little bits here and there after a week

I’m going home in 5 weeks! It’s exciting. My roommate just asked me what would be the first thing that I’ll do. I have no idea. I have no answer. This is of course after I spend the day with my family. I think I might take my bike and endure the freezing weather and bike around Manhattan, maybe to Brooklyn. I’m nervous about the culture shock.
Last week I was groped. I’ve been debating on putting that experience, however brief, on the blog because of reactions or even reliving the experience. I was walking to my capoeira class, on my block, (they’re the same), and maybe 30 feet from the door of the class there was a man on a scooter texting; he was parked. I didn’t think twice about passing because nothing has ever happened before. As I passed by he grabbed my breast and drove off. I have never felt so disgusted in my life. I was too shocked to turn around or to scream even have a reaction. When I did turn around he was just a dot, far away, too far to read his license plate, not like that would have done anything. I had to hold my chest for a while before I finally got over it.
The week was smooth but slow. We were still without kids because they’re still on break. They’ll be back tomorrow. On Saturday I got to take a group of kids from a center I don’t go to on a trip to a flower show and drawing competition. I was nervous because I’ve not met these kids, but seeing as there weren’t going to be that many, I agreed to go. It was really nice, the kids had a great time. They didn’t win but they got a consolation prize. They got special recognition; I had a big issue with this, it was like, “oh let’s give the poor kids a prize just because they tried.” I know that wasn’t their intention, but to me, and thank goodness not the kids, it came across as that. They did a great job. I also had a slight issue because they had a “special” category. And the kid who won it was deaf. Since when does being deaf inhibit you from drawing?

I wrote this all last weekend. I’ve barely had a second to myself. We’ve been preparing for an International Festival at work. All of our higher-level students are participating in a demonstration of their knowledge about a specific country they were assigned. For many other work-related reasons I feel ragged; however, I like that feeling.

My thoughts these days are about work mostly and figuring out how cold I’ll feel when I’m home.

I feel this will be a continuous thread of consciousness until I actually post it. So that’s it for now.

I have 30 minutes to continue; I want to post this tonight. The first and biggest update is that this weekend we had our International Festival. All of our Beyond School centers (centers which have a higher English speaking level) participated in this festival; they did 3 months of research about a country that was selected for them. It was absolutely amazing. I’ll post pictures hopefully tomorrow. A few of my centers participated. It’s just amazing what kids can do especially when they don’t have direct guidance; some of the teachers of those centers had to leave not so long ago. They had to show what they learned in a stall, a huge stall, with posters about the country, art, and charts. They also had to put on some kind of performance that represented the country. Some of them were hysterical; they pretended to be in the country or of the country they were representing; one center did a power point presentation. It was impressive. I was proud of each and every one of my students and their teachers. It was a great to be a part of that and to think that I contributed. On Saturday I went to one of my centers (the teacher recently left) to help out the kids. It was nice to hear them present their findings yesterday.

The next big piece of news is that my capoeira teacher, my mestre, is coming to visit on Friday. He’ll only be here for 3 days, but that’s still really huge. It’s the first time a mestre form Capoeira Brasil (my group) will be in India – at least that I know of. Some ten people from the CDO group in Mumbai are coming for his workshop on Saturday. It will be amazing, stressful, and exciting. I can’t wait!

The last news, is not as happy as the other pieces. A family member passed away this weekend. My mom told me while I was on my way to work. I was driving my bike with my phone in my helmet. It wasn’t fair, not to him or his immediate family; it was a huge shock to everyone. Without going into the familial personal details, I will share the part that I feel about being far away. It’s scary. It’s scary to know things like this – all of a sudden things – can happen all of a sudden. It’s not fair to be so far away. It doesn’t seem right. This is not the first or second time this has happened while being away from home. It never gets easier.

After such a long time of not writing, I feel it’s only right to end on a happy note. Yesterday my capoeira students and friends got together. We played in the park, we hung out, we got closer as friends. There are the kids who haven’t shown up in a while, except for the hike a couple weeks ago, and one of them came. When in Rome…There was no other way to take Ganesh other than stick him on the bike with me and Manoj. He sat in the front. We 3 seated it. I justified that it wasn’t very far. I hate myself a little more for telling everyone because I feel I’ll get an earful, especially from my parents, about being stupid and dangerous. My only rebuttal is that everyone else does it and sometimes they do it with 3 kids and 2 goats with their wife in the back. It doesn’t make what I did right, but imagine being around that for over a year and see what happens.

I’ll be home in a month!!!!

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