Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Bye, bye, Miss"

Here the female teachers are called 'Miss' and their male counterpart is'sir'. I left school on Thursday afternoon and the teachers had managed to gather some of the children who were done with their exams for the day. The teachers thanked me with a little speech, a thika and a little gift - the Pashupatinath temple made out of carton and displayed in a plastic box. Very kitsch...but the gesture is very endearing.

The kids are doing well; they have almost all mastered simple additions up to 10 and a few have advanced to additions up to 20. They all know the alphabet by heart and they can count to 100. However, it’s so automatic that they have to think hard if you write random numbers on the whiteboard. They know the body parts and they are able to illustrate the verbs: sitting, standing, jumping, running, dancing, laughing, listening and clapping. We have learned the days of the week and played bingo numerous times. They know many animals and how to spell them, but they cannot read yet. We have sung and danced – Hokey Pokey, If you’re Happy and You Know it and The Wheels on the bus Go Round and Round to mention a few classics. It’s been both fun and frustrating at the same time. And though I might not really miss them, they will have a special place in my heart. 

Saying goodbye to the kids was not as hard as expected - which was a relief to be honest. Miss Sarita did explain to them that this was my last day and they nodded their little heads very seriously and started saying "bye, bye, miss" - and that just made me smile. Samundra shouted "I'm fine, miss. How are you?" - one of the only English sentences he know...also very endearing. And I will definitely remember Anil who made sure that I now have a connection to Justin Bieber...Anil always sang "Baby, baby, baby ohh" repeatedly. I think it was the only lyrics he knew of the song. And I could go one; there are so many other sweet memories...But you will have to hear those another time.

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