I have been in India for a few days now and I am loving every minute of it. From all the colors, sounds, foods, and people it has already made a difference in how I view the world.
When we first got here we had been up for a full day and were so exhausted but were soon jerked awake by the traffic of India. At first it was overwhelming and scary at how close they get to the other cars/rickshaws/motorcycles and the way they use their horn. Now after several days here, I am not shocked by the car rides or the horns. In fact when I hear the horns I know I am safe because all of the drivers know where our car is. The longer I am here I will continue to become more comfortable and immersed in this culture. I am excited to see how I grow throughout this journey and sharing this experience with you is such an amazing opportunity.
Today was our first day at our schools. I am at Vidyashilp Academy and I am beyond impressed with the staff, and the students. Everyone is so kind and welcoming. By 3 o’clock rolled around I was not ready to leave. After just one day I have already learned so much about how they run their schools. One of the things that fascinated me the most was that they do not assign homework until 6th grade. I absolutely love this concept. Their reasoning behind it is so they can spend time with their family when they get home and not waste it doing schoolwork. Vidyashilp has a longer school day but it is so they get all their work done before going home. The teachers give them “extension activities” which allows them the option to do it at home or not. Typically it is an additional research assignment that correlates to the lesson that day. By giving them the option it puts the ball in their court and creates an implicit motivation, which is so important to student learning so they want to learn for themselves.
So far the culture and the schools have thoroughly surpassed my expectations in the best way possible. This experience is the best thing that could have happened to me during my college career and it happened at the perfect time. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. This trip is a real life representation of that and I am so grateful.