Monday, 9 September 2013

Hi everybody!

Puuuhh, where to begin... So much has happened in the meantime, it is hard to decide which things i should write about. Well then, let me try to do it more or less chronologically. 

Last week we went to Bangalore to buy some music instruments. Anne will need them in order to give music therapy for some of the boys and new instruments for the band were also needed. 
What a contrast that city is to Pondicherry! Much bigger of course, Bangalore has almost 10.000.000 inhabitants. Also, it is cold there! Since the city lies about a 1000 meters above sea level, temperatures are much milder - somewhere between 23-30° Celsius. I was actually cold there. Bangalore has a huge IT industry, which is also responsible that Bangalore is still one of the fastest growing cities in India. When passing Electronic City on the highway, the view will resemble that of any European commercial center or tech park. New, tall buildings and lots of glass and steel, something you won't be able to find in Pondicherry, where 99% of the buildings looks at least 30 years old. With the IT companies, some western influences have also taken root. Women in jeans are a more common view in Bangalore and i also spotted some boys with longish hair and horn-rimmed glasses. Obviously there is no way to escape hipsters anywhere;)! Just a few kilometers outside Bangalore though, you are back to good old India - roads which are bumpy at the best, and nonexistent at the worst times, women in colorful Saris and luscious green landscape. 
It was great to see a different facet of India, but we were all glad to go back home to "Pondy" after successfully shopping for a truckload of instruments. 

Finally, i also managed to give my first English lesson! Since the level of English is quite poor, i decided to start from the beginning: the alphabet. I stood in front of the boys nervously wondering if they would like the lesson that i took quite some time to prepare. They did - although i think the ABC was too easy for some of the boys after all. Everything was going well actually; the boys were enthusiastic (bordering on chaotic sometimes) when all of the sudden the lights went out. Blackout. It happens frequently here, most of the time they only last for few minutes. Not this one, unfortunately, so i had to say bye bye to the boys and the rest of my well-planned lesson.....Well, if all goes well i will get another chance tonight. Maybe a little less preparation and a little more mental flexibility will be more use in the future;)!

Yesterday, we took the youngest of the boys to go to the beach. Some of them had never before seen the sea, so it was very exciting! They absolutely loved it. After walking to the cast (about 4km) we played some games in the park, then went to the beach and had an ice cream. We put our toes in the water, which is forbidden, and had to bolt when the police came. It was really good to spend time with a smaller group of boys, we could get to know them a little better. Usually, with ninety boys jumping all around you, it is hard to give attention to all of them. It was also very rewarding to see how much they enjoyed the little trip. Would you believe it, not a single boy was complaining about having to walk there, although sweat was dripping from many foreheads. Amazing!

As for Anne and me, we are both doing well. Pondicherry starts to feel more and more like home, and we are starting to get into a rhythm. We still get the occasional cultural shock, e.g. when asking what to do with our waste, we were told we could just throw it out the window. Or when you just walk innocently on the street and suddenly a chicken is brutally murdered in front of you (i swear i'm going to be vegetarian, i had to re-digest my breakfast after seeing that...). Still, i can't believe that already three weeks have passed since i left Holland! Time needs to stop flying, because otherwise i won't have enough of it....!

Lots of love and kisses!

Anne in her element: the music shop in Bangalore
(The gentle man on the right is father Lawrence, who is in charge of the Transit home)

Anne & me wearing our brandnew Saris...

The boys enjoying their time at the beach!

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