I told you that I already had some stories for you resulting from the fact that Apra now goes to school. She is mastering this big change of her life very well – and loves going to school!
Obviously, the first day was simply exciting for her! After the summer holidays, she was one of two new children in her class. The sessions now already start in April, a few weeks before the big summer holidays – but as we had only decided to send her to this school in June, she was a newcomer. Most of the other kids were not even new to school in this year but already had started their academic career one or two years before! Apra had of course been to our school but I already told you that she had the freedom to leave whenever she wanted – and we were never far away!
So it was a big thing for her to leave us and go to the classroom on her own. On the first day, everything was so new and exciting that she didn’t even get to think of us until we were already back to pick her up. The days that followed however showed us the process of letting go – which obviously has to happen from both sides! Here, however, I again see how great of a choice we have made: the teachers were so professional, lovely and kind with her that it really did not take long for Apra to adjust. Saying goodbye remained difficult for a while but as soon as she was in the classroom, she played, laughed and enjoyed!
By now, Apra marches off towards her classroom happily and waves back with a joyous smile, looking forward to the many fun things she will get to do in school, together with her new friends! They work with clay, they paint, they go to the playground and in between they also learn – English, Hindi and Mathematics.
She comes home with homework and we take out time to do it with her – and the other kids of the Ashram. One table at the restaurant then belongs to this little study group for an hour or two! This has also become a time that our volunteers started sharing with the kids. Young travelers on a budget who want to take part in our retreats and explore India can help us at the restaurant in the evening – and do homework and play with the Ashram boys, Apra and whoever joins them from the kids of our staff. Obviously, after work, there is also fun – and lots of it!
It is lovely to see this development and this new routine. It also means that Apra now has a fixed bedtime – because she has to get out in the morning! Of course that works better on some days than on others but Apra definitely has got used to her routine. And she loves it!
We can see that very clearly when we hear, just like day before yesterday: “Do I have school tomorrow?” “No, it is a holiday.” “Oh noooooooo!” 🙂