March was full of anticipation and actualization as my mom, dad and friend came to visit for the last two weeks of the month. We spent one week in Ahmedabad where I got to show them my teaching and the centers, we got to play with colors on Holi and I got to introduce them to all of the amazing people I get to work with every day.
We visited Manav Mitra on Holi where we taught review for the upcoming exams. My mom and friend Mitch had a great time seeing me in the classroom and took many covert videos of the action. With this exercise, the teacher says three words, two of which rhyme and one of which doesn’t. The kids listen and raise their hand when they hear which word doesn’t rhyme. When a student answer correctly, the teacher writes the three words on the board and the student comes up and circles the non-rhyming word. The kids love coming up to the board!
The next day, Dhuleti, we spent at Manav Sadhna playing with colors. It’s a comical arch - we started so gently touching each other’s cheeks and forehead with bright color powder with an exclamation of “Happy Holi!” Over the course of hours, the soft color rubs turned into water hosing, mud throwing, and carrying one another into mud puddles for a loving tummy mud rub. All volunteers and staff had quite a ho down, even GeeWee, MS’s dog joined in!
From Ahmedabad, we headed to Jaipur where we saw examples of the great and respondent architecture of India’s past at the Amber and City Palace. We also visited Galta Kund, affectionately called the Monkey Palace. We were told the monkey’s would have no interest in you if you didn’t have food but we chose not to feed them and just observe. At one point, a money was playing with a water spigot, trying to drink the non-existent drips from the tap. After the monkey swung away, I went to the spigot and turned the nob so just a trickle began to flow. The monkey came back and drank for some time and then came over to me. She took my arm and swung herself into my arms… She spent five minutes cleaning my hair, playing with my nose and looking into my sunglasses… It suffices to say I have never been so honored with anyone’s attention in my life.
From Jaipur we made our way to Agra where we saw the Taj Mahal and then to Rishikesh where we took in the glory of the Ganga river and the foothills of the Himalyas.
Now I am home and safe in Ahmedabad and am looking forward to buckling down and working through the next hot months on the curriculum for 6th-9th grade english classes, feeling refreshed and buoyed by time with my family.
Love and light,