Friday, January 23, 2009

Bring Your 12 Year Old to Work Day

On Sunday our laundry woman, Neelam, turned up with her 12 year old son, Sachen, in tow.  She told us he wanted to learn English and had been asking her to bring him to us for a long time.  For whatever reason, Sunday was the day.  Shortly after Neelam and Sachen arrived, Manju, our cook, arrived with her 12 year old daughter, Shilpi.  We never could quite figure out why Shilpi was tagging along, but she joined the English lesson happily enough. 

Long time SLNC readers will remember our earlier attempt at teaching English.  I thought we were off to a great start with the neighbor kids but the project quickly fizzled and I was left rather confused and discouraged about the whole project.  (Why the project fizzled definitely falls under Chris's new WTH=Totally Standard meme.)  However, Chris has taught English at the monasteries during his prior trips to India so he was happy to have another crack at teaching. 

Over the past week the class has doubled to include our housekeeper, Sunita, and our driver, Shamsher, each of them attending on their own (somewhat inscrutable) rotating schedule.  It’s a fun group – all of them here because they really want to be, and thanks in large part to Chris’s teaching style, full of laughter.

As I type, Ben and Sachen are indulging in an extra-curricular pillow fight.  There are so many things about living here that are frustrating, difficult and just plain ugly.  But there are also these beautiful, pure, joy-filled moments, and in the most unexpected places, people whom we have come to really love.  English class is chock-full of both.  

1 comment:

margaret said...

The students are dressed to match their study room! Lovely!