Emily – Day 3 & 4 Tuesday & Wednesday
Today and yesterday have been amazing! Going to the GNCEM mobile school has been an experience I’ll never forget. When we got on the school bus, we were overwhelmed by children who, without hesitation, were so affectionate, loving and welcoming. Despite it being their school bus, they made space for us to sit down…and then climbed all over us! I loved every second of it.
Their school is a wonderful place, run by some truly inspiring people and teachers. The children were so happy and smiley despite coming from, and returning to the streets. The pure joy the children had when they played, praised and prayed is impossible to convey in a short blog. They made me smile but at the same wonder how I (and the rest of the UK population) are so miserable when we have so much. In many ways, however, those children are far better off than we are! Two particular things will stick with me from our time at the mobile school: the girl who simply kissed my cheek then put a beautiful flower in my hair, and the boy I sat with during his Maths lesson who was very clever and kept asking for more difficult sums (which I had to do myself in order to mark!) Today, I also had the chance to teach some 2-3 year olds!
Yesterday afternoon we went to a girls’ hostel which was lovely. They were so friendly and playful and I loved getting to know some of the older girls. I have some fantastic photos which the girls enjoyed seeing. They especially love looking at photos of themselves not because they’re vain (like so many Western children!) but because so many of them don’t know what they look like! This afternoon we did something completely different and went shopping in the ‘new market’ and ‘park street’ areas of Kolkata. It was a great chance to buy salwars, saris and souvenirs for people back home and we (the girls!) loved the experience of shopping in India (the male members of the team, not so much; to them, shopping is still shopping no matter where you are in the world).
I really have got so much out of the experiences from the last couple of days. Great apart from the increasing collection of bites on my left foot and the fact that my clothes are now beginning to smell like curry