Natalie Bastian – Weekly Report No.1
On Thursday night I arrived in Trivandrum, India. At 3.30 am there were still 35 degrees, which was a big difference to Germany. Pater Jose and a member of St. Johns picked me up and we drove to my home for the next three months.
I am here at St. Johns as a teacher and after a week I can say that I am enjoying it. The kids have different strengths and weaks but most of them are interested in improving their English skills which is an important fact for their future.
This week were exams, so they had to learn a lot, even on Sunday, which is ordinarily a day full of freetime. Some students weren’t involved in the exams, so I spent time with them and with plays and pictures they learned some new English vocabularies.
I am spending the days with the kids and the members of St. Johns and thereby I hear a lot about the Indian culture and their lifestyle. One thing, with which I was confronted on the first day, is the Indian traffic which is extremely different to the German. Beside that I had to change my life in Germany into the life of the Indians.
The Indian people are very friendly which I noticed last Friday. I went with a doctor and some nurses on a journey and we took four stops for example in front of a church, at a school or at the elderly. Then people from the neighbourhood came and the nurses controlled their sugar in the blood because they all were diabetes. It’s a project which exists since many years and for me it seemed like the people are very grateful for it. Beside this medical experience I saw a lot of India, because it was an 8 hours- journey and we even were in the state in the east of Kerala, Tamil Nadu.
These days there are 8 days in which the Indian people are praying for Maria, the mother of Jesus. Every evening is a mess which takes nearly 3 hours. People sing, pray and speak verses, everything in Malayalam. On Tuesday evening there were the last mess and after that all people walked through the streets. We had lights and colourful umbrellas and the kids really enjoyed it. Some of St. Johns students were directly involved by playing Maria or some angels. For me it was awesome and an impressing event which was a mixture out of carneval, Fronleichnam and Patrozinium (events at the German church).
Here at St. Johns a new buildung is going to be erected. A cardinal, it is the head of the Malayalam church, visited us, blessed the field and placed the cornerstone. After that we had breakfast together and I could talk with him in German.
From India, Natalie