My adventures with David in India have come to an end as David returned to Germany a few days ago, and I have moved on to Virdhunagar, a town about 40 minutes south of Madurai. I am volunteer teaching at a local private school for the next 2 weeks. Although the school is private it caters to the underprivileged offering free education to those that can’t afford and also charges very low class fees. After coming here I have learned a lot about the Indian education system.
learning to print in English
I’m teaching spoken English to children from the age of 4 – 9 years old. I enjoy being in the company of children again. Knowing the local language of Tamil has enhanced my experience here, where not many people are educated past high school and are very limited in their English knowledge.
This town is very simple and also poor. Teachers earn about 1000 rupees ($25) a month. They wear simple sarees and work 6 days a week. Entertainment consists of watching TV at home with the family, or sitting around and talking to neighbors. Technology still seems pretty new here as I just taught an admin staff here how to use email and helped her get an email address. Electricity outages happen daily from 4-6 pm. Water is a scarce resource for which there are daily arguments. People stare at me with awe when I say I need change for a 500 rupee note.
It seems completely opposite to everything I have seen thus far in India. Being a tourist you are definitely in a bubble and now this bubble has popped. There is no A/C, I feel dirty ALL the time even though I take 2 showers daily, finding a western toilet is like digging for gold, and the only form of real entertainment is the movie theater.
Can it get more real than this?