Well, we officially have been in Bangalore for a week and what a week it has been. I truly cannot express how good it feels to be back. It feels even better to be at DPS-North with the teachers and kids who have been nothing but welcoming. I have mentioned in the
previous post that I will be working with Chandan and Manisha over the next few weeks
in their small office located on the top floor of DPS. It’s been quite positive and reassuring to talk to them about special education in India versus the United States. Quite surprisingly it is very similar. The dialogue is really informative and allows for a lot of different discussions concerning approaches, curriculums, interventions, assessments, and data collection used. We have shared resources with one another in addition to the daily conversations, stories, and laughs. On Friday Manisha shared a quote with me that I will never forget and probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. She said,
“Being Hindu, we believe in multiple lives. You being here must mean that we have met in some previous life. We have all met before, and now we are meeting again. You are supposed to be here.”
Cue the tears.
The school day came and went and we were finally free to enjoy our weekend of rest and relaxation. It was anything but that. Friday night we experienced the night life and the many adventures that come with that. Saturday morning we found ourselves waking up later than 6 am (truly a blessing) and grabbing breakfast before heading out to Lalbagh Botanical Gardens for the afternoon. Lalbagh is one of my favorite places to be in Bangalore. It is a small oasis in the
middle of the loud city. Everything is so green and fresh. It was the perfect afternoon after a late night out. Saturday was one of the warmer days we’ve had here. It was quite sunny and humid, and I was quickly reminded of the weather in St. Louis. No bueno.
After walking through the garden for about an hour we were whisked off to New Heritage Collection on Infantry Road. The shop is filled with everything from small key chains to huge marble elephants. Everyone browsed and had the chance to practice their bartering skills. I found myself being escorted around the small shop by a very nice man who claimed he would “give me a discount” because I was a student. I was skeptical, but because I am cursed with trusting others (some may call this being naive, but I think I am above that) I went ahead and listened to just about everything he had to say. He was very helpful in the long run and presented me with a lot of different
items to choose from. I should make something clear… when in any shop whether be Commercial Street or really anywhere, if you show ANY interest in something be prepared to be persuaded to buy it. After about 20 minutes or so I had more items set aside than I planned on. When in India…? Although I am very happy with all of my purchases I made sure to replace the anklets I bought three years ago and lost in the airport on the way home. I think it’s safe to say I have bought plenty of clothes and jewelry for myself.
This time around I really thought I had everything figured out. From the light switches being opposite direction to turn on, 3rd floor in India really meaning the 4th floor (first floor is considered ground floor), and accessing warm or hot water. I was wrong. Very very wrong. The first week Chrissy and I took cold showers. And when we couldn’t handle standing under the freezing water we resorted to using the buckets placed in each shower with a scoop. It was better being able to control when the cold water would touch your skin rather than shivering the entirety of the shower. Luckily on Saturday the hot water was restored to us when we realized that a certain switch needed to be on in order for the hot water to come. It was quite the realization. There are days, like Saturday, where I come to appreciate a nice cold or cool shower. But let’s not get crazy… I prefer nice warm ones too.
Before I left I was asked a lot of questions about the weather in India. Let me break it down as best as I can. For those of you who live in Missouri you might be able to relate to this… the weather varies day to day. The temperature is pretty consistent ranging between 78-81, but then you have to factor in the wind, the rain, and everything in between. For example, the other day at school the temperature was around 77, but because it was so windy teachers and students were saying they were feeling cold! 77 degrees cold. Can you believe that? Well immediately I bought into it and found myself pulling my scarf around my shoulders to warm up. In regards to the monsoon season we currently find ourselves in, the rain usually holds off until the late afternoon and only lasts a short while. Most days have been overcast with periods of sunshine, but for the most part it is quite
pleasant. I am still wearing scarves with jeans and short sleeve shirts. To quote Jessica Day from New Girl when speaking to Schmidt about his attempt to fit in with the new neighbors, “This is not the outfit we talked about…And what are you doing here? Your arms are hot, but your neck is cold?”
Looking forward to starting a new week at DPS and continue on our adventure over on the other side of the world. Happy Independence Day!
Be sure to check out some photos from the past week.