My journey began way back when the WhatsApp group was first created. I would receive hundreds of messages a day with everyone trying to get sorted before our Fellowship to India. With so many messages and a training day before the trip, I felt like I knew all of the other Fellows incredibly well already and was excited to get going.
Time for my International Fellowship in India!
After all the messages, I finally made it to India. Super Shabbir, our Team Leader, met me at the airport and we collected two other Fellows to take back to the hostel. We were all so excited and bombarded him with questions about the trip (I don’t know how he was able to put up with us all so far and stay so calm). We were all buzzing about being in Delhi. We finally arrived at the hostel and met our roommates and other Fellows.
The next day we went on a tour around Delhi. It was everything I imagined it to be and more. The sights, the sounds, the smells were so incredible; it was like a dream. We jumped in Tuk Tuks, dodged cows, got our pictures taken, and ate curry! Delhi was immense and bustling but we were ready to head to our final destination and get to work.
The next morning we packed to get on the bus to Rajpura, Punjab, where our schools are located and where our work would be done. The bus journey was a great experience! We had such a good time getting to know each other, playing games, trying to catch up on sleep, and see India out the windows. The rain was pouring as we arrived which, we realised, was going to be quite a common occurrence. We settled down into our beautiful rooms and were greeted with a welcome ceremony. We were all so happy to receive our first of many marigold garlands and red bindi spots. The people and staff were all so friendly and helpful and could not help but keep offering us food.
During our welcome ceremony from our schools and we were introduced to everyone involved with LRTT’s partner Punjab Private School Organization. We heard speeches, songs, we meditated, and introduced ourselves by giving a short speech. It was so lovely to meet all the people involved and get to know the teachers we would be working with during our Fellowships.
And so, the teaching begins
Tuesday morning we all woke up slightly anxious as we would be going to the schools for the first time. We were picked up by our cars and driven to our specific schools. Of course our journey included dodging cows and driving past rice fields and small villages. None of us knew what to expect, but when we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and were shown around to observe the classes. All the teachers were so lovely and enthusiastic.
We were able to begin working with certain teachers to support them in improving their teaching styles and lessons. We had been invited to our Head Teacher’s home for dinner on Friday night and we were a bit nervous. We were greeted at the door by Shilpa, our Head Teacher Dhiresh’s wife. She ushered us into the bedroom where we were served biscuits, peanuts and cold coffee as starters and daal, naan bread, chickpea and paneer curries for the main course. It was delicious. Conversation flowed and we laughed all night. Within the first week into my experience with LRTT, I’ve already made some incredible and lifelong friends. The experiences that we have shared have been unimaginable and sometimes impossible to explain. I woke up everyday not even being able to fathom what the day could bring.
Written by By Carly Brosnan
LRTT India Fellow
To learn about LRTT’s Fellowships, and how you can get involved, click here: https://lrtt.org/fellowships