As I entered the caravan today, I could only see about 20-30 children outside playing some game. I thought that was the total number of children, because I heard in the caravan that happened last Saturday was about 150. However when I entered the school building, there were a whole lot of girls and boys, all with such eager, smiling faces! Since it was my first day and I am new to Bangalore, Amy and me we went all around Bangalore and it took us two hours to reach, though we left at 12:20, we were able to reach the caravan only at 2:30(hoping it is the first and last time).
Since I was the only one who had come at that time from the music team, I joined the dance team. We first got to interact with the girls, who were such sweethearts!!! They sang and did the actions to hokey pokey first and completely enjoyed it. When asked if they wanted to do it one more time they all in unison shouted ‘YES’. So we did the hokey pokey one more time, and by then I was actually out of breath! Soon after this song one of the girls came up to me and said ‘ akka super song’. That was enough to get my heart warm, to us it might seem like such a silly song, but to that little girl, Indira it brought a big smile to her face. After that we did their all time favorite the ‘Chicken dance’. Some of the bigger girls at the back weren’t really dancing, so I went at the back and did it with them, it was then that I you could see them giggling. Then the part with the music where you have to dance with a partner, I danced with the girls and then they all wanted a chance to do that. So it was nice to see that though at first they did weren’t as free to dance, once they knew that it was actually fun, there was no stopping them!! After the chicken dance we then sang if you’re happy and you know it. That song was also done twice. After that the dance team had a game for them where they had to dance while the music was on and then once the music stops, they all had to freeze. The first one to move had to either come up in front and sing or dance. A few then willingly did that.
Once we had a few rounds of the ‘statue game’ , I showed them how the song ‘baby shark’ was sung along with the actions. They got the songs and actions so quickly and it was so nice hearing them sing it back with all their energy. Before the song I showed them the picture of a shark, and asked them what is it called and they said ‘Dolphin’! Finally one girl said ‘shark’, so then I could start with the song. By then the boys were peeping in and wanted to come join the singing and dancing. The girls were then sent to some other stall, while they boys came barging in! Managing them was a little difficult, but they were just being boys! Full of energy they were somehow made to sit in a circle and the 7 up game was played with them. These boys were smart and it was only the younger ones that were getting out. After that they wanted to do the hokey pokey song as well so we ended the session with that. Though I was completely drained out by the end of it, it was also so exciting that I was so eager to come and write al this down and relive those memories. Once I was there among the children I completely forgot about the traffic I was stuck in or the rain that delayed me. At that moment all I wanted to do was be a part of these children’s life, be a part of their story.
At the end when it was time for them to leave, most of them wanted to come and say bye to me and I noticed that not only me, but all the volunteers they interacted with. They would go out of their way just wave bye or shake a volunteer’s hand and not just say bye, but say steal your heart away, with those smiles filled with gratitude and gratefulness. It just makes me think, when was the last time I have ever had so much gratitude that I would go out of my way to express it. Teaches me how I need to be more grateful in life for all the privileges that I have around me and stop complaining. Looking forward to these next 6 months!
--- Sonia Elizabeth P