I arrived at the school at 2 in the afternoon feeling anxious and excited at the same time. I first thing I noticed when I entered was that there were a large number of children who had turned up. The second thing I realized was that it was going to be a lot of fun and I wasn't wrong!...We began by gathering the kids in a circle and Vinay played a game with them. Since he was talking in Kannada everything was being translated for me by the young girl next to me. She seemed very happy to explain everything to me!. Then we divided the kids and played the three-legged race...all of them were so excited and enthusiastic!. We then had the different stalls and my group began to make newspaper hats with the kids. The kids were extremely enthusiastic to learn and so till four I was moving from one place to another helping the kids make hats. The kids seemed to have really enjoyed the activity. Some of them were quick learners while some others needed a little help but it was an amazing feeling to see the kids try on their hats and show them to me with huge smiles on their faces :).
I didn't have enough time to look around and see what the other stalls were doing but I could hear lots of laughter, dancing, singing and playing. The mood was infectious!...soon though it was to time to pack up and we cleared everything up, danced to the chicken dance and then bid farewell to the kids.
The experience was absolutely amazing...I was anxious when I came because I didn't know how it would go and whether it would be easy to connect with the kids but as soon as everything began the enthusiasm and energy of the kids were so infectious that I forgot all of my hesitations! I had some nice conversations with some kids...all of them were so cooperative with me even though i don't know Kannada. One girl who was there with her three younger siblings even helped translate things for me. I even spoke to some kids who knew Telugu as i know it too. So the language was not a problem and the kids were really cooperative.I loved how crazy and chaotic the whole thing was and at the same time everything went smoothly. My major concern coming in had been whether this is going to be worth my time and energy and when I left yesterday I knew without a doubt that it would be one of the most worthwhile things I'll do each week for the next six months :)
--- Pooja Agarwal