So I made it! We spent 48 very busy hours in London seeing almost every tourist site there was. I think both Joe and I were really ready for the 8 hour flight to Bangalore and a very large sleeping pill. We got into India at around 4:30 am, and had a car waiting for us at the airport. We met up with two other girls who were on our flight and are volunteering at our school also. It takes about two hours to get to Shanti Bhavan from the airport, and the sun was coming up as we started to get close the the villages around the school. For anyone who has seen Slumdog Millionaire, my India is exactly opposite. My school is in the middle of no where, miles from any city or even village.

The school I'm working at is called Shanti Bhavan meaning Haven of Peace, which is truly is. There are 206 students here ranging in age from 6-16. Each grade has about 15-20 kids in it. These kids from from villages in the county we're in, Tamil Nadu. They are all considered "untouchables" in the Indian caste system and wouldn't be allowed any education otherwise. The homes they come from are true poverty. No running water, not enough food, parents who are substance farmers, and barely any clothes. They are all fluent in English, and learn subjects just like students in America would, math, reading, writing, spelling, science, ect.

I teach the second graders here and absolutly adore them! Who knew I would actually like kids one day! They're loud and have so much energy, but I"m slowly learning how to make lesson plans for their ten minute attention span. I'm also in charge of 11th grade history and policial science. The 11th graders seriously know so much. I didn't have a lesson the first day and figured we would just talk about what they've been learning and see if they had any questions. They talked for about thirty minutes explaining what they've learned and then they wanted to ask me questions about America's views on a lot of things. I was blown away by what they knew and the details they could talk about.

Besides the four of us volunteers that came in on the same day, there is another volunteer from New York who has been here for five months who is in her late twenties and another retired man who has been coming for four months for the last three years. It's a really fun group and we're hoping to fly up to the Taj next week because its a three day weekend for Republic Day.

The Shanti Bhavan web site is shantibhavanonline.org, it shows pictures of the kids and kind of explains what Dr. George, the founders, mission is. Love and miss everyone!

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