching the amazing team of 8 volunteers observe and give feedback to the teachers. The volunteers go above and beyond and the level of passion and kindness they have is something that leaves me speechless.
One of the best parts of the day was seeing the Indian teachers implement the strategies from the previous day’s feedback and seminars. They are so eager to learn and improve, and they really do take the feedback to heart. It was heart-warming to see all of the teachers come back for the second seminar with smiles from ear to ear – now that there is a relationship forming between themselves and our Impact teachers, there were a lot of warm greetings and group selfies (my cheeks are still hurting).
At the end of the day, I asked some of our volunteers for their thoughts on how on the second day had gone. They loved to see the enthusiasm of the students in the schools and how much pride they take in their work. The children are very keen to learn, and love to share their work with you and glow when you compliment them on their skills. The schools are so generous and welcoming, despite having very little.
Due to an unexpected public holiday tomorrow in Delhi, our schools will be closed which means we have a shorter period of time with our teachers. The team are already busy planning ahead for Thursday to ensure we fit everything in and the teachers get the most out of our last 2 days. Everyone is excited to experience another part of Delhi tomorrow as we plan on doing the walking tour and visiting “The red fort”.
As a large group of strangers who only just met on Sunday, it really is amazing how quickly you bond with people when you’re going through something as intense as this trip. This experience has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I was very nervous about coming here because in the past I haven’t travelled to many places and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As an outsider looking in on the classrooms, it has been incredible. As we sat around the dinner table discussing the day, we all couldn’t believe how humbling this experience has been so far, even though it’s only day 2 Kayley said, “I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend my half term break”.
Contribution from Mary Flynn. Want to read more about our trip – read here!