Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day Four Blog: by Tom Xiao and Khepri Zhang

Since yesterday was the first time our students met their host families, we asked the leaders of the day, Tom and Khepri, to journal their experiences traveling to Chinchoti and their first night in the homestay. Khepri and Tom are staying in different houses. One of our teachers, Effy (Huang Jun), is also staying in a homestay with some of the students. In the coming days, she will make a blog post in Chinese describing her experiences in the homestay.

Tom’s Journal
We woke up early, at 6 AM before the sun rose. We had to get everything done perfectly so we could start out new journey to the peaceful village of Chinchoti. It was a long, tough trip, because the weather was not good and the boat was cancelled.

Instead, we had to take a bus the whole way, but we made it in the end! Along the way, Carlos and Krishna engaged us in a scavenger hunt, which revealed numerous natural and cultural features of the landscape; we saw things like funeral pyres, goddess statues, and corrugated metal roofs. After we arrived in Chinchoti, the people gave us the warmest welcome, with delicious, aromatic milk tea. We then had our first learning session in Chinchoti: “Why are we here?” Every kid and adult elaborated on their story and reasons why we are here. Some people came here to investigate the world. Some people are here for enhancing communication skills. We also long for learning to recognize both our own and others’ perspectives. Others are devoted to this program because they simply take actions readily. It was a chance for us to re-evaluate ourselves and to be introspective. It’s the time for us to connect ourselves to the local community. At our anchor session, we shared out appreciations. I appreciate the cute white kitty in our homestay, the Indian McDonalds we ate for lunch, and all the milk tea everyone made. We introduced news about tomorrow, and people seem excited about cooking with our host families and learning about Indian dance. Many of us are a little concerned, but also excited about going to school tomorrow, but Chris told us to “go with the flow.”

Khepri’s Journal
Today, we had a long trip to a village. It was a long and sometimes boring trip, because nobody wanted to play cards on the bus :( We had McDonalds and the food made everybody crazy! We got plenty of food for our stomach. In the afternoon, we went to the village and got to our houses and families. My house mother and sister can speak a little English. We got to know each other quickly and played UNO a lot. In a word, the countryside of India is beautiful.

Our sixteen people work together and nothing can stop us. Training our heart is the point of this trip.


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