So every year things are a little different regarding my classes here at school. This time i have five different groups of kids to teach, depending on age, some will be doing arts and crafts, some photography and some photoshop and illustrator classes. I keep my classes small, around 12-13 kids in each and that way i can build up a proper relationship with each child and get to know them well. However some of them i have been teaching for three years now and that is really great for continuity and development. So here they are…the class of 2011…well some of them…
…So all the boys have been moved to the second Care and Share orphanage in the area Butterfly Hill. Well i exaggerate, the young boys are still at Daddy’s Home as are year 10, the final year (see previous post), but the older ones, and nearly all my students from last year are now over there. So decide i to spend at least one day a week teaching at Butterfly Hill.
It takes the school bus more than an hour to get there, we pick up a LOT of kids on the way…lets not discuss the health and safety issues here but suffice it to say we are packed in like sardines. The other day i had three little ones on my knee!
So it does have a touch of the wild west to it Butterfly H. On the serious side it’s where most of the HIV kids live (there is a hospital and lots of help on hand). But mostly it’s just hundreds of boys…running around barefoot. We are in real countryside here, there are monkeys in the trees and vivid green parakeets with scarlet beaks.
The campus is still being constructed. My kids sit on the floor to draw, and i bring in the art supplies with me.
But it’s lovely to teach here and really lovely to see my old students. There is no art teacher here yet so the boys are really keen. Ranga (a thirteen year old drawing genius with a twisted/unique vision) just grabs my hand when he sees me for the first time in over a year and beams at me…he keeps grabbing my hand for a full five minutes. It’s very moving and i feel the same, am so happy to see him and all the others too.
The orphanage kids go their own purpose built school from kindergarten all the way till they leave or go to college. There are around 1000 kids in total, 500 from the orphanage, and around the same from local villages.
Anyway, my classes started and they were huge in number, i was shocked to see around 40 kids trooping into my class room for the first lesson.
Impossible to deal with so many or even to hold their attention (10 – 13 years old) so then i had to do the horrible thing of getting them all to do some drawing for me and then made a selection of around 15 per class based on enthusiasm and some ability….arghh it was horrible, i felt like the grim reaper walking round making my selection. In the end its for the best though as with smaller classes i can give much more attention to the students individually…god the anxiety…what if i knocked back a budding genius…???anyway, went through this procedure with 2 groups…2 more to go…
This afternoon photography class with the older group, only 3 of my former students from last year are in it, lots of new faces and this year many more girls than boys (there is a reason for this which i will go into later). Already a couple of pretty decent shots were taken…
The blog has been going for just over a year now. I began it to record a project i was running in India, in an orphanage called Daddy’s Home in rural Andhra Pradesh…Obviously it has grown into something more now, but i digress…the point is that i am going back to India, to that same orphanage in Buddavaram and to the same school where i taught for 5 weeks this time last year. Keep watching for updates and i will hope that the internet is slightly less erratic than it was last year!. Checked the weather…can expect a week of thunderstorms and temps around 30C…
For more on the classes i taught and the material produced by the students from last year, click on the images below:
the alphabet project
Ramu was one of my students when i taught at the orphanage in Buddwaram (see previous post). He was playing baseball a couple of days ago, he had a heart condition and his heart gave out…
that’s him in the stripes with the glasses
He was a nice kid, and at least when he was at the orphanage, he had a decent life. One of the nicest christmas drawings of all my classes was by Ramu: