Saturday, 1 March 2014

Imogen's First Impressions of Nandyal

Abi and I began our Indian adventure very differently from one another. It is my second go at travelling to India alone and if I'm honest I felt more nervous this time around. Homesickness is something that has always been a struggle for me but I was determined not to let it take over my experience here. Nandyal is a strange place; you walk down a road and see stalls filled with fruits and spices and bullock carts with crops from the fields and then suddenly there is a supermarket or I suppose what you can only assume is a supermarket (maybe super is a slight over exaggeration). There is a new road in progress
 however I am yet to see anyone working on it. People walk down the railway line like there is no danger in doing so, animals such as pigs, monkeys and cows walk aimlessly in the middle of a traffic filled road. Women carry heavy loads of crops and fruits on their heads, children run bare foot over piles of rubbish and men stand around in groups staring as I walk by. The heat is something else. When I arrived it was beginning to get hot but it was bearable; however in a week it seems to have risen quite significantly, 36 degrees is now the norm until it goes up again next week. 

Once I had arrived, one thing that kept me going were the children of the Oxford School. They have this amazing ability to cheer anyone up, their smiles are infectious and the fact that they were so happy to see me made any doubt in my mind disappear. It is amazing to see children who don't even have half of what I do at home come to school so happy and willing to learn - something that is possibly never seen in England! My first day at the school began with a welcome assembly, I had flowers put in my hair and the children all sang for me. I mainly spend my days with the Kindergarten class, who are constantly full of energy and laughter. They all love to have their photos taken and giggle hysterically when I show them the pictures that I have taken of them. The children began by calling me 'Angel' as a result of my incredibly fair skin, I expect for them it is something of a rarity to see someone as white as I - even at home I am the subject of many jokes due to my paleness. The older girls seem fascinated by my auburn hair and don't hesitate to stroke and pull at it whenever they pass me in the playground. Each morning I am greeted by shouts of 'morning ma'am!' and at the end of each day I leave to many handshakes and goodbyes. I am not sure they understand that I will still be here tomorrow but it is great to be around people who value my presence so much. 

After almost two weeks here it is safe to say that I am already wishing that I could stay longer. The teaching is challenging, I did not realise that I could so patient! I enjoy it so much and am so happy that I came back and worked through my homesickness issues, it really is all worth it!

1 comment:

  1. Imogen, so delighted you're feeling more at home and have begun to enjoy being in India — it can really get under your skin, and the children are amazing. Hope things continue to go well! Thanks so much for your commitment to the children and the school!