We woke up to the sound of activity – people talking and playing at the early hour of 7am. This was quite a shock to us as we had just experienced the almost 24 hour journey the day before. Despite the initial lack of enthusiasm to leave the comfort of our beds, we soon were revived with breakfast. There were two options for breakfast: vegetable curry with rice cakes or chocolate cereal and toast. Surprisingly enough, of these two options the curry was more popular.
Having finished the traditional Indian breakfast we walked over to the courtyard where our first lessons would take place. We were instantly greeted by students of Sri Jayendra, who surrounded us with a mixture of high fives, hugs and demands for our autographs.
Having almost run out of ink in our Biros, we eventually made our way up to the stage facing the courtyard. Hundreds of students lined up in front of us, and began their morning prayer. This involved singing and chanting. The headmistress Usha began by bringing to stage all the people whose birthday it was. An adaptation of ‘Happy Birthday’ then was sung by all of the students (which happens everyday). After all of the usual routines were complete, we each introduced ourselves to the children, and received gifts of flowers, and Ms Bradley, Ms Grainger and Mr Pearce all received an embroidered silk shawl, a homemade necklace and bunches of flowers too.
It was now time for us to meet our first classes, who waited obediently in line for us to collect them. These initial lessons were simply to learn more about each other – our hobbies, interests and subjects we take. Each group was around 6 students, all excited to be taught by us. Every student was awarded at least 1 sticker, which seems to be the greatest gift they could receive.
Having finished a hard day of working, we returned to our rooms to briefly plan for the next day’s lessons, and then set off to a department store, where the girls chose fabrics for their Sarees while we chose from a selection of traditional Indian suits.
We finally returned back from the store after a successful day of teaching and getting to know all the children at Sri Jayendra.
– Hugo Mutkin (School)