First week in Ghayabari/surrounding areas

Kurseong Travel Blog

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Our Room Blue Diamond

So! The placement begins! We were welcomed by our host, bundled into his car and set off up the hill…not for long! We got a puncture about 2km from New Jalpaiguri station…!! But luckily it was quickly fixed and we were back on our way! Through the forest, and up the winding, bumpy, pot holed road, every now and again being violently shaken about as the car navigated it’s way over the Himalayan Railway tracks that snake their way along and across the  road up to Ghayabari!

The views are beautiful, but it is a little bit scary just how close you drive to the edge of the road �" constantly thinking that you might be joining the views in a very ungraceful and messy way! After passing through many villages we stopped at Thindaria �" where Regal Academy (a branch school of Blue Diamond) is. Here we were greeted by all the children (playgroup, nursery, kg and class 1) and were given Nepalese scarves �" they indicate respect! After this brief stop we continued for another 5km to the Blue Diamond English Boarding School! Here we were greeted by the whole school clapping, and lined up outside the school! Several of the older boarders kindly took our bags, and we proceeded down the uneven, stone steps towards the school where we met all the teachers and Mrs Thapa �" and were given a shawl! Very pretty and warm!! 

We were then shown to our room �" very nice! 2 beds and an en-suite bathroom with cold shower head and western toilet (no paper…as is customary in India!).

Bathroom!
The walls are adorned with pictures of all the previous volunteers (a little imposing) and we found a suitcase full of resources, and a guide book that the past volunteers had written for us! After having a short nap we had dinner �" curry and momos (vegetable dumplings) and then went back to bed!

 

On Tuesday 2nd March we were taken in to Kurseong by Mr Thapa to get some towels, scarves and all important mobile phones �" alas the internet was down! Bought phones…and sim cards…which didn’t work. After much faffing about we eventually changed  sim cards and were ready to get our timetables and start to plan some lessons! Teaching began tomorrow! In the evening we got to know the boarders a little better �" about 14 or so boys and about 6girls who all live with the Thapa’s in the “basement” of the school!

 

First week of teaching was hard. Discipline is a big issue �" especially with the dreaded class 2!! Their only form of negative sanction is the cane �" which is wholly un-useful for us as we wont hit the kids! Have resorted to asking other teachers to tell them off, using fierce tones of voice and making them stand against the wall (with limited success!)

Slowly but surely Kate and I are getting the hang of it! The discipline isn’t sure a big issue in the little school (Regal Academy) �"  they’re quite mental at times, but there are always other teachers  about!

 

One day, when at regal academy I got bundled in to the school bus, rather than the usual Siliguri �" Kurseong bus, only to get round the corner and be told that he wouldn’t be moving until 1!! This was NO good at all as I needed  to start teaching then! So, after several failed attemps and 2 buses passing us, a big Swaraj Mazda goods truck agreed to take me �" I was a little unsure, but there was another woman in the front and they seemed nice enough! [there’s a massive transport problem in Ghayabari because of a short cut road that goes through Rohini and misses it out so trucks often double up as taxis…or sorts]  So I got in, it was a bit (very) squashed, and the guy next to me kept trying to look at my book and fiddling with my watch and occasionally putting his arm a little too close to me…but this is the Indian way! …going along nicely…and then it stops, in the middle of nowhere and everyone gets out…I tried to ask what was going on but the Nepali/English language barrier was too much…eventually managed to get on another bus…and an hour and 5km later I was home! Have to admit I was wondering if I was just going to end up as a headline “British Volunteer Lost in the Hills”…=( but no fame for me this time!

 

Other stuff:

 

  • Been to 2 Indian wedding receptions (just meet and greet and get some foood)
  • Hill walks
  • Getting to know the boarders and playing with them
  • Making roti in the morning (flat bread)
  • Being squished on a bus

 

Anywho!! Will tell more about life, and Darjeeling later!

 

Much love

xxx

darkfootfairy says:
Its an English Boarding School where I'm currently volunteering as an english teacher
Posted on: Apr 09, 2010
rajeevpareek says:
What is Blue diamond school ? What is it all about
Posted on: Mar 27, 2010
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Our Room Blue Diamond
Our Room Blue Diamond
Our Beds + The Memorial Poster!
Our Beds + The Memorial Poster!
Bathroom!
Bathroom!
Wedding
Wedding
Electrical safety
Electrical safety
The teacher + Kate + Me in Sarees
The teacher + Kate + Me in Sarees
Kate + Me in Sarees
Kate + Me in Sarees
Kurseong
photo by: gert-n-bert