Tuesday, October 5, 2010

a cow ran into me...

...it's true. I was walking down on of the main (that means paved) roads, minding my own business, when a cow decided it did not like me. I was not even close to being in its way, but it came running at me and practically butted me off the road! I tried going back the other way, and it followed. I tried crossing the street, and it followed. It kept chasing me! Luckily, two Indian women drove by on a motor bike and were able to get in between. They told me to "go! go!" and I did. I practically ran back home. And now I am a little terrified of cows.

Sorry I didn't blog till today. And I'm also sorry there aren't any pictures. My waterproof camera got wet and now it doesn't work. I'm hoping it's just the battery, but in the meantime I may have to reactivate my facebook account so I can get other peoples' pictures.

Last Tuesday, we started our Service Learning Projects (basically an internship) and so now we have more of a regular schedule. Tuesday - Friday, we go to our SLPs from about 9-12 in the morning. I'm working at Thamarai Educational and Healing center. So far, I haven't had any specific job except to watch and learn. They have an educational center where they have preschool in the mornings, and then afterschool care in the evenings. Recently, they opened a healing center, which is where I am most of the time. Typically when I'm there, elderly people come in for treatments, typically for joint pain, and some women also come for a yoga class. Sometimes I participate! At noon, one grade from the local village school comes for health education. This way each grade comes once a week. This past week has been school holiday, so there have been about 10 or 12 kids hanging out at the healing center. They teach teenage girls on Saturdays, and even though I don't work then, I'm helping set up a nutrition program for them. It looks at a single plant and all its benefits. For example, they've already done papaya. They learned what vitamins it's rich in, learned to make soap from the leaves, and learned its health benefits and how it can be used as a medicine.

We're starting our third week of yoga now. Our yoga teacher, Shambo, has a strong French accent and the most hilarious quites. They probably don't sound funny if you weren't there to hear it, but one of our favorites was when we were relaxing and he wanted us to become aware of how our body was feeling. Imagine a very French man with a ponytail and very short shorts saying, "scaaaaaan your body. bzzzzzzz bzzzzzz." It's a lot of fun though, and we've done some difficult poses. I've been going to yoga classes for a couple years, so it's fun to do something challenging and new.

In the afternoons, we typically have class. These are basically just group discussions. Some people have been a little frustrated that we just talk and talk and never really learn how to do anything specific, but I think everybody is getting used to the way it works. We have also been working on our Individual Learning Plans, where we choose what our interests in each class are and what books we want to read. It's a very flexible curriculum which allows for people to pursue their own specific interests, even if our faculty aren't experts in that area.

All in all, it's going well and I'm having a great time. If you want to know anything specific, let me know! So much is going on that it would be hard for me to write it all here, but I'd be happy to tell you more!
Till next time!

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