On our second day of orientation we went to to visit the Vidya School, where we will be teaching English and playing sports with kids for the next three weeks. The Vidya School provides education from nursery to 12th grade for children from lower middle to lower class communities around Delhi. When we walked into the school we were greeted by small children, not more than 4 years old, with big smiles on their faces and saying, “Good morning, Ma’am!” I couldn’t think of a more warm welcome.
After getting a tour of the school we all got to go into classrooms and meet students. Patrick, Maria, and I were sent to a 12th grade class and the teacher told us that we could spend time with them for the whole class period. We started by introducing ourselves and went around the room asking the students their names. We then asked the students about what hobbies they liked. At first the students were a little shy and didn’t share much, but after a little while they warmed up to us.
“I realized in that moment that even though we came from different cultures and backgrounds, they didn’t seem that different from me at all.”
A lot of the girls shared that they liked to dance, and I asked them what kind of dance they like to do. Not only did they tell me they liked to do classical and Punjabi dance, but they offered to show me. They turned on the radio in the classroom, and one of the girls started teaching me Punjabi dance. It was amazing that they opened up to me so fast and were eager to teach me about their culture. Afterwards the girls insisted that I show them American dance moves. Since I’m not the greatest dancer, I didn’t know what I was going to show them, so I asked them if they knew any American music we could dance to. They all said Beyonce. I soon found myself halfway around the world dancing to Run the World (Girls) with these girls. I realized in that moment that even though we came from different cultures and backgrounds, they didn’t seem that different from me at all.
I’m sure that in the days to come I’ll connect with the children in unexpected ways just like I did that first day. I’m excited to keep learning from them as much as I hope they are learning from me.