Wednesday March 9th : Another Two School Day

Posted by / March 27, 2011 / Categories: India 2011 Peace Exchange / 0 Comments
I love doing this work.  I love meeting young people. I love seeing their beautiful hearts, wide curious eyes, and amazing spirits.  I love sharing this project with them and observing and listening to their wisdom, watching them explore their creativity, and share in a moment of peace. The second day drive felt much less strenuous than the first: familiar landmarks, known bumpy roads, and a school slightly closer than the previous day.   We were again five and we seemed to arrive in quick time at the first school. When we arrived, the majority of the school was seated in neat and organized rows singing their morning prayers.  This was a beautiful sight and a wonderful welcome to this third Udaipur school.   As I stood and watched, fleeting eyes and curious gazes from the group in our direction brought smiles.   Thought of “I should be filming this” was quickly clipped as the sound of “om shanti shanti shanti” touched my heart and completed their prayer. As quickly as the group finished, they jumped from their seats and dispersed back to their classroom in a flurry.   This gave us some time to get situated upon the same spot where the morning prayer was held. One of the highlights of this workshop for me was one particular girl who’s eyes were old and wise, familiar and so curious.  She and I were equally intrigued by each other throughout the day and caught each other in silent communication numerous times throughout the workshop.  Although she would never come close enough to make physical contact, her curiosity was deep and her joy was felt in our repeated playful exchange. After working in three schools I am present to many a phenomenon, perhaps similar across the continent.  The first is the behavior of young girls.   Girls in India are not supposed to be forward in any way.  They are taught to be reserved, submissive and shy.   There is deep curiosity and playful energy, but so very contained.  This makes interaction, especially with a tall western man (even in the space of a peace project and a community building activity) nearly unthinkable.  I was very pleased to find a small and subtle break-through in this phenomenon with the girls at this school (albeit, aside fromlittle miss curious eyes)

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