Back to work today and was greeted as though I had returned from the dead!  Basu –the English teacher that I have worked most closely with was particularly pleased, as I had sent in the work I had prepared for the 14 – 16 year olds and he wanted to show me what they – and he – had done.

I have been thinking about the man I met on Sunday who has produced a book of children’s writing, and think

Year Nines earlier this year with one of the volunteers

that we could do something very similar, but for sale in England.  To get it printed here would cost something like 50p a copy and we could sell it for £3 or so back at home with the profits coming back to Samata.  I have chosen the 25 children who have produced the consistently best work over the last two weeks, as their English has to be good enough to be printable, and they are going to write their essays over the next few days.  Philip King has also asked for a contribution or two be used as one or two of the readings I am doing for the National Trust Kedleston Hall Carol concerts, so we can kill two birds with one stone.  They are all very excited at the prospect of being in print – and possibly having their work read in public in England.  Now all I have got to do is get it all typed up, once written, and off to the printers before we leave!

This is the week we have to decide how we want to spend our money – the part of what we paid for this month that goes to the school.  Also other monies that have been donated need to spent with great care so that whatever is left behind will be used and will contribute to the children’s education first and foremost, but also to the staff being able to work efficiently and effectively. 

Two of the youngest kindergarten class

I feel that the staff are undervalued and have to work in dreadful conditions with very few resources so I want to spend my contribution on them, and the money that others have raised on the pupils. My contribution will apparently pay for a level floor of concrete in the staff room – currently it is mud and broken brick and is lethal to walk on – a bank of 30 lockable cupboards for the female staff and an 8’x4’ notice board.  With the money that the two schools have raised I have already brought with me some early years percussion instruments which  we have been using in the kindergarten and puppets that we use with the action songs.  These have been a huge success with both mine and Mary’s classes and we believe that the teachers of the classes now have the confidence to use them.  We will also buy a cupboard to keep them in, in the kindergarten room which has no storage at all at present,  so that they are in the part of the school where they need to be and easily accessible. The rest of the money for music will go towards buying keyboards and some other instruments to be chosen by Sushil who works in the school teaching music to the older children.  More on that when I have met with him to draw up a list.  I think there will still be some money left to but sets of some new English text books called ‘Buzzword’ which are far more up-to-date than the Indian Oxford English books they are using which in written in colonial English that would do Kipling proud!  If those of you responsible for the fundraising of any of that money are not happy about my decision please let me via a comment or email as soon as possible as we need to get this sorted by the beginning of next week. 

We have discovered that next Tuesday is a day off for schools, because of some Hindu festival, so I have arranged for the three teachers I work closely with to come and have lunch at the hotel, before we go off to Pilgrim’s Bookstore and the music shop to choose the books and instruments we have decided upon.  You would have thought I’d invited them to dinner at the Dorchester!  They are thrilled to bits, and I guess that the two younger ones may never have been in a four star hotel before.    No marking to do tonight, I managed to get it all done in situ today, so I might just take myself off for an Ayeurpedic massage and a long relax!

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