16 June 2015

India - First Week

The first week is over and it has already been amazing. The week has very been busy and including a number of cheap but incredible curries. I am certainly going to eat enough curries to last me a lifetime by the end of these four weeks. After a day of introduction, visiting each of the various projects GVI Kerela work on, we were introduced to the school and the students we will be teaching English to during our time here.

Thambu School
I am working at Thamaraparambu (Thambu) School, a very small but passionate school that teaches around 20 children. Throughout my four weeks I will be teaching the basics of English to three children who are of varying abilities and differing ages. Each day we have one on one sessions, which allows for much more personal, interactive and enjoyable sessions. I am really excited to bond with the children and be able to witness their progress during my time here 

Periyar Tiger Reserve
On our first weekend excursion we travelled five hours to Thekkady, home of Periyar Tiger Reserve, a 900km national park that houses 45 tigers, elephants, bison and numerous other species. We embarked on a day long trek, over land and water, through beautiful, scenic jungle landscape, in search for any wild animals. Despite not seeing much wildlife it was still a really enjoyable experience that provided many great photo opportunities.

Elephant Junction
We also visited Elephant Junction, a sanctuary that offers close interactions with elephants, including elephant rides. Despite the rain the elephant ride was definitely an experience and being able to feed, touch and wash the elephants certainly gave me a new appreciation for the animal. At the same time it was also very sad to see that these animals had been taken away from the wild simply to please tourists.

That's it for week one, we are already planning our next weekend trip but before that teaching and lesson planning await.

Luke T.

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