Betty's gone, yo

May 17, 2008

One of the things I’ve learned is that the power is frequently off. I have it pretty good, though. The first volunteer a few years back had the power go out for a week once. Cooking is done on propane grills, and kerosene lamps or candles are available, so it’s not a big problem when the lights go out.

I haven’t said anything about the school or the kids yet, and I really ought to because that’s the best part. They’re all quite wonderful and mostly happy children, and good students in terms of eagerness to learn. The differences in the educational system take some getting used to that I probably won’t be able to figure all out in only the short time I have, so I’m trying several different things. Some have worked, some have failed, but the kids have been there to help me.

I only have a month left (actually they mis-stamped my passport for the 30th of June instead of the 3rd) and I hope it doesn’t go by as quick as the first. I’ve been to one wedding, and then a funeral yesterday – hundreds of people, it seemed, showed up from all over Sikkim. I was told this was nobody particularly important in the community — that’s just the norm for funerals. Mostly I didn’t understand a word but the emotions were easily understood.