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Five days ago, I visited at the Vidya School for the first time to see the place I would be spending three weeks in India teaching English and sports. The Vidya School’s mission is to educate and empower the less privileged and to initiate progressive social change. When I first arrived at the school, I was immediately greeted: “Good morning, ma’am.” I smiled as this was the first time I had ever been called ma’am, but as I quickly learned it would certainly not be the last.

“I am very excited for the opportunities I will have in the upcoming weeks at Vidya to continue teaching and learning.”

As I sat in the main hall, I was approached by a group of girls who sat to talk with me. The girls asked me about where I was from and what it was like to live in the United States. They continued to tell me what they loved about India and taught me a few Hindi phrases. One of the girls even gave me an Indian nickname. Any nerves I felt about my first day of school were immediately forgotten as I was so warmly welcomed into the community.

On the second day, I began attending classes and teaching English lessons. Outside of the classroom I continued to learn about Indian culture from many different students. The classroom. The fourth-grades taught me several facts and a little bit of history about India. The fifth-graders gave me more Hindi lessons and taught me an Indian game called coco. I have loved the opportunity to immerse myself in the community and learn about India, and I am very excited for the opportunities I will have in the upcoming weeks at Vidya to continue teaching and learning.

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