Follow by Email

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cool Days

Most of this year I have gauged how much time I have left in India by the weather. This is a difficult way to measure time since it has seemed to be at least in the 90s everyday since April until about a week ago. I got into a rickshaw one night after going to the market and realized that I was cold, and that Indians here were already in their heavy jackets and warm hats. The cold nights have sneaked up on me like the reality that I now have less than one month left in India. The thought seems wild, as back in the spring I remember school days that I thought would never end and now it seems time here is going at a supersonic pace. The idea of going back is thrilling, yet hard to imagine and scary in some ways as this is the only life I have known for almost a year now.

I get excited thinking about seeing all those who have been so important throughout my life like family and friends, and getting the chance to celebrate together during the Christmas season. I also think about the simple things like having a cheeseburger or watching the Discovery channel while being back in the home I grew up in. There is so much joy ahead, but I know it will also be difficult to leave. I'll miss the spicy food, the extra time for leisure, and the sights of this world that are unlike anything. Most of all though I know what will be the hardest to leave and its the people, who I will remember forever. All my new friends, fellow teachers, those workers and cooks who have treated us like royalty, and of course my students, who can be wild but so endearing and loving. I know over the next few months I'll have many emotions and a lot to process, but one thing I must keep reminding myself is to live in the moment and take advantage of every opportunity I have during the next 4 weeks of life in India. One great opportunity will be sharing our American celebration of Thanksgiving with our friends and neighbors. Us five volunteers will make an attempt to create a Turkey Day feast (minus the turkey) as a way to give a simple thanks for everything we have been gifted and to have a chance to share some of our cultural traditions with our Indian family.


Recently things have been busy and full of some fun adventures. To the right is a picture from a water park we got to go with the boys for the Boys' Town Orphanage along with some of our class 11 students. We had an unforgettable time that the boys still talk about a month later and this was all made possible by those who have supported us through www.gofundme.com/boystown Through the extraordinary generosity of so many people we surpassed our goal of $2,500 and are still in the process of finishing some great projects. Boys' Town has affected my life in so many ways and all those who have supported us have made a great impact on the lives of 35 amazing people.

Our volunteer group once again had the great opportunity to travel some more in India at the end of October along with a special guest, my sister Amanda! It was hard to believe that I was seeing her for the first time in 10 months coming out of the airport as I was buying a Sprite for her welcoming present. Bringing her to school for a week and sharing a little of my life here was truly something I'll never forget. Then we traveled to some great sites including the holy Ganges River at Varanasi, the Taj Mahal, and four majestic cities in the desert state of Rajasthan. The Taj Mahal was truly the greatest man-made thing I have every seen and was really a privilege being in such an enchanting place. Other highlights included tours of some amazing palaces (like the one to the left in Jaipur), a camel trek and night sleeping under the stars on the desert floor, and zip-lining through an ancient fort. There's no questions that traveling through this diverse country teeming with history makes me realize how lucky I've been along with a desire for some more great traveling in the future.


This could be my last blog while in India since I know my spear time will be limited over the next month, but I'll be sure to end with some final post/reflection about this entire year come December. Right now is really a fascinating and challenging learning experience for me. I;m hoping to stay focused on teaching and enjoying life over the next month, because the reality of the situation is that I leaving many people that I have truly grown to love like family and last few days with them are approaching. Maybe I'll see some again if I return one day, but unfortunately that would probably be a long shot considering how remote this place is plus the fact that a lot people here move sometimes every couple years meaning many of my closest friends won't even be here for long. This thought can be depressing and I'm sure tears will come before I board the plane, but it does actually really inspire me to have a great time and take advantage of everything so that I have no regrets. No matter what happens India and its people will always have a special place in my heart.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Learning and Laughing

The Monsoon season appears to be coming to an end as the days are becoming drier, but the heat is still bearing down on Agartala. I've found that the combination of the heat with the the bumpy bus rides over the muddy roads to and from school creates a sleepy concoction that seems to knock me out most days before I stumble off the bus again. Luckily the highly caffeinated tea at school gives me the edge I need to deal with my third graders screams all the way up to my twelfth graders pleas to go outside instead of learning about the fascinating law of diminishing marginal returns. Whether its battling for my students attention or playing a game of hangman, even on the most challenging days I still have little to complain about.

Discipline is always an issue when teaching and I'm sure some of the most senior teachers back home would agree with me. Some days the students seem to be behaving perfectly while many of days it seems that they would rather watch paint dry than listen to me. Factors at home and just the reality that kids will be kids plays a role in these behavior problems, but I've also realized that a lot comes back to me, the teacher. When I've been poorly prepared for class or have created a lackluster lesson plan not only am I failing to help my students learn, but I'm also setting the mood for playground of chatting, throwing of papers, and anything but schoolwork. So the epiphany was happened, if one class seems to me extra wild and crazy, its not time to try to change them through yelling, but instead time change teaching approach. Instead of the boring routine of reading from the book, continually mixing in different activities or projects seems to help. Even writing simple notes or creative exercises on the blackboards seems to draw my students attention a lot better than verbal lecturing, which usually results in a disaster. So day by day more is still being learned and I'm sure that just as I think I've figured it out I'll probably be back in America or maybe 80 years-old. Who knows.

Last week our school celebrated Teachers' Day, which was one of the best things I've experienced here in India. The students had prepared for weeks and decorated the entire school, and also got all the teachers some small gifts. They put on a dancing, singing, and drama skips that filled up 2 1/2 hours of entertainment. Some of the creative skips involved joking about who the teachers act and talk so we all got to enjoy with plenty of laughs. The tribal students of Northeast India are extremely talented when it comes to every style of dancing and singing, which makes me jealous since my abilities are nonexistent. It was wonderful seeing all the students and teachers come together for a fun day, and gave us all the chance to get away from pressures of the classroom. Below is a picture of the 7th grade students celebrating with one of my favorite teachers, Sister Lucy.



Being at school everyday makes me think about all the time I spent in school as a child and all the way up to just about a year ago. I was fortunate to go to great schools my entire life, and I am so happy and proud that one of them is helping with fundraising for the Boys' Town orphanage here in India. So I would like to give a big thanks to Principal Sean Richardson, Mrs. Darlene McKay, and all the teachers and students at St. John's School in Canton, MA for giving of their time and efforts to help a great cause. This week they will be raising funds for Boys' Town so they certainly be in everyone's thoughts and prayers here in India. It means so much to all us here to have the support of those back home! We're hoping to surpass our fundraising goal by December 1st so it you are interested in helping like those at St. John's School please go to www.gofundme.com/boystown


Above is a picture of Suresh from Boys' Town agonizing over a defeat in cards at a recent picnic we had for India Independence Day!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Time Marches On


Just yesterday it seemed like I was making the all so difficult decisions of how many pairs of pants to bring to India, and which shirts would be the coolest to help combat the heat. Now I’m six months in realizing that a lot has happened, things have changed, and many of those articles of clothing are fighting for their life as my rigorous hand washing has caused a little too much pain for the cotton. This past week Iain and I started teaching with Christa at the St. Andre School, which is a smaller village school outside of the city, while Lucy and Charlotte have taken on our old classes at the Holy Cross School. After becoming quite comfortable with the one minute walk to school, the new 45 minute bus ride has already shown to be overcrowded and tiring, but also beautiful due to the bumpy road that cuts through the rural countryside.
It was difficult saying good bye to students at Holy Cross as I had grown close to them during my time at the school. At the same time I’ve been thrilled to have the chance experience a completely different school. Unlike the Holy Cross School, St. Andre only has tribal students that speak Kokborok and tend to come from lower income families while Holy Cross had a mix of Bengali and tribal students typically coming from middle class families. My classes are also very different now as I’m teaching classes 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12 ranging from moral science to English to environmental science. This will definitely keep me from becoming bored from teaching the same subject over and over. I’m most excited about teaching Micro Economic Theory and Economic Development in India. Since I studied economics at Stonehill and have been passionate about the subject for a long time it’s great to have the chance to teach something I am familiar with. The econ material is at a college level though so making sure the students understand the lessons will be a challenge to say the least. These two classes only have about 15 and 25 students making it a lot more manageable (I’m very lucky in country where 50 plus students per class is the norm).
Thus far I’ve really enjoyed my new classes as the students have been very pleasant to teach (sometimes too quiet when I ask for answers) and I feel more confident now having half a year of experience under my belt. Things are been fun this week and I’m excited to spend the remainder of the year at St. Andre, but I also know that I have to realize these are different students and classes than at my previous school so I’ll have to be ready to adjust to their specific needs. As always, there’s still much learning to be down so hopefully both the students and the teacher become wiser over the next 5 months.
On a different note, a couple of weeks ago Fr. Mark Cregan CSC, president of Stonehill College, visited us for one week. We were able to show him our schools, take him to our beloved Boys’ Town, and then spend a long weekend in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Everyone here was thrilled to have a new visitor in our presence and we were extra happy when we realized that Fr. Mark brought American chocolates. I think I’m slowly developing a sweet tooth. It was great to have numerous discussions with Fr. Mark helping us reflect on our time in India and also on ways to improve our volunteer program for the years to come. Few college presidents would dare to give up their time to make a long, uncomfortable trip to basically the middle of nowhere so we really appreciated his visit and it shows how much he cares about Stonehill students and alumni. The excursion with him to Bangladesh was an amazing time besides the walk across the border that took a couple of long hours making six stops at various checkpoints, luckily we made it with no problems.
The city of Dhaka makes Kolkata look like Providence. It’s reality small in size, but jammed packed with 18 million people and traffic that’ll make you wait an hour to go a single kilometer. Fortunately we were saved from this overwhelming city by our nice poolside hotel and by numerous visits to Holy Cross schools and colleges that were very impressive. It was fascinating to see all the work that the Holy Cross Mission has down in Bangladesh for now over 150 years in the country. I was particularly intrigued by our visit to a far-off village in the northeastern part of the country.

 

Here we entered into a tribal area that was once composed of over 50 villages, but now only 27 remain as the government has been cruelly forcing the indigenous people off their land forcing them to flee to India. An unfortunate reoccurring theme I’ve heard time after time is mistreatment of the indigenous throughout India and Bangladesh that has resulted in the deaths and homelessness of millions of innocent people. The governments here and the media does a spectacular job at ignoring the injustices that have and continue to take place. Luckily is this village micro lending and help of Holy Cross has created a posturing community that has generated jobs and increased the quality of life for a lot of people. Above is a picture a local woman making a dress using a loom that purchased through micro finance. Being interested in economic development, I’ve often wondered about the true impact of this lending system and I’ve been thrilled to see firsthand that it works! It’s also great that it’s providing women with jobs as Southeast Asia is notorious for its inability to employ women in the work force. This village was unique as the women appeared to have greater rolls in the society such as they are the ones to choose their husbands, which is unheard of here and also in a place called America. It was a peaceful place and I’m this has a lot to do with the fact that the women have a say in their society.



One extraordinary person we met in the Bangladeshi village was Fr. Humry CSC (in the middle of the picture above). He has been in Bangladesh for over 60 years, is originally from Oregon, and was a freedom fighter when Bangladesh gained its independence from East Pakistan. Fr. Humry is responsible for helping develop a lot of the village’s schools, healthcare centers, and jobs. He’s a true inspiration that has given his life to better the lives of others, and he plans to spend the remainder of his life serving those in Bangladesh. Most people choose not to give their lives like Fr. Humry, but I think we would all benefit a lot if we dedicated ourselves to everything we do with zeal and love for life that he possesses.

Monday, 11 June 2012

May and Back


I’m back! And there’s no way I describe every city, monument, palace and museum we saw so I broke down some of the highlights of our month long trip through Southern India and Darjeeling. I missed the Oscar’s this year so this is my version.

Most Relaxing

Goa: The fact that it was off season at this beach paradise may have made this an extra relaxing place. Hearing the crashing of the biggest waves I’ve been in while seeing nothing but water and sand was the perfect way to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the Indian city streets. The beauty of Goa rivals the beaches of the Caribbean, but nothing matches that actual warm, clean water of Goa making for perfect swimming conditions. The prawns, crab, squid, and endless other seafood options also made one of the tastiest places.



Favorite Historical Site

The Ajanta Caves: These 26 caves were built over 2,000 years ago by Buddhist monks and were untouched for hundreds of years until the British East India Company stumbled upon them while tiger hunting in the 19th century. Miraculously the detailed paintings and carvings still remain intact making for quite the sight. Knowing that people many years ago constructed such a masterpiece with ancient tools makes this a truly one of a kind place.


Best Surprise

Mumbai: I’ve never been one for big cities so when heading to Mumbai I was leery about how this densely populated place would be. What I saw during our short stay really impressed me from the Gateway to India that lies on the Arabian Sea to the fantastic Prince of Wales Museum. The architecture that was brought by the English mostly during the 19th century was magnificent and made me feel like I was in London with Palm trees. I also got see the movie the Lorax in here, which might be the first and only time I’ll get to see an American film in theaters. I strongly recommend both Mumbai and the Lorax, preferably together.



MVP

Kerala: This was a tough choice with the hill station of Darjeeling in a close second (I could go on for days about Darjeeling). In Kerala we spent a week being guided through the southeastern state by Kerala’a own, Fr. Joe Paul from Holy Cross. We started at the beautiful Lighthouse Beach in Kovalem to watch the sunset, and this was extra special since that morning we watched the sunrise in nearby Kenyakumari, which is the southernmost point of India. Then after some museum, art gallery, and zoo tours we headed to the houseboat to spend two days and a night eating like kings while taking in some breathtaking views. That day on the water was one I’ll never forget. Finally we spent the last few days with Fr. Joe Paul’s family in northern Kerala where we explored the natural beauty of the local waterfalls, elephant rides, and the stunning hill stations teeming with tea gardens. Sharing this experience with Fr. Joe Paul’s nieces and nephews, who we lived with for four of the days, made this an extra special part of the trip that made me extra excited to get back to the classroom to see my students.

The entire trip was comprised of a couple of boats, three train rides (one which was 36 hrs long), five flights, over ten bus rides, and countless taxis and auto rickshaws along with a few other places not previously mentioned; Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Aurangabad, Pune, Pondicherry, and Kolkata.

Traveling was fantastic, but I’m happier than ever to be back in the classroom with my students. Having several months of teaching under my belt I think I’ve started to learn what is and isn’t affective in classroom making me motivated to improve the way I teach. At the Holy Cross School we have been fortunate enough to get what is called Smart Class (or smart boards), which allow you to project you own presentations or premade animations and videos that liven up any subject matter. I’m definitely going to start making a better effort to incorporate this into my lesson plans along trying to get more students involved in class participation. Previously I’ve only asked students to volunteer to answer questions, but I’ve realized only the same handful of students raise their hands while the others are too shy or may have not done their homework. It’s simple enough (I feel somewhat I silly I didn’t start sooner but didn’t want to put students on the spot) that I now go up and down the rows for answers allowing even the most bashful students to share their answers while giving those who fail to complete their homework an incentive to put forth their best efforts.

I starting to feel more confident as a teacher since I feel that I’ve gotten to a point where I can critically access my flaws and then come up with better ways of teaching. I think improvements have been made so far and I think I can discover some other changes I can make for the better down the road as I know that I am far from a perfect teacher. 

 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Nepali Retreat

Two flights and a couple of taxi rides brought us to the Indian-Nepali Border where we walked across a long bridge over some barren land straight into Kakarvitta, Nepal. It felt great to be in Nepal, a place known for its great capital of Kathmandu, it mountainous beauty and the most famous summit of all, Everest. This border town, Kakarvitta, was just a quick stop (it was meant to be a place to leave) so we bordered a rickety old bus and headed to Kathmandu. With four inches of leg room, an aisle filled with bags (and sometime people) and water dripping on my head from the impressive storm raging over the plains the 16 hour ride was quite the experience. Although the very bumpy bus ride was miserable at times it was unlike anything I have experienced before and arriving in Kathmandu the next morning made it well worth.


I had only known a few basic facts about Kathmandu from my readings prior to the trip, but I don't think many travelers books would have been able to describe the calming nature of this large valley city. Although the city has a population of almost a million people it had a very relaxing and calm feel to its streets. Part of this may have been the strong religious presence, which seemed to primarily be composed of Buddhism, with a magnificent temple (or what they call a Stupa) on nearly every major street corner. I unfortunately know little about Buddhism, but it was clear that its presence that consists of deep meditation and prayer has a significant impact on the city making a wonderful atmosphere of peace. Above is a picture of the Boudhanath Stupa, which is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Nepal and one of my favorite stops.

There were countless other sites we visited that were architecturally magnificent yet never tacky (and I'm sure many that we missed due to a lack of time ). To the right is a picture of the Patan Durbar Square that is a popular tourist destination for both Nepali's and foreigners. Like most places I visit the food is usually one of the things that always leaves a deeply edged memory in my brain and stomach. The numerous cafes filled with the finest coffees, teas, and pastries was a real treat due the uniqueness of each shop and their tasty dishes, along with the fact that in Agartala, India its near impossible to find a mom n' pop cafe. The food highlight was definitely all the buffalo meat. Buffalo jerky, buffalo momo's, buffalo steak, buffalo meatballs, sweet n' spicy buffalo, and my favorite was the juicy buffalo burger. I was impressed by the buffalo and its various forms like Forest Gump was impressed by the shrimp.



Its hard to name one part of the 9 day voyage that was the best, but if you're going to force me to choose then I will have to pick our 3 day, 52 kilometer trek through the Himalayas. This trek just outside of the Kathmandu Valley was just a baby trek compared to great Everest and Annapurna treks in the north, but it was still unlike anything I have done before. The sights of the valley were unreal and the early morning views of the high Himalayas where Everest lies were magnificent. At times the hiking was exhausting climbing to the Chisipani and Nagakot summits, which elevations were around 7,000 feet giving use some perfect views.

Even with the sweat and occasional aches we were spoiled by our great guide, Arjun, who has hiked about every trail in Nepal multiple times over his long career in the mountains. The hotels we stayed at on the summits were also glorious with their grand views and had a charm of a genuine hikers house located in an isolated spot. It was just perfect spending time out in the cool, fresh year with my fellow friends who all enjoyed the peaceful getaway from our busy lives as teachers in India. This trek reminded me of the how beautiful and spectacular nature can be, and how it can rejuvenate the mind and the body.

There is really nothing I would have changed about this adventure except that I wish it was longer, but school calls and there can only be so much fun for now. We're back with our classes as we prepare for final exams, which is a marathon for the students that involves a 2 hour test for 8 straight school days. Even though teaching is very challenging I do not envy my students and I'm just happy to proctor the exams instead of taking them. More traveling fun is soon to return though as we prepare for our pilgrimage around southern India during the summer vacation in the month of May. We will travel to a variety of destinations such as Chennai, Kerala, Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai, the Ajanta Caves, Darjeeling, and more. India is such a diverse country with so many different languages, cultures, and sites to see it'll be thrilling to set off in May.


I would be lying to say being a volunteer teacher is a walk in the park. Some days are very stressful and make you wonder why you are doing what you are doing, while others leave you with a feeling of accomplish that keeps you going. Having the ability to travel a lot during this year is a nice perk of this Extension India program and I really think it gives us a great opportunity to indulge in some self-care, which is vital when working in any field. In case I do not get to blog before I leave for the South, enjoy the spring and I'll fill you in with hopefully a broader taste of India come June!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Boys' Town


            If you have ever taught, tutored someone or remember your days back in school then you surely know that teaching can be a challenging profession. Teaching my 7th and 8th grade students is rewarding especially when you see the curiosity they have and when they successfully learn a concept in class. Nevertheless many of the days can be exhausting and leave you wondering if the students understood you or enjoyed the class sending you away with the feeling that you could have done better or maybe you’re just not cut out for this. So what I have found is necessary, like when working any job, is to indulge in self care. Reading a book, playing the guitar, and on a rare occasion defeating my fellow volunteers in a game of Bananagrams has been a great release from some tiring days in the classroom. What could top this type of self care you could ask? Well it’s a place called Boys’ Town.

            I have briefly spoken about Boys’ Town in one of my previous blog entries that does not and this will probably not do it justice. Boys’ Town is located near the St. Andre School (where Christa, Charlotte, and Lucy currently teach) in a village that is about a 30 minute drove from where we live. Every time I enter the village, and gaze upon the rural landscape that is covered by rice patty fields and roaming cattle I feel relaxed and re-energized. Once you pass through the rotting gates into to Boys’ Town you enter into a dilapidated barren area that is somehow a beautiful place. How? Because here is where 35 amazing boys ranging from 3 to 18 years old that live there. Boys that have a passion for life, boys that love one another like they are a family, and boys who will put the brightest smile of your face. They are all orphans, have no parents to care for them and for the most part only have the love of each other and the two amazing Sisters (Sr. Lucy and Sr. Mary), who care for them.

            Northeast India has a violent past that has left many children parentless or dead in some cases. Starting in the mid-1960s migrants from Bangladesh and mainland India came to the Northeast making the tribal or indigenous people the minorities causing severe tensions between the Bengalis and the tribal people. As the struggle for land, resources, and equality ensued rebel groups were formed and violence became the means of the solving the conflict in Tripura and throughout Northeast India. Many Bengalis and tribal people were abused, violated, and killed as a result. Since the 21st Century has rolled around there has been few violent eruptions (still plenty of racism and corruption), but many of India’s families and children have been left to suffer the consequences. The majority of 35 tribal boys are orphans as a result of their parents being slaughtered on their own land during the conflict. In 2000, Boys’ Town opened it arms and doors so the boys could have a chance to be educated, fed, and loved.

           
          Some of the older boys who are now in high school must still remember the horror of their childhood, but somehow they are so strong, brave and take care of the younger boys like they are their own children. Sanjit, who is class 10, wrote an essay in his English class that Christa teaches about the struggles of living without parents and how it affects him daily. “I would like to tell the whole world that until and unless you yourself experience it you will never fully understand the deep thoughts of an orphan, how much an orphan child wants to have experience mother’s loving touch and feel her presence. It seems so vague when friends talk about their mother.” This breaks my heart to hear this and so you might be thinking about how going to place built in response to evil actions can be a place where I retreat for self care. 

            When we spend a few hours at Boys’ Town I remember why I decided to do a year of volunteer service. We do not work miracles here and we are by no means doing much service here or at least what we traditionally think of service. We are simply having fun. We laugh at each other as I miss the volleyball and fall on my face or as I try to explain how to solve a geometry problem for 20 minutes then realize I ignored an important of the question and have to restart. From looking at the pictures I’ve posted I’m sure you can imagine how much fun we have and how much joy they bring to us every second we spend with them.

            At Boys’ Town we are limited to playing games and tutoring, which is fantastic but unfortunately does not replace the failing beds (which the Sisters have been trying to replace for six years), fix the countless building repairs that need to be done, or pay for a doctor to visit the boys who have been suffering from infections for years. So here’s how we can all help make a small difference. We can’t all fly to India to pitch in and replace the missing shutters, but most of us can sacrifice a few dollars to help fund these inexpensive and vital projects. With a donation of $20 you could replace more than ten of the boys sandals, which have holes in them basically making them barefoot. If you are interested take a look at this following link and consider making a donation and passing the word on to others. http://www.gofundme.com/boystown
 
            Maybe even consider doing a small fundraising project at your school, church or within your community. For example, Erica Cramody (a fellow Stonehill alum) is a volunteer 2nd grade teacher in Montana who organized a fundraiser with her students that raised money for Boys’ Town. St. John’s parishioners in Canton, MA collected school supplies and shipped them here (below are the boys receiving their new supplies). I think of how no one or no amount of money can ever replace a mother or father, but at least by joining together we can make sure that these children receive some basic human rights such as medical care and safe place to lay their heads at night.


Thanks!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Holi


This past Thursday, March 8th, we all had school off to celebrate Holi Day. Holi is an exciting holiday that involves powered paint and chasing one another you attempt to color your friends as much as possible. Before coming to India I had seen movies and pictures of people covered in paint thinking that it looked interesting, but could not completely buy into the idea that this would be worth dying your skin and clothes. Well Holi, like many things in India, definitely exceeded my expectations. We went over our Francis’ (one of the young neighborhood boys) house to celebrate the colorful festivities with our Agartala family. This vibrant blues, purples, reds, and sparkles made for a fantastic time as we smeared colors into each other’s faces.

  
 
It is hard to describe how much fun we had especially due to the fact that we were given Sprite and snacks during the festivities making be feel like a kid again. The removal of the paint was difficult as expected and I still have some glitter and paint on me as I type, but it was well worth it. A lot of the older students that live at the school right next to us had surprisingly never played before so we convinced them the following day to join us for a battle of colors. We ran around the large sports field and drowned ourselves in the colored dust. The sight was spectacle as both the young kids and the high school students raced around the field until all the ammunition was gone.


Holi is a day that I actually know little about the true meaning of the holiday so I must admit that I still need to read up on that. I can say that it was definitely one of the funnest days I have had here in India. Its a joyous celebration that even some adults partake in as it brings excitement to lives of everybody involved. It was a rejuvenating day that has re-energized by mind and body. Throwing colors is such a simple thing yet brings more joy to you than you could imagine. I think it is a tradition that America should adopt and I know that 99% of children would agree with me, but I'm sure many parents would push back.