Saturday, 30 April 2016

Disconnected Bhutan thoughts

The water at the school comes from a spring in the mountain up behind. You can drink it straight from the tap without ill effect. It is delicious. 

Sometimes when I write on the chalk board I wonder if my bum is wiggling. 

Yesterday I watched as a girl up the back of the class turned over every page of her note book with her tongue. She was so absorbed in her task she didn't notice me staring in astonishment. 

The crows here make a wide variety of sounds beyond 'caw caw' including 'cat with a hairball', 'gargling listerine', 'old man with a tracheotomy', 'half turkey/half rat', 'I have a frog and I'm not afraid to use it'. 

My temperature spikes randomly through the day. The only time this is a problem is in class when I start jumping at things that aren't there and writing the letters in the wrong order. 

Ways students are different here than at home:
They have different types of responsibilities. Here a teacher explains and shows them how to do something, makes sure they've got it right, then says 'Be mindful, use your common sense, here's a machete, be careful of your fingers.' Or it's an awl or a hammer and anvil or a pick axe. 

Ways students are the same here as at home:
Boys with whacking sticks endangering flowers and ferns along the path to school.
Kids piffing things at each other during class.
Swinging on chairs.
The attention span of an eight year old.
Students drawing designs on themselves (and each other) in pen. 
Love of games. 

I'll miss the high, sweet bell of the prayer wheel ringing out through the day as people enter and leave the school. 

I do remember thinking I wasn't going to make it through three weeks, but I hardly remember how that felt. 

I saw a picture of someone's food yesterday on facebook and felt hungry for the first time in three weeks. A big change from wishing I didn't have to bother with eating. 

The year tens asked me to sing at the end of my final class with them yesterday. They knew I'd sung for the year nines. When I'm teaching I forget that I'm there. Being in class is an out of body feeling. So much of my focus is on the students, are they struggling, are they getting it, can I explain better, I forget that they might notice me too. It astonishes me every time. 

All the ferns, which were little furry golden-brown thumbs when we arrived, have unfurled into pale green glory. 

Last night I met a Norwegian pair who have been here to hike at much higher altitudes than I'm at and to make an interactive art project. They've done something similar in the Orkneys. We talked until we were nearly asleep at the table. I feel like they are kindred spirits. 

This morning I was sitting in the sun for Cobblers' Club. I took out my hair and gloried in feeling warm. Then I sensed little people coming up behind me, edging closer. When they were close enough to make cool shadows on my back, a little hand reached out and gently touched my hair. I grinned over my shoulder at them and all four started patting and lifting my hair. 

The photo with this post is how my heart feels. 


Birgit said...

Beautiful writing Ceels - you have such a talent! I suspect that is also matched by your talent of teaching. It is interesting how good experiences dominate the memory bank, as time passes. Love your selection of a photo to depict your mood.

Ceels said...

Thanks, Birgit!