My experience

I had two encounters with India; hectic polluted filthy Delhi and serene peaceful placid Himachal Pradesh. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Himilayas, reminscent of a postcard. The sun beaming over snowcapped mountains was one of the most beautiful sights for me. I settled in quite quickly into what was to be my new home for the next 10 weeks. My first day at the school made me realise how accomodating everyone in India actually is. This was illustrated in various ways; whether it was being invited to someones home for food or to celebrate a wedding. In the West we complain about missing a tv programme or if the internet is not working on our I phone. We are spoilt with so many possessions. My students at Thala school in India had never seen a television or even a light bulb, but the one possession that they have that nobody could take away from them was enthusiasm for education. As our van would take us to school each morning , we were greeted with beaming smiling faces ready to learn new English vocab. ' G'morning Natalie Ma'am'. I enjoyed being taken away from my luxuries at home and being able to give to a community which valued and took pride in learning. Each week I would look forward to creating visual stimulus to take into schools and making songs to make my lessons memorable for them. I took pleasure more than anything in playing with my students at lunch, being able to be a huge kid again and pick up a bit of Hindi was great. Going to India helped me develop and gain independance in embarking on an adventure to help others who aren't as fortunate in developing countries. This project enabled me to be with like-minded people who are concerned with issues in developing countries and empowering children and letting them know they can fulfil their dreams. My students were truly inspirational as they settled for nothing less than the dream of being a 'doctor' when you would ask them about their future. Since working with Platform 2, I have also spent time in Tanzania teaching voluntarily.