I’m back! After a long absence I’ve returned to my random writings.
In Calcutta I got a crazy fever and didn’t eat for a few days. When my appetite came back my stomach was in such a bad way it was painful to eat so I stayed off food for another few days, all the while popping ‘take after food’ tablets. That wasn’t fun. I staying in India just long enough to meet some volunteers from my college. I showed them the ATM and the pub, and headed home. Irish food sorted me out so I came back. Now I’m in Shillong, in the north east of India, where I spent the summers of 2005 and 2006, working in Providence School. I’m here with two of the volunteers I left in Calcutta, Andrea and Louise.
In short, it caters for students who can’t afford to go to government schools, which are also free, but uniforms and books put them beyond the reach of a lot of people. There are 7 different classes, from kindergarten to the top class; in which they are studying for the National Open Schooling Exam. The school also teaches the students trades so they can be self employable when they’re older. Everything from knitting, cooking, carpentry, paper making, bag making hairdressing and candle making. There’s 20 altogether so I must be missing a few.
The class 1 teacher, who doubles as the confectionery teacher is abroad at a conference right now and I am attempting to replace her. Day1 in the confectionery class I noticed the cake mixture was an illuminous shade of green. Not being the best at baking I decided to whisper to one of the older kids (didn’t want to make a fuss if the cake was supposed to be this fun colour). Once she heard the word green she raced over to the offending child. My Khasi isn’t the best but I understood enough to know the cake was not supposed to be green. I manged to make out ‘No, not vanilla essence, food colouring!” After giving the girl an earful we later baked her crazy mixture and so ‘Alien Cake’ was born. Next St. Patrick’s Day everyone’s getting green Alien Cake from me.