Today has been busy again but a little more relaxed with plenty of time to chat to some of the teachers from Bawa Lalvani and learn more about their lives and culture.
We began the day at school (as the children have a half day in school on a Saturday here) and met two of the Grade 1 classes who performed some poems in English for us. They were very confident at speaking in fromt of visitors and their English was very good considering how young they are!
When they finished their performance, we read them English stories (Giraffes Can't Dance and Funny Bones) and got them to join in with some actions although they were a little bit reluctant at first as they are not used to sitting as a group on the floor with the teachers and do not often interact in lessons in the same way that we are used to at Whitehouse Common. In the end they became more confident and were really enjoying taking part. It was great fun and we really enjoyed working so closely with them.
After some light refreshments, we left the school to travel to the RCF (Railway Coach Factory) for a tour. The RCF is a government run site at which the coaches for the Indian trains are made, assembled and painted. We looked around the factory and saw some of the men working hard welding, beating metal, painting etc. which was very interesting. It was also fascinating to learn that the site is a community built around the factory with housing for the workers and their families, markets and shops, schools, parks, a hopsital and its own Gurdwara. We thought it was similar to the community that was built up many years ago in Bournville near the Cadbury factory with facilities provided for all who work there.
One of the teacher's who took us lives on the site as her husband is a technician at the factory so she could tell us a lot about it and show us around. We had lunch outside on the grass sitting on blankets and enjoyed chatting in the sunshine.
Later, we are off to Jalandhar Cantt (a nearby church) before going out for dinner and returning home for another well earned rest!
Be sure to take another look at the blog tomorrow to see the next chapter in this exciting trip...