My work here speeds up as we count down the days until I go home. I've gone into the 9th standard class twice to answer questions and I'm still working with both the 8th and 10th standards. The 8th kids spent a week trying one of three jobs in the Phaltan area. They worked at either a tree nursery, a poultry farm, or at a company called ARTI (Appropriate Rural Technology Institute). If any of you are interested, I'd be happy to tell you all about smokeless chulas (stoves) powered by cow dung.
The kids spent the last week starting a brand new KNB bulletin (see ealier posts for info on the first one). The news items this time are:
--The bulbul bird that Pratamesh found and which is now living in the principal's office
--The water problem in the front of the building. [The next-door neighbor built an illegal wall which cut off the drainage system]
--The district volleyball tournament
--their work experience
--me. This time on my return to America.
This is the other 8th standard teacher, Raman Balkar. He is awesome and about as enthusiastic as the kids. Also he saves my butt in translation emergencies daily.
The play is going very well. They've learned their lines, painted a backdrop, and are busy collecting costumes for a sari-draped mayor and businessmen in Gandhi caps. None of them have much acting experience, and particularly not in English, but they are throwing themselves into their parts. One of the narrators, Moulik, is new to the class, and a very serious little student. He had his lines down the day after I assigned parts, in spite of the fact that he speaks for most of the show. After we run through the show and I'm slowly giving notes, I can see him mouthing my words to make sure he understands.
Here's Moulik (on the left) and Milind (my favorite monkey) on the right.
A sweet, shy girl named Akshaya is playing the village Mayor and is clearly relishing her part. As soon as I told her to act much more important than all the other characters, she puffed out her little chest and started striding across the stage like a miniature Napoleon Bonapart.
I was so proud.