All the Children

I woke up in my new palace to the smell of breakfast. I hopped out of bed, put my clothes on and headed out to breakfast.

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Yeah that’s all for me. One person. This is why I’m getting fat. I also felt like Richie Rich because I was sitting along at a large table all by myself. Quite lonely. I also have a driver who shuttles me about. He doesn’t talk to me, so I talk to myself.

We were told to leave at 8 instead of 9:30, so we spent about an hour with my team leader’s host family. We both lamented the missed sleep. On the bright side, he lives in a 140 year old house that he was more than happy to let me nose around in. Check out this magnificent lock on the rice bins:

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He also has a beautiful courtyard filled with lemon trees. He asked me what kind of fruit trees I kept in my courtyard. Um. The lack of courtyard makes it pretty hard to keep my fruit crop prosperous.

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When 9:30 finally arrived, we picked up the rest of the ladies and headed to a school. We were immediately shuffled onto a stage where a class of twelve year olds were waiting anxiously with their questions.

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They wanted to know all about cowboys, Texans, Americans, and Justin Bieber. I cannot escape the Biebs here. I’ve also been asked if I know him, because I’ve come to learn that all white people know each other. Hahaha. We were going somewhere one day and our Indian host for the day told me “your friends are here.” I asked which friends and he said “All the white people. You know them yes?” I could not stop laughing. It’s weird to be on the other end of that.

After the cowboy Q&A we were escorted around the school. The kids were so fun and so excited to see us. It made me really miss teaching.

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These kids are so happy to see me. Soooooo happy.

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So this kid just moved to India from Chicago, he had been there his entire life. He has been in Kerala for about three months and it was really interesting listening to some of the challenges he has faced with such a massive cultural change.

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One of the neatest things I learned was that the kids get multiple breaks during the day where they can do recreational activities in the courtyards. They are all dancing fools.

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They were also practicing for their annual day festival this weekend, and we got a special performance by their dance teacher. Holy moly. We were staring in amazed silence.

The most special experience of the day was spending a couple of hours speaking with the school principal. She was amazing and hilarious. It was great to get to spend so much time learning about the Indian education system.

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I was beyond jealous when she explained that in India the schools select their curriculum up until age 10. After that point, they follow state-mandated curriculum and testing. Dear Texas, can we do that too?

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Those pants are awful. Good Lord. And I just realized that this is about 900 pictures, so I’ll cover the rest of the day tomorrow. Bye friends.

22 Comments

Filed under India, Uncategorized

22 Responses to All the Children

  1. Jodi

    Hi Cely! I am loving your posts about India! I too am a teacher and my school is heavily populated by Indian children. The families that I have come to know, teach, and just adore are fascinating, as they have taught me so much about the Indian culture. The children are beautiful, and I’m humbled by their kindness to me always! Thanks for the beautiful pictures and of course, the hilarity of it all:-) safe travels!

  2. Wow, can’t even escape the biebs all the way over there. I’m sorry. I’m sure those kids loved you!!

  3. Carrie

    “Your friends are here” —hahahahahaha. Keep posting!! I’m an educator, too, and this is fascinating!

  4. Lisa

    New to your blog, Lovin it!!

  5. Do they go to school all year round? What are the class sizes like?

    The Kidless Kronicles

    • Reese's Runner

      The schools I have been to so far are year round. The class sizes have been around 12-15 students. MUCH smaller than home. Lucky teachers!

  6. Your trip looks amazing, don’t worry about eating too much or how your pants look, enjoy every damn second of the journey. Love all of the pics!

  7. I love your posts from India! So glad you’ve been able to share your journey. The kids are so adorable – even the grumpy looking ones
    :-)

  8. It’s impossible to escape the Biebs, ha!

  9. Allyssa

    I was just thinking how cute your pants were when you had to go and say they were awful!

    I’m loving your journey in India! So much fun to read about and see!

  10. Jo from Alaska

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey with us! I check in every day; I don’t want to miss a single post! Sound like you are learning so many things.

  11. Sarah H

    That principal looks so regal and gorgeous in her lilac sari :)

    And the kids are precious! So happy to see that all of them spend so much time outside!

  12. Justin

    That teacher obviously is channeling JT and MJ in his dance moves. UUNNNNOOORRIIGGINNAAALLLLL. Insert bardot’s not impressed face.

    • Christine

      Aaawwwwww…Ya think? Admit it. It was cute. Bdot has taken to snorting like a javelina to get her grumpy point across lately.

      • Justin

        She’s just like her daddy. She loves top gear by the way. BBC version not the USA one. She loves Jeremy.. her mom (cely) has a thing for Richard hammond..its embarrassing . I told cely to tell you she likes watching top gear..but I doubt the message was relayed.

  13. Christine

    Yeah. No. No top gear 4 bdot. Npr only. She is a nerd too!

    • Justin

      Christine…. no. My furbaby likes cars as well. I’ll prove it…say: ” bardot! Car ride!” I’m sure her reaction will be excitement. I will email you the ways in which to keep her less grumpy. Did Cely leave her Texas tech blanket with y’all?

  14. One of my favorite posts yet. Those kids are just adorable – how could that not be a happy day?

    The line about knowing all the white people just killed me dead. I lived in Zambia for 4 years (many moons ago) and you’re right, it’s quite odd being on the other end of that.

  15. Daisy

    I LOVE that picture of all the little ones in the Euro kids outfits. I had to look closely and make sure they weren’t wearing fast food cashier outfits to advertise their school sponsor or something, lol.
    Also, my family and I went to Africa a few years ago and everywhere we went, all the little kids would point at my brother and yell “JACKIE CHAN, JACKIE CHAN” Hilarious. I wish there were a famous Asian actress people know in remote areas so I could play rock star for a week. Being called Lucy Liu or Mulan just doesn’t quite cut it for me.

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