She accompanied us on our journey to Tumkur. We arrived in the evening and went to see a prayer service that is held everyday, twice a day, at a school that at first, seemed to be all boys. When we arrived, I was in total awe. There must have been around 1,000 or more kids chanting prayer. It was so beautiful. Then all at once they put their hands in anjali mudra, prayer center, and bowed and continued chanting. I wanted to chant too! If only I knew what thy were saying...
And then came the mob. After the prayer, the kids (who were staring at us out of the corner of their eye the whole prayer) swarmed us, especially Jessica...she had the giant video camera that they love to jump in front of. They were shaking our hands constantly and at one point I counldn't get my hand free from about 60 kids. The teachers were swatting at the kids...hitting them...kinda unsettling.
When we tried to get in the car and leave the kids continued to mob us and it was so hard to get in the car...like a celebrity...I couldn't imagine having to feel that way all the time.
We went home and ate dinner around 11:30 as usual...(man I am going to be fat)...then went to bed.
The next morning we headed to the school in Tumkur where Prashanth's aunt works. It is a private school and the first one that I have seen where all the students...even age 6 or so...speak Englsh very well. I took some footage of a math class and Prashanth teaching and a Social Studies class where they were talking about Democracy...very interesting points of view...and I know my U.S.History studies teacher friend JOY will appreciate the footage ;)
We asked the Principal many questions about the school. I love hearing that they do many interdiciplineary activities and projects. Like discussing the water shortage and remedies for that problem...they took surveys and research etc. Truly a worthwhile learning experiance...not to mention a great math lesson ;)
We viewed the rest of the school but when we got to 4th standard it was a celebrity fest. We observed their math studies for a minute, but then the learning was over......they began asking my name, where I am from, for my autograph and even our phone numbers. It was crazy...notebook in front of notebook, pencils in my face..."Please akka...sign here..please akka me next." (Akka mean older sister...kinda like how we say "auntie" in Hawaii)
So I signed a dozen or so notebooks...drew the USA and Hawaii to show where we are from...they know very very little about islands. I wish I could have told them more about the islands, whales, hula, the language, etc but we had to leave.
We then visited the orphanage school and the blind school. Both are government schools. Prashanth asked them questions about the difference between private and public schools to the students and their answers all seem to be ones that would appease and almost flatter the teacher. Prash told them that it was ok to say things that they didn't like about the school...but they wouldn't.
The blind school was amazing, we could have spent more time there I think. We met the blind teacher and he wrote our names in braille on a braille writing type writer ...it was so cool! He showed us how it worked too. Then he took the paper and had a blind student read our names from it. My heart was...well ya know..happy!
We left Tumkur shortly after. The drive home was very long, but we were kept entertained by our driver, Murali. He has grown on us I think....He loves Tony. He always yells, "Tony!!?" and Tony yells back, "Murali!!" and then Murali says, "Indian music?? Very nice??" Its Hilarious...everything is Very nice. On the way home though, Tony was not in the car, yet Murali kept saying, "Tony!!" Jess and I couldnt stop laughing :)
It was an amazing experience as everything has been. I am so happy...I guess you already know that :)