Monday, 25 July 2016

A Day in the Life

I wake up to the sound of prayer chants and music. The same familiar song plays over and over as I sip on a Nepali tea and gulp down balep korkun and fried eggs. An ever eventful bus ride sees me on my way to school where a flood of warm Namastes, Hellos and Good Mornings from parents, students, teachers and even people on the street, greet me at the entrance.

We all assemble in an outdoor courtyard, with the children completing a number of rounds of different prayers and chants. All the children know every word, even the smallest Montessori students. They finish up on a handful of English nursery rhymes and songs, which I get to lead today, playing ukulele and doing the actions out the front with the rest of the teachers.

 I teach them a few new songs and games, with their favourite being the Hokey Pokey. It has us all in stitches as the students and teachers try not to tumble over in the dirt as we run into the middle for the WOAH HOKEY POKEY. I sing some Australian folk songs to them before wrapping assembly up, after over an hour of fun and games! It’s off to class, where I teach a foundation (3-4yrs old) class of 20 students. We sing songs and play instruments with a focus on mathematics and literacy, counting and chanting the alphabet.

The children understand only a little English, but that is the beauty of teaching using music; we all find a way to understand one another. We finish up with an art activity that is chaotic, but results in some very beautiful artworks. Lunch is a short break, filled with cheap, delicious momos at the City Market. When I get back to school I receive an invitation to a wedding on the weekend! I’m beyond excited as the teachers tell me they will find me a beautiful Sari to wear. I skip off to hold a teacher training session. I hold a seminar for the primary teachers at the school, focusing on a few different areas. We discuss how to integrate creative arts, with a focus on music, into their curriculum and ideas related to behavioural and classroom management, mostly concerning discipline. It’s amazing how interested the teachers are in our methods of education and I feel incredibly encouraged by their willingness to participate, ask questions and take on board the information. We all leave with big smiles on our faces, after playing egg shakers, drums and singing together for hours.

I catch the bus home, grab a little treat for the kids in my host family and go inside to talk to my host mum about the amazing day I’ve had. I spend a little time inside before I duck out to take a shower. There is nothing better than the feeling of tipping that cold bucket of water over your head each night in some attempt to feel something other than sweaty in this amazingly humid climate. Dinner is delicious, and the evening is spent chatting about all kinds of things until we all have nothing left to say. I go to bed knowing tomorrow will be equally as amazing, but nothing will be as I expect. There is nothing typical about a day in Nepal.

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