Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Ode to Christmas

3 days before Christmas came the school presentation,
A month of planning, rehearsal and teacher fixation.
All came down to one night with a 200-odd crowd,
seeing the kids sing, dance and act – it made them feel proud.
“A rioutous laugh” they said, “hilarious wit”,
What genius to include human sheep, 2 minute noodles and angels – all in one bit!
The singing superb, the dancing graceful.
The poor sound quality, led by Brad, distasteful.
After the event the excitement persisted,
with samosa and coffee to fuel them, sleep was resisted.
Now they could relax and look forward to that day,
When a jolly red fat man, a visit would pay.
Such conjecture, guessing and overall angst,
Up there with Iraq war two, I believe it does rank.
“What presents?”, “how many?”, “what food?”, “how much?”
These were the questions and like and such.
From near and far, the visitors ranks swelled,
Until Christmas Eve, when 200 here dwelled.
The curry chicken, white bread, biscuits, coffee could not be beaten,
Such a feast that night was eaten.
For the older ones, parties were showered,
We had dancing, singing and fires that towered.
Until Christmas came at the stroke of midnight,
And we all went to bed to wait for first light.
When awoken by noise, by cries of glee.
No sleep was achieved from six forty three!
Toys, clothes and bric-a-brac were pulled from their wrapping,
The kids all adorned in their best Christmas trappings.
At ten another delicious meal was due,
Hardly looked at however for their eyes they did glue,
On a small Christmas tree in the corner, that could hardly be seen,
For the big pile of presents, the amounts, obscene.
The floor became a sea of crinkled up paper,
Amidst a flotilla of gifts, the sight quite a caper.
As children exploded outside to play with the toys,
A moments rest I found without noise.
What better time to open my gift,
So excited, as it was so heavy to lift.
But alas my enjoyment was terribly suspended,
When all I got was a rock, Hindi skills were depended!
It read “Suhanna ka Pati” in Indian script,
I knew what it meant, I was not to be licked.
To track down a baby’s Dad I did wander,
To find another clue, of this puzzle I grew fonder.
“I Hope you get the next clue” it stated,
I asked a girl for an inkling, with my breath bated.
A numeric code was the next bit of enigma,
I grew worried of failing, and gaining a stigma.
But solved it I did, through sheer genius,
I’ll spare you the details – it’s a bit tedious.
The game went on until it ended and my conundrum was fixed,
But when I received my gift, my reactions were mixed.
Some lovely bright cloth, cotton and wrapped
For a shirt, long-sleeved, but still I felt trapped.
Some say I was rude, when I raised quite a stink,
Not for the quality, no this cloth it was pink!
Now it may gel for metro’s and men of other persuasion,
But for me I can’t think of a single occasion,
That puts me in a pink shirt, for public to see.
Except now for parties that have a bright shiny tree
I’ll retell this war story with great joy,
and display to the world without feeling coy,
This pink badge of courage, earned in the trench
But then I might shower to get rid of the stench.
So that was my Christmas, it was so very spectacular,
In comparison, Oz next year will be crap, excuse the vernacular.
Only 1 year away, then I must draw the line,
Then I’ll relive the Christmas of two thousand and nine.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

While we're over here with winter woolies on and looking forward to the most exciting Christmas since we were 10 years old, we both wish all of our friends, family and pretty much anyone who reads this blog a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Photo's

We've been a bit slack in both taking photo's and also putting them on the web. We've updated these now and can be seen here. This link is also on the right of the blog site under our photo. There'll be more photo's soon as the Christmas festivities are quite an event in these here parts!

Tourism tales

Well we’re back from our whirlwind Delhi trip that was eventful, interesting and educational. We have now officially turned from visitors of the orphanage to “pukka ambassadors” as our reason for the trip was to play host to an American girl who is visiting for a month. It’s a bit strange turning from tourist to a bit of a “local”, entrusted with getting to a place by yourself and being the “face” of the orphanage and safely escorting a visitor into the arms of a hundred screaming kids. The initial plan was to pick her up on the 16th December and do the touristy thing until the 20th when Rick would drive to Delhi and bring us, an ex farm gal and an Australian guy back to the farm.

Of course India, being India, this all changed by the time we made it to Delhi and after a few manic phone calls it was decided we and the American girl would travel back by train on the morning of the 19th. This of course cut our Delhi time in half but we were reluctant to miss this window of opportunity to see the plethora of sights in and around Delhi. In hindsight it might have been better to stick to a more relaxed program of activity, especially since the American girl had just travelled 24 hours straight but we didn’t know if or when she or us would have another chance. This is the story of how you do Delhi and Agra in 2 days:

Thursday 17th

5 am: Get to the New Delhi Train station for a 3 hour train trip to Agra. Once arriving at our destination it was decision time on how to get from sight to sight. I personally like Auto-rickshaws (Tuk-Tuk’s in Thailand) but Clifton (Deputy Director of the orphanage) had recommended a car. Naturally I ignored the advice of a 7 year resident of India and chose a rickshaw, saving $2.50 in the process. So off we went to visit the sights in this ancient city. In the interests of brevity (too late you say) I’m just going to list the places we went and show a photo of them – you can make up your own commentary about how we walked around them, how old they are and which Maharajah killed the Maharajah who killed the Mughal to get rich enough to build this big red or white thing.

  • Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (Baby Taj)
  • Agra Fort
  • Taj Mahal

We were about out of time after all this, missing out on seeing the Fatehpur Sikri due to some idiot choosing the slower rickshaw over the faster taxi and we rushed back to the train station to find our train had been delayed by 2 hours. This, combined with the train running an hour slower to Delhi, made for some very tired travelers arriving in the seedy part of town at midnight. Luckily we were too exhausted to be scared and made our way back to the hotel with only sleep on our mind.

Friday 18th

After the previous busy day we thought it would be a good idea to have a rest day to recuperate. Of course we had no time for such frivolities and set about seeing Delhi’s main attractions before nightfall. Once again to avoid boring you about how many bricks there are in the Red Fort or which English oppressors the Indians particularly hate, I’ll just show you the photos.

  • Something or other Gate
  • Jama Masjid
  • Red Fort
  • India Gate
  • Humayun’s Tomb

Once again we missed out on seeing a few sites (pun intended) due to my insistence on rickshaw travel. There’s something about zipping around in an open-sided, glorified tricycle that makes you feel closer to the people, the streets and less attractively, the smells that you just don’t get in a car. This fixation of mine led to a first hand experience of criminal behavior that is an India institution. We were travelling to India Gate when 2 young Indian males on a motor bike matched the pace of our moving vehicle, reached past the American and grabbed the backpack on Miriam’s lap. Miriam was too quick for the would-be thieves and held on tightly, forcing the motorbike to swerve into our rickshaw before speeding off. The number plate had been whited out and they made their getaway to ply their dastardly deeds on other, slower reacting tourists. We were all a bit more alert after this and I was almost disappointed at the end of our journey to find no others had dared to try the same trick.

The next morning we were up at 3:30 to catch a train out of Delhi, to ease our journey a car was booked for us for the final leg of our journey home where we could finally relax, surrounded by a hundred kids all talking to us simultaneously.

A few facts we discovered during our trip:

  • Brad isn’t going to build Miriam a tomb the size of the Taj Mahal when she dies
  • Kid’s safety scissors cannot be found even in Delhi
  • An American breakfast which claims to contain bacon, doesn’t
  • It’s possible to eat 6 meat meals in 2.5 days and feel justified in doing so.
  • Long hot showers are possible in Delhi staying at a $11/night hotel

Monday, December 14, 2009


We're off to Delhi tomorrow morning, returning on the 21st December. We probably won't be logging on while we're away but we'll update you on our travels once we're back.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mobilility mutterings

Hi there faithful blog consumers - just letting you know about some travels Miriam and I are planning in the next few weeks to whet your appetite for fresh blogs. We'll be travelling to Delhi along with Rick Shipway to pick up 3 people visiting the orphanage for Christmas; Danny from Tasmania (which I've heard is actually part of Australia), Katie from the US and another, Gail from somewhere in India. We'll be spending 2-3 days in and around Delhi waiting for all of them to arrive and probably get a chance to visit the much lauded Taj Mahal. I (Brad) will be also consuming 6 months worth of meat that has been missed from my diet.

After Christmas we will need to get out of the country for a bit to avoid being arrested for overstaying our Visa and will probably head to Kathmandu to get it renewed. News on the grapevine is that India is clamping down a bit on back-to-back Visas so we'll be leaving with our fingers crossed, hoping we can get back in again. The visa application will likely take 1-2 weeks so we'll have some time to explore the Nepalese countryside whilst there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Get the violins out...

Showing affection to ones hubbyland (husband in orphanage girl vocab) in public…

We realized how bad it had gotten when the other day when Brad was standing outside soaking up a small patch of sun. I walked over, and we both leant in for a quick peck, got to the point of almost touching, then both leapt back and quickly looked around to see if we’d been spotted by the romance police. We actually looked up and Brad made a joke about it being ok, as the satellites wouldn’t be able to see us through the foliage above. While my imagination went wild with snipers picking us off and SWAT teams lowering themselves from above.

The adult crowd…

The other night for the first time we had a “moment” which was really quite fun – some of us younger adults were playing “Jenga”. There was six of us ranging from 23-31 (me being the oldest) and we were just hanging out and enjoying each others company. I really enjoyed this brief time together and realized that we had not done such a thing since we left Australia. There’s something about just hanging out with your friends that I miss and it brought back some memories of all the good times we’ve had with those back home.

Department stores…

Being able to buy everything you need in one shop. Here you need to go to half a dozen shops to find what you’re after. Give me a Target or K-mart anyday…

Daily meat intake

Whilst Miriam has no trouble with the vegetarian diet on offer here, Brad feels quite saddened by the lack of carnivorous offerings. We have meat 1-2 times a week (mainly chicken) but he longs for the days when he could stop off at Macca’s for a bacon & egg McMuffin meal, have a long lunch with work colleagues and devour a beef schnitzel, not tell Miriam about it so they could then go out to CafĂ© Michael on Rundle St for dinner and gorge on rendang beef and red curry chicken. Needless to say that due to the lack of such a diet he has dropped 7kg and 3 holes in his belt so I guess it’s not all bad. This diet recently drove him to a nearby town for a “date” with both Miriam and a meat-filled plate. Unfortunately the only restaurant he knew of, spied on a previous trip, turned out to be vegetarian. Chilli Paneer is nice, but no substitute for the mutton kebabs, butter chicken and fried chicken he had planned to consume.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wealth of encouragement...

Using the remainder of some funds sent through by Brad’s workmates, along with some monies from our neighbour, we were able to start the construction of table tennis table. We have a small carpentry hut where shelves, desks, doors etc are all made, and that’s where the table was created. It’s really sturdy (needs to be with all the kids using it), and can be taken apart, and used as two separate trestle tables as required. The table tennis table has been a huge hit with the big boys (so much that they had to be banned for a while as their year 10 studies were starting to suffer).

The school was in need of some new rugs for the nursery and kindergarten classes. These classes are packed, and the tiny kids spend most of their time seated on the floor – not a nice prospect in the lead up to winter. The floors are cement, and the kids had a thin, threadbare, ripped rug to sit on. So thanks to our neighbour, we purchased 3 large rugs for the school to keep the little kiddies from getting frozen behinds this winter.

Thanks to a fellow city dweller & very good friend down the street, along with Brad’s uncle, we’ve been able to fit out some of the hostel rooms with new ‘almirahs’ (cupboards). Cupboards had been on a wish list for quite some time, and it’s been great to be able to replace some of the old storage items, which ranged from suitcases, to open wooden shelves and wood planks held up by bricks.

Now some of the rooms have brand spanking new, locally made, lockable cupboards, which even have a hidden document shelve and a shoe drawer. The kids were so excited to have new shelving, there was quite a buzz as I went around to see what they currently had, and having them show me where the new one would go.

The orphanage has a lot of farming land, and we’ve just recently finished a period of harvesting. The older boys had been flat out doing farm work from early morning to sometimes late into the night. The farm had been planning to purchase a new harrow for some time, and it was great to be able to combine some funds from Brad’s brother, uncle and our church and put it towards buying a new one. The farm is really important as the produce not only feeds the kids throughout the year, but also the excess is sold to cover part of the running costs of the orphanage.

The fruit 3 times a week still continues, it comes by the box, so each fruit purchase covers at a minimum one piece per person at a lunch meal, but sometimes it even extends to cover school morning teas the next day etc. We had a run of bananas and apples, and have recently even had some “oranges” (actually mandarins).

It’s great when the kids say thank you for the cupboard, sporting equipment, fruit etc, and we’re able to say that our wonderful friends and family from Australia bought that for you. It not only encourages the staff here to see the support coming through from Oz, but it really excites us to see you contributing to the great work being done here..

Thanks heaps to you all…

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A lesson in buying garlic

Yesterday I had occasion to run an errand for the farm, Priscilla (wife of Clifton who is the deputy Director) who usually does the cooking for the volunteers was indisposed and Miriam decided to start cooking supper. The cupboard was bare so I was sent off to get a couple of kilos of potatoes and some garlic. Being the savvy, street-smart kind of guy I am, I paused to get the Hindi names for Garlic (I already knew it for potato). You have to be careful who you ask here as the kids have a mish-mash of Hindi and English and speak neither 100% correct so I went straight to the top, asking Ashish, our School Manager who speaks both English and Hindi very well.

Armed with the word “Ardruk” I set off on the motorbike to the nearest Subjee Wallah (vegetable seller). Attempting to use only Hindi in this rare encounter with outside folk I began with “Namaskar, doh kay gee arloo dhanyavad” (Hello, 2 kg potatoes thank you). It worked surprisingly well with the shop assistant diving into a bag and pulling out handfuls of potatoes the size of walnuts. Then I asked for the Garlic “Or cheh piece ardruk” and that’s when things took a turn for the worse – pointing to a large bag near my feet the wallah repeated something or other containing the word “ardruk” which I supposed meant that the garlic was in there, I looked inside to find only ginger. I looked at him and said “nahee, Ardruk” (No..ardruk), he looked at me quizzically and replied “haah…ardruk” (yes…ardruk). To show him he was mistaken I pulled out a piece of ginger and showed it to him triumphantly, expecting him to apologise for his mistake. That was not the case however as by facial expressions, sign language and a barrage of Hindi he let me know in no uncertain terms he thought that I wanted ginger. At this point I gave up on my “Hindi Only” rule and said “Garlic?” He repeated the word but shook his head to indicate he didn’t understand what I meant…this began a long and ultimately fruitless saga where he, the assistant and about 20 others crowded around pointing at different vegetables and saying their name. All the while I kept repeating “Ardruk” which for some reason kept people interested in the ginger. After about 15 minutes I gave up and, after looking at some nearby shops without seeing garlic I scurried home with my tail between my legs…sans garlic.

On arriving back at the ranch I asked Ashish what garlic was called again – “Ardruk” he replied. “I’m sure that’s what I was saying back at the shop” I said ”but they kept pointing me to the ginger!” Ashish’s face dropped and replied “Oh yes, now I remember, ginger is ardruk, garlic is called lesson”.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crouching Tiger

The orphanage is located 1km from a little town called Banbassa. This little place is only 1 of 3 India/Nepal border crossings so there is a lot of freight transport to’ing and fro’ing across the river which separates the two countries. What’s funny about the crossing is that it’s only big enough for cars, so freight has to be unloaded from Nepali trucks and carried by smaller vehicles or by hand for 500 metres over the bridge and then loaded into Indian trucks. Despite the heavy traffic Banbassa itself only has a population of about 7,000. It’s not often it gets thrust in the limelight so it was big news when it rated a mention in the India Times.

The story is not just some dry commentary on export/import routes either, it’s about tigers! A “famous” tiger poacher from a “famous” tiger poaching family was arrested for attempting to do what he does best – poach tigers….right here where we are! Yeah I know most of you are now rolling your eyes and saying “big deal, so what if another tiger poacher got arrested in your town, what about our hot weather here in Adelaide”. Now I think it’s great that Adelaide is on the map for a couple of hot days but I think it’s a little bit cooler (no pun intended) that we have a guy who I imagine looks a little bit like the Indian version of Mick Dundee snooping around these here parts looking for the king of the jungle…

"Jungle” you say, aren’t some of your blogs about going into the jungle? “Yes” I would say enthusiastically “we go there quite regularly – it’s fun, there’s leeches, mud and that’s where we get our lemons from”. “Didn’t Miriam go there with a group of girl’s a while back?” you say? “yes indeed they did, they made lots of noise and cooked a great meal together”. “Isn’t that a bit scary” you might say, “to be into the same jungle as a tiger poacher?” I would reply “not really, the tiger poacher would be unlikely to harm us at all” to which you would reply “You’re missing the point – where the tiger poachers are, the tigers would be also” “Oh” I would say “That would make sense I guess – I hadn’t thought about it that way, I guess the jungle does seem a bit more unsafe now – especially since the tigers only natural enemy, the tiger poacher, has been arrested”. “So I guess then” you will say “that you won’t be going in there again knowing that there’s all those tigers prowling around”. “Of course I’ll go again” I will reply “we’re almost out of lemons….”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The call of India…

We’ve decided to stick around in India a while longer. Miriam and I are quite involved in helping out the orphanage’s first ever Grade 10 class and have decided that to give them the best chance we will continue on here until their exams in April 2010. We’ll need to do a quick visa run to Kathmandu (Nepal) in January to renew our Indian visa – so we’ll have a short break then.

It’s a bit hard writing new & innovative stuff when all you did that day was teach division of surds to a group of class 10’s, text formatting to 12 year olds, and a 2 year old to slap your head. So, if you have any questions or blog ideas we’d love to hear from you…

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sports Days....

We are all aware of Fathers and Mothers Day in Australia but India goes one better, having a Childrens day in which children are celebrated as well. At the Farm they have a special day at school similar to our sports days. We were asked to organize the senior school events with kids ranging from 9-17 years. Considering the lack of equipment for events such as high-jump, javelin etc.. we decided to have the following activities – Boot Throwing, Frisbee Bulls-eye, 10-pin bowling, table-tennis, badminton and my favourite – an obstacle course.

At stake were a swathe of prizes, purchased in the nearby town of Khatima, using some money given to me by my uncle for the orphanage – this took almost an entire day to organize (nothing ever is easy over here). The kids were very excited at the prospect of so many prizes and equally in awe of these strange new games they had never heard of. All the staff reported back at the end of the day how much fun they and the children had and almost all of the kids got involved, having 2 or even 3 goes at each event!

Memories of my sports days came flooding back – whilst being a fairly ambitious and coordinated kid, throwing myself at almost every event, being half the size of almost every other competitor really made it tough. This desire to get a ribbon was nearly the end of me in year 9 when I jubilantly realized only 2 others had volunteered for the 50m butterfly event – my cherished ribbon a certainty…until I was disqualified for incorrect technique and a subsequent near-drowning. Miriam on the other hand has fond memories of sports days, every time we move house it bugs me that we have to lug such a large box full of her childhood trophies, plaques and ribbons around with us. I really think it’s high time she let go of such unimportant things……

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dental work anyone?

I’m glad we had our dental checkups before we headed off overseas. I’ve heard the local dentists are not known for using anesthetic, and will possibly pull out teeth just because they feel like it! Every time I have a sore tooth, I get a little nervous…

We went to have a quick look at the schools dental clinic the other day, not quite the same as the ones we attended growing up? But I think these kids are pretty lucky to be getting such good dental care. I’ve been told the clinic was worth going to just for the free packets of Colgate handed out – probably a bit better quality than the cheaper Babool brand toothpaste used here…

One of the boys was given some mouth wash as he had especially bad breath. This was not something he was embarrassed about however, he was proud to show off his mouth wash, and I expect he’s probably finished his bottle already at the rate he was drinking it...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas is approaching…

We’re actually looking forward to Christmas this year. Usually the lead up to Christmas is filled with frustration. The Christmas period in Australia feels like a huge commercialised thing, that doesn’t really relate to the whole reason for the day. Having to buy gifts (although we’ve given up on this over the last few years), dealing with the shopping crowds Urrgh…. I preferred the buying of a goat for a family in Africa etc. Or this year, buying gifts for orphans in India J

All the children and even the teens and adults are getting excited in the lead up. We started hearing about Christmas back when we arrived here in August, but the frequency of these conversations are rising now that there is under 2 months to go.

Over here I’ve been told that November is the month of purchasing all the Christmas presents, and December is the month of wrapping them (it takes a whole month as there are so many pressies). I intend to be as involved in this process as I can…that should keep me pretty busy.

Even though stuff in India is pretty cheap compared to Australia, Christmas day does cost a fair amount. Each of the kids are given 2 gifts, and a surprise bag, along with special meals on the day. But also somewhere around 70 former Orphanage kids who have grown up and moved on come back to celebrate the day here, so the Orphanage numbers will be high for a week or so over Christmas. I can’t even imagine where everyone is going to fit over this period (we might have to pitch a tent?).

If you’d like to buy some gifts for the kids or staff, this can be done online by clicking here , or we can provide you with bank account details for the orphanage if you’d like to send a dollar amount through specifically for Christmas presents or something else in particular.

Best wishes from us in the lead up to Christmas – don’t get too frazzled huh….

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The kidlets

There’s four pre-schoolers here at the orphanage and they provide many laughs and quite a few scares as well with the occasional illness.
Probably my favourite kid on the farm – this little girl was brought to the orphanage as a baby by her grandmother after she was left to die in a gutter by her mentally ill mother. She was very malnourished and weak. Due to this her legs were not very well developed and even up to a few weeks ago there were fears she might not walk. Due to special attention from the staff slowly her legs have strengthened and last week she began walking – this has made many of us very happy. She’s such a cute kid that can make even the hardest of heart melt with her facial expressions and
propensity for talking in part Hindi, part English and part babble. The photo is of her taking a bath – this is quite the normal procedure I assure you!
Raymond is a bit of a bloke – his favourite word is “NO” that starts with his head high in the air and dropping it suddenly throughout its utterance. He likes bashing things together like the tricycles, toy cows and pretty much anything else. Whilst a bit of a loner - he has a soft spot for “Grandma” (Maxine Shipway) and without fail every morning toddles over to our breakfast table for a hug from her. He recently caused a commotion when at breakfast the girls in charge of him declared him missing and there was a scramble from all of us to find him. After a few minutes of frantic worry he was found playing contentedly in the small girls garden, unaware of all the fuss
he had caused. This photo of him was of when he found a new thing he could crash – the chairs in the computer room…..
I like Kevin – he’s older, but a bit more low profile than his younger brother Raymond. When they came to the farm he was so malnourished and starved that he almost didn’t make it. After lots of care and special attention he has recovered well and now tries to emulate everything the oldest pre-schooler, Danny, does. This of course gets him in lots of trouble but when he smiles at you it’s hard to stay angry for too long. Due to his initial condition it is felt that it has put his mental and physical development back a year or so but he should turn out just fine.
This little terror is one of the cutest but most annoying kids I’ve ever met. Mollycoddled by the nursery staff, he is spoilt to the point where he thinks he can get away with anything – and usually does. He is very well developed for his age (which we are guessing is around 3), he can speak very clearly and articulately. He is openly defiant to anyone who dares to tell him what to do, I find him very frustrating and hope that he gets taught some of life’s lessons early on before he turns into a bigger monster than he already is.

Friday, October 30, 2009


We were so engrossed in learning Hindi today, that we nearly missed one of our computer lessons... Ooops...

Both of us are learning how to speak, read and write Hindi as a side-project while we’re here. It’s not really necessary on the farm though as everyone speaks English. Where it will come in handy is when we venture out into the “real” India, the one where few people speak English. It’s tough work, especially having to learn another script but luckily Hindi characters (Devanagari script) is actually pretty easy to pick up and thanks to my trusty I-Pod we have been able to learnt to passably read it in just a few days – the only problem is we don’t understand what we’re reading...yet

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mayla...An Indian festival

Sunday night we were invited by the hostel boys to come see what the loud music was about. So in the darkness, we walked the 1km stretch into Banbassa. The town was in the throws of Mayla (another festival), and the main school grounds had been recreated into a town fair. Bright lights, loud music, food stalls, games, bollywood dancing... the usual stuff...

The dozen boys had a great time, some tried their hand at shooting balloons, others had a go at lucky wheel (roulette type game). Everyone played knock-em-down (15 stacked cans, 3 balls and 3 throws), it cost Rs5 per go (12.5cAUD), and was worth every Rupee apart from the Rs5 wasted on Miriam – who did nothing to improve womens lib in India, missing the cans entirely with all 3 throws! A 600ml bottle of Pepsi was at stake, and Anup did us proud. A couple of the boys had a ride on the ferris wheel, it didn’t quite meet the Adelaide Show standard, but that didn’t matter. It was like a big human mouse wheel, which gained momentum the faster the two guys standing at the centre of the wheel walked. The boys said it was the best ride they’d been on (having been the only ride they’d ever been on). We then hung around watching the bollywood, hip-hop dancing up on stage until it was time to head home for the 10pm curfew imposed....

PS - you may have noticed the pictures were not "actual" photo's of ours, we didn't take our camera that night but we just wanted something for you to look at

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday in a nut shell....

Our alarm went off at 6am – giving time for the water to heat up and us to get ready before the breakfast bell rang at 6.45am. After a quick breakfast of porridge, toast & chai, I headed off to help out with the laundry. The bijali (electricity) went off 10mins before being finished, so the generator had to be started to finish it off. I then found Brad in the office typing out the entire year 10 computing book (2 months into the year, and only 1 student out of 18 has received their book). I took over the typing at that point.

At 10am, everyone stops for morning tea. After a cup of chai, we were told that the bijali would be off for most of the day as some long overdue workmen had arrived to do some much needed work on the lines. This was quite frustrating as we have Yr 6, 7 & 8th computing lessons back to back from 10.30am to 12.20pm on a Saturday. Unlike Australia, here the kids have school 6 days a week, with one Saturday off per month. So we piled an old computer that Brad has pulled apart and labelled onto a desk & carried it outside under a shady tree for our lessons. Then Brad pretty much repeated the same lesson to all 3 classes, as all these grades are at the same level, and have really only started to have hands on experience with computers since we’ve been here.

We then borrowed a motorbike and headed into Banbassa for a quick trip to collect clothing from some tailors and get some laminating done. We went to the first tailor to pick up a top I’d put in for alterations, to find they had not fixed it yet – we said we’d come back in 5mins. We then went to the next tailor to pick up some pants Brad had put in for alterations, they had fixed the pants, but couldn’t find them – so we said we’d come back in 5mins. So we tried the 3rd tailor, they didn’t appear to have even started on their job, so we went to get the laminating done – they said it’d be ready in 10 mins. So we went back to the 1st tailor who had by now finished my alterations, collected my top and headed to the 2nd tailor, who had by then found the pants. We then went to the 3rd tailor, who was still working on the school uniform we were trying to pick up. So we went back to the laminator, and collected the finished job. Then headed to the 3rd tailor hoping that the job would be done, it was.

Lunch (at 1pm) had already commenced when we got back. So we sat down to potato curry, rice, and a banana. I then went off to relax for half an hour – while Brad took one of the students struggling with maths for tutoring, before we took the Yr 10 girls tutoring between 2-3pm (which turned into 3.30pm). We then has a quick cup of tea at 4pm (afternoon tea time), then headed into the computer room to set up for our 4.20pm Yr 10 Computing lesson, only to find that the bijali had gone off again. So we decided to skip computing lesson (as all the boys were working on the harvest anyway), and did 1 ½ more hours of tutorials with the Yr 10 girls. I then came back to find that supper prep/cooking was already well under control, so I replied to a couple of emails, almost fell asleep on the laptop until supper time (not sure what Brad did during this hour). We ate supper, which was a beautiful potato dish with chapattis, then went to bed around 7.30/8pm. I managed to be lulled to sleep by the thumping night club style music coming from somewhere nearby. Brad said the music went for hours, so I expect he didn’t find it as soothing....