A Day in the Life...

10 February 2015

The day started at 5am which was challenging for most of us. The children were woken by the house staff banging loudly, and the place quickly came to life with the sound of mosques in the distance announcing morning prayer. The children prayed before doing their chores which included sweeping the floor and picking up leaves (patta). Jason and Fin got involved in the kitchen, peeling garlic and breaking chillis. This was followed by an early morning snack of peanut butter sandwiches. The children then had an hour and a half of studying to do BEFORE SCHOOL, meanwhile we enjoyed spending time outside as dawn broke over West Bengal.

After chores is the ‘official breakfast’ at 8am, but for us it felt like lunchtime! All the children are responsible for their own washing up at every meal, even the three year olds who get some help from their ‘big brothers’ (they are also empowered to do their own laundry too, another lesson for kids back home!). Once we had eaten, the boys showed us their ‘mad skillz’ (as Liam puts it) on the lattu, a spinning top with string. It was very impressive to say the least! (video to come). In this time the children get changed into their immaculate school uniforms and get ready to go to school at the centre and offsite.

Whilst Udayan’s teachers taught the primary school children their first period we made the final preparations to the lessons we were due to teach later that morning. We decided on a rotation over the 5 periods (3 today, 2 tomorrow). In each rotation, we took over a different aged class. We put ourselves in pairs, and each pair taught a different subject, either art, english, maths or music. The children were definitely very excited and energetic. Although we may have been worn out, it was certainly a lot of fun! Teaching’s actually quite hard work – props to the folks back at home.

Before lunch there was time for some recreation in the form of frisbee, cricket, football and kite flying. This would be the time for siesta in the summer months yet some boys had the job of picking aubergines. When lunchtime came along, we felt like we had earned it! Along with curry, we were served fried shredded potatoes which were very crispy and very tasty. The food here is served by a really talented cooks assisted by the boys of Udayan! In the girls building the younger girls were having dance lessons whilst the older girls decided to paint our nails with intricate pattern and the boys played some basketball and some more frisbee then today became Kabuddi day for all of us and the girls at Udayan. Kabuddi is a bit like red rover meets rugby with no ball and wrestling. After a while of having mixed teams, we decided to play a best of 3 India vs England series of test matches. The girls then decided to up the stakes and the forfeit for losing was to buy the winning team chocolate. The days play finished India 2 – England 1. We may have lost the battle today, but we refuse to lose the war! We plan to come back stronger on Monday.

This energetic afternoon was followed by prayers then the girls headed up to their rooms and the English girls went with them. The Joan of Arc boys were feeling tired and all fell asleep together – ahhh bless! After some gossiping and beauty talk, us English girls, Liam (who did’t need a nap and arrived after the gossip and beauty talk) and some of the Udayan girls who were not studying, played Chinese Checkers. Although quite complicated and intense, it was a lot of fun. As you may have guessed, none of us English lot won but we are determined to learn to play better. The children then began their evening studies and tuition at 6pm which was followed by another top class dinner at 8pm.

Dinner really is the end of the day here and things wind up quite quickly afterwards. Everyone heads off to bed which is where we’re going now as another 5am start lies ahead!
Good night.


Lisa Lynch

@ 1561 days ago

It sounds like you are all having fun & experiencing life in Udayan in the school. Hope you bought the winning team chocolate?! Looks great. Thinking of you lots.

The Lynch groupies Xxxx

Mr Doyle

@ 1561 days ago

I am exhausted just reading about yours days. It sounds like everyone is having an amazing time. Come on England, we are being beaten in too many games and challenges!! I like the idea of ninety minutes study before school!! I might introduce that back here. Stay safe and have fun.
Mr Doyle

12 & 13 Clare

@ 1561 days ago

We are very envious! It looks like you’re having an amazing time, we’ve been looking at your pictures in form time, you all look great. Here back in England it is gloomy, we all feel tired but none of us got up at 5 in the morning!
Could you please send a big hug to Anjali Bauri for us as we are sponsoring her.

Have a good time and see you when you get back!

Newman babes

@ 1561 days ago

We are currently in form sitting on your nice comfy chair Miss Weldon, and are missing you, Jason and Francis! It’s lonely without you. We have been reading your calender inspirational quotes daily. Today’s one is “He that can have patience can have what he will”-Benjamin Franklin. Please pass on the message to Manoj that we all say hello and wish him well. We will be continuing to read your daily posts as we are enjoying them in form. Sounds like you are all having a good time but we don’t envy your 5 am start. Best wishes from your Newman babes x

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