Week 8

Kurseong Travel Blog

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Week 8 – General

Got back from Darj completely soaked because I got the only seat next to a window that didn’t close when it rained for over an hour! Got back to no power and a room that’s starting to smell more and more like a swamp! But the kids were all well and seemed to have had a good weekend despite the fact that they have exams all this week.

The exam set up is different to that in the uk. There’s no official text paper, and they’re all just done in a classroom with one invigilator. We had to help them type up all the exams as we’re much faster at typing than they are – but it didn’t help that even on the second day of the exams many teachers still hadn’t submitted their papers, oh and the power KEPT cutting out. However chaotic organization prevailed and everything managed to get done more or less on time!

All the kids are revising hard by sitting in a room and reciting their entire text books over and over again – sounds like a weird occult ritual is taking place every evening. No idea how they can concentrate, but they seem to manage ok!

The helper boy, who seems more settled but who’s name we still don’t know, has been joined by a girl called Naseem who seems very nice. And we’ll often hear them giggling together in the kitcher. Food’s good, but still at a very late time especially since the kids are studying for even longer at night.

Regal Academy is good, Kate and I are both teaching there this week as we have no lesson ate BD. We have plans to make a display of all the kids at Regal on the wall and to put some of their art work up. It’s awesome having 2 of us as we can entertain all of the children and keep everyone in check! We also plan to do our mural, but paints are proving tricky to get hold of.

Off to Siliguri this weekend to see Alex and to experience the planes. Alex got me a bamboo flute – how cool!!! So excited to try it out, and can’t believe he remembered that I wanted one. Will be nice to explore a new are, it’s a lot bigger and more industrial than in the hills – even has it’s own domino’s pizza place!

Have also tried to try and plan our post placement travels – but it’s not going too well. Got Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Kolkata. Waiting to get together with elf to plan more and book stuff. Were thinking of flying to Goa but it’s out of season and a long way to go for a few days – might save the south for another trip – anyone want to join?

Wednesday 21st April

We were at Regal this morning, was fairly easy going and fun – its ace teaching in a pair. =) it rained and was cold but got brighter as the morning grew on. After school we tried to get a bus, but it was taking ages so Kate and I decided to walk up to the train station so we could get whichever came first to Kurseong. However, on our way up we passed Fatima, a teacher at Regal, who informed us that there was no train because there had been a landslide at Mahanadi, and invited us in for tea. We were taken into a beautiful little room with seats, a table, tv, giant bed and numerous pretty pictures of sacred Muslim sights throughout India. Along with tea Fatima’s mum made us a Muslim holy dish  of flour noodles, warm milk and cashew nuts, it was a little bit like porridge. After about an hours wait, lots of chatting and looking at photos there was still no bus. Fatima then invited us to stay for lunch – it was delicious (no potatoes in sight!!) we had rice, thick dhal, spicy/garlicy tomato chutney, egg curry and spicy beans – was so so yummy!!! Fatima’s mum is an amazing cook! We also invited Fatima to come white water rafting in May with Uma and she invited us to hers for a weekend! Should be fun. After lunch (and over 3hours) there was still no bus so we pitched up outside and eventually got a share taxi to Ghayabari! Didn’t make it to Kurseong, and everything’s closed on Thursdays but it was pretty damn fun anyway and we’re off to Siliguri on Friday which should be good!

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photo by: gert-n-bert