Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out

OK OK that's a bit melodramatic, but jeeze this is my second cold in one month and it's two too many. Thank god a package came today with cold medicine in it from home. I had used up the first pack for the first cold. Maybe the no heat, no hot water, being around many kids with runny noses etc. has helped to contribute to the present situation. But tonight after another rotten day, except when teaching and the adrenalin kicks in, I took out the big guns - CIPRO. My doctor was great when I asked her for some meds to take traveling with me. She was born in a third world country, so no explanation was necessary for her.

On top of the cold business, the sun did not shine today and there was fog all morning. However my Shedra class had their first test from me and the results were pleasing. I didn't calculate the average, (too dependent on gradebook software), but the approximate average was 94; only one failure and I will have to talk to him to see what's up.

I also asked them to answer one essay on what they would like future volunteer teachers to teach them. I got some terrific responses. They are interested in everything: vocabulary, writing, speaking, speech giving, poetry writing, psychology, translating, computers, and also a "deeper relationship" with a volunteer teacher.
They're one heck of a group of fine young men.

Ages in the Shedra class range from 19-23. They are all from the district of Mustang; a Himalayan Kingdom close to the Tibetan border. Traveling home for them involves an arduous trek. Occasionally a parent going through to spend the winter in Kathmandu or nearby stops in to see them.
But they are not alone, they are with their family of brothers. These boys relate across all ages far more compassionately than many of us could imagine. Yes, there is fooling and teasing - but it never goes too far. Yes, there is smacking and smacking back - but it never seems to end in tears.
Life moves on at a comfortable pace and there is always someone with whom to play or to talk. Smiles are a constant.

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