India 2018 – Blog Day 9 – Georgia.

Day 9

Kho Kho Challenge

With another exciting start to the day, we woke early for the highly anticipated Japanese Dancing, led by Sister Vanitha whose talents constantly surprise us. We assembled for some interesting Japanese dancing which only involved some vigorous arm movements leading to arm ache from the majority. With a speedy recovery we were up and out for day 2 of our teaching. This time we taught girls aged 12-13 (the equivalent of year 8) and with our confidence from experience we did even better than the first time. After this we went to prepare for a game of Kho Kho (we really weren’t prepared at all). We gathered in the yard and watched the girls play a very fast and skilful version of ‘Tig’ – it puts the British version to shame. After watching them for 5 minutes and two YouTube tutorials later we felt slightly prepared to embarrass ourselves at attempting Kho kho. It was safe to say we tried our best but in the mid day heat we stood no chance of beating these girls even though they clearly were taking it easy on us…. like I said, embarrassing. However they were great sports and didn’t brag at all, making us all feel slightly better. After the defeat we learned they we the national champions!

With a swift recovery of our bruised egos, we were ushered up to a class room for a lesson of origami from two of the school girls  who were incredibly talented in origami, Sister Vanitha had shown us one of the girls teacher day gifts that she had received and we requested that she showed us to do it – our own teachers subtly trying to hint at the ‘teachers day’ gift aspect. We spent two hours with the girls until we had to be taken away for lunch. We were given our regular dose of chicken nuggets and chips and cheese toasties and were then off on the bus to St. James children village.

We visited the community set up by Brother James where he was renowned for ‘reaching the unreachable’ providing a safe space for people who suffered with HIV to be able to integrate in a normal community. Brother James was known to the locals as the ‘Grandfather’ and their creator of safety. We saw the school he set up and visited one of the children’s’ villages which he was buried in, as it was his wish to be to be ‘buried like the poor, in a cotton shroud – the same way we bury the children.’ – quoted from his will written in 2009. Brother James did amazing things for these people and felt himself amongst them rather than above them and they truly adored him. After seeing all his incredible work, we headed back to the convent for an evening dress up in our saris and lungi’s for the boys and Mr Jones. The Sisters came and wrapped us girls up in our extensive saris and gave us jasmine to put in our hair. The evening was filled with glam and laughs and we were wrapped up tightly and decided it was impossible to wear on a daily basis.  We became very impressed with the sisters stamina to wear them each day. After this we headed to bed and packed our bags to prepare for the next day and the over-night train part two.