Well, Hannah went today and the Umbilical is cut. Somesh and I are on our own now... except of course for our skype support calls.
I thought - at least in India they drive on the same side of the road - some common ground, however things are not quite the same here and maybe this can give a bit of an insight into how to work with boundaries. We do get to school each day, and on time, i just don’t understand how.
We decided to use the space created by the morning yoga session at the Arms centre for our sessions and it is surprising how many of the gestures and concepts from there are reflected in our sessions. The theme of self and group seems to be emerging from our discussions and practice. Many of the activities that we create in the groups with the children resonate in our discussion later with the teachers and parents. Although the teachers run a separate group from the parents we join together at the end of the day for our training workshops. This allows for a real sharing of issues that are raised within the groups with the children and much is shared between teachers and parents that i suspect is lost in translation to us. However this means that the teacher/parent group are able to take a degree of ownership of the process themselves.
At Patashala school because the needs are so different we are using a different format. Somesh suggested a larger workshop for all nine teachers working towards some basic body percussion and singing exercises that they can all use at the beginning of each class. The intention being to bring a degree of playfulness and creativity to the curriculum. We also work with four teachers with an identified group of children that need extra support.
And did we mention, we are in the middle of Ganesh Chaturthi - a Hindu festival in honour of Ganesha. A range of brightly coloured plaster cast figures abound, and from what i understand they will be paraded through the streets and deposited in the lake at the end of a period of prayers and celebrations. Apparently many overhead cables have to be removed from the streets as some of the figures are so large!
Alastair & Somesh