Sunday, 23 March 2014

Our time in Nandyal- By Imogen and Abigail

Our 5 weeks in Nandyal have come to an end. We have have such a rollercoaster ride whilst being here; homesickness, culture shock and having to adapt to such heat and such volatile food but in the end every tear and every sleepless night was worth it when we arrived at school each morning and saw the children waiting for us.

Teaching has been a new experience for us both but one that we took to with enthusiasm and determination. To begin with it was really challenging, I think teaching is a hard profession anyway without such a big language barrier! However, as the weeks went on and our relationships with the children and staff developed it got a whole lot easier. Most days were spent with Nursery or Kindergarten as the older children were preparing for exams. We played games, taught the alphabet, numbers, songs and read stories. Although the majority of the time the children couldn't understand us and vice versa, the introduction to a new language at a young age is vital for the development of the child's understanding and future. Therefore, although it was mostly fun and games with the little ones we take great satisfaction in knowing that they understand how to count to twenty  and how to sing 'A Sailor Went To Sea, Sea, Sea' in English because of us.

At break times we would see the older children and talk to them. As the weeks went on we were able to spend more time with the older classes. Especially when Abi taught the 9th class girls a dance for the 10th class leaving function. We also spent time with 5th and 4th class playing bingo (a great game that enabled them to use numbers in their head and in english). We also made paper aeroplanes with 3rd class and played 'Heads Down, Thumbs Up' with 6th class. Every Saturday at 3pm the children went outside for games, we played parachutes with them and were taught by some of the older girls how to play 'Throwball' which is literally just throwing a ball at opposite teams. We also learnt some indian dance moves though we're not sure how well they'll go down back in the clubs in England.

Every day we would play with some of the children after school. We played cricket (Imogen awful at) and badminton, skipping, UNO and we even taught them how to limbo! Playing with them after school was so much fun, time really flew by each day and we became such good friends with the children on the compound. For the 10th class leaving function, we bought ourselves some saris (Imogen green and Abi purple) and wore them that day. It is amazing how the women here wear them everyday especially in this heat, we only managed to suffer until around noon!

We would just like to thank everyone involved who made this life experience such an unforgettable one, we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Nandyal working with the children at the Oxford School. We are now moving onto the second part of our journey and we are both hoping that the experiences will continue getting better and better.

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