Thursday, April 16, 2009

Week 13 - Sun. 12 April - Sat. 18 April

Well this is officially my last week here in India - as I said in my last post I went to Cochin, which is a coast city in Kerala (about an 8-9 hour drive plus 'tea stops') in the Easter break with five staff members and we had a blast - we ate like 'Kings and Queens', did a bit of shopping, went to a traditional Indian storytelling show and went on a Back Water trip - how that was amazing! We started out on a house boat then after stopping on a remote little island where we ate a traditional Kerala Indian dinner off banana leaves we aboard a small river canoe and went punting through a canal/stream. We stopped off at a little house in a remote area where they grow different spices and then made us all some masala tea - my time learning to cook different curries while I have been here helped me to recognise and name almost all of them! For the rest of the week it's been relaxing and love to sleep in a little - Tuesday we went to school for the kids to ride their bikes and have a swim in the pool. Wednesday I went down town for the last time and visited my favourite spots in Ooty then today Wendy and I and the kids went down to Jungle Retreat for a day's excursion to have lunch down there in the jungle and to have a lovely swim in their pool. Tomorrow it's off for a picnic possibly at Emerald Lake before I pack the last of my gear and head down to Coimbatore to catch my early morning (like 12.25am) flight to Singapore. When I get home I'll update this to give you the run down of my last couple of days of my trip away before it's back to reality! Till then have a good one! Here's a challenge for you - can you guess what spice is in the shell that the man is holding and what are the three parts of the spice are and what are they used for?

Week 12 – Sun. 5 April – Sat. 11 April

This was the last week of the 1st half of the second semester – it’s Parents Week and it’s been chaotic. Monday was Swimming Gala and I had to get three kids up, dressed and ready to go with all their gear for school! That was a new-ish experience, Wendy and Ian returned home later that evening. At the Swimming Gala, Gold House won by a mile! It was great to see the whole school up at the pool watching and cheering on their class and team mates – medals, trophies and cups were all orders of the day. Tuesday night there was the Variety Show and Junior School Concert Wednesday during the school day with a Thanksgiving Service at 4.30pm. Wednesday and Thursday for the first hour of the day I taught in Standard 3/4 class and then for the last hour or so before lunchtime I was down in Reception class. We had a blast – that’s Andrew, Elijah and myself – they had read ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ in class a week or so ago and Andrew piped up “Mitch knows how to make green eggs and ham” so that’s what we made – amazng how a little green food colouring can make eating eggs and ham fun!!! It was a tad crazy for the next hour or so saying bye to staff, parents and students that I have gotten to know while I’ve been here. It’s been great to be back here and to share with everyone life at Hebron – it’s a bit of a unique experience – I’m really going to miss my curries at lunchtime and fresh mangoes for dessert! Tomorrow is Good Friday and I head off first thing in the morning to Cochin with three or four of the single female staff till Monday. Then it’s back up the hill again for a few days till I leave early evening on Friday for my long trip home.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 11 – Sun.29 Mar – Sat. 4 April

This week is my last week staying at the Isaacs place and I return to Ian and Wendy’s for the last little while before I head home. On Sunday I went to Coonoor on the hill train with Joan and Jennifer (the SV’s – Senior Volunteers) – it was a fantastic day. We had a chance to visit the markets in lower Coonoor and do a bit of shopping before heading up the hill to a lovely tea place called ‘Tranquility’ – it was so relaxing sitting in their garden drinking a Peach and Passionfruit Ice Tea Blend before returning down the hill again to catch a very crowded trip home on the train.
Wendy returns from her three weeks away on Monday so on Friday night Ian headed down the Ghat to Bangalore to pick her up so I’ve got the three kids for the weekend – we had a great weekend with Saturday evening being the Student Council event of ‘Metropolis’ – it was a night of food fairs, games and entertainment from the students, it was a whole school event with a few parents that have arrived early for Parents Week. Then Sunday morning we got up and had pancakes, green eggs and bacon for breakfast, went out for lunch to Garden’s Restaurant for a dosa and then Andrew and I made a Welcome Back banana cake for Wendy while Ashlee made a Playdoh version of it! For dinner we all made our own pizzas with fries and watched ‘Magic in the Water’ – of course we had O’Reos for dessert ‘cus you can’t watch it without eating O’Reos.

Week 10 – Sun. 22 Mar – Sat. 28 Mar

Wow, two weeks have gone by and I can’t really remember what’s been happening – nothing too exciting I know. I’m currently staying at one of the parent’s from school’s guest house while Wendy is in the US and NZ. It’s been very quiet I must say, though on Tuesday evenings I’ve been going to Wendy and Ian’s to have my Indian cooking lessons and to stay for dinner and home group. On Saturday 28 March I joined in with the ‘Selbourne In Day’ (Girl’s Campus). The girls had decorated the dining room and the kitchen staff put on a superb feast for dinner and then we watched ‘Bride and Prejudice’ out on the lawn in the evening the caught an auto rickshaw home. It was a great evening out joining in with the girls activities.