Thursday, 7 January 2016
A Whirlwind Week in Beautiful Palampur
PROJECT: Flinders Speech Therapy
WRITTEN BY: Katie Cox
This week has been a bit of a whirlwind! We flew into New Delhi late Friday evening, had an overnight stay, and then made the thirteen-hour bus ride to Palampur. Indian roads are a bit interesting – no one cares much about lane markings, or which side of the road you should be on.
We had a beautiful first day in Palampur, exploring the area and taking lots of pictures of the mountains. We were jolted out of our lovely relaxation by the start of placement on Monday, which was a very new experience. We are spread between two schools for children with disabilities, with 6 speech pathology students at each.
The Rotary school has around forty-five school students. The first day was fairly intense – we picked an item out of the resource room and went to meet and assess our clients for the first time, running a session without knowing anything about them. We all coped though, and after the stressful first day we got into a bit more of a routine at our school.
The language barrier is difficult, but we’ve become very creative with gestures, writing and rephrasing. We’ve done our best to learn some Hindi, which has caused a lot of amusement on the part of the school’s staff and students, who take great delight in correcting our numerous mistakes.
One of the best parts of each day is group-time before lunch where all of the children come together and we run some activities. They are very energetic, very loud and very fun! They have definitely been the highlight so far. We’re looking forward to the rest of the placement!