Monday, September 24, 2012

Student Post: Aleena Plummer on Home Visits!

A couple of weeks ago we sent our students on home visits, when they are paired off with a BACAS student to visit for the day! Aleena had a great experience learning about what life is like for an Indian student here. Here are her thoughts, originally posted on her blog. Happy reading!

Escaping City Life
by Aleena Plummer

On Saturday, the students from the India Studies Program were sent home with some of the students from BACAS (the college I’m attending here in Coimbatore). Now, many of the students who go here are from places far away and live in school housing which is called “the hostel”. These students are referred to as “hostelites” and have LOTS of rules. But the remainder of the BACAS students live in and around Coimbatore with their families, and those were the students we were sent home with.

The bus drivers wanted a picture with us.
Ashley, a fellow ISPer from Pennsylvania, and I went with a girl named Yoga to her family’s home. We rode two busses in a journey that ended up being about an hour and a half long just to get from the school to her house—which she makes twice every weekday. It was crazy! Anyway, Coimbatore is bordered by some sort of mountain range which can be seen even from in the city but are quite a ways in the distance. Well our bus journey took us all the way to the last stop on the 3 bus and almost to the foot of the mountain range. It was amazing! Yoga lives in a small village that her family has lived in for over two hundred years, according to her uncle. Several of her family members all live within a few houses of each other and we spent a significant part of our day simply visiting with each different aunt in her family, touring their homes, and attempting (and failing) to refuse the food that EVERYONE in India offers to (read: forces on) guests. Her uncle who is a lawyer in the city was able to converse with us, and another sixteen year old uncle (Yeah, I don’t get it either…) also knew pretty advanced English. I only know about two words in Tamil at this point (hello and thank you), so communication was limited. But it was nice to get out of the city for a day.

Yoga’s family has traditionally been farmers and they still own their farmland and employ ten to fifteen people to farm it, so Ashley and I got to journey on the backs of motorcycles along a rutted, one lane, dirt street to the farmland the family owns. At that point, we could literally see the base of the mountain. The landscape here is remarkable because the land is completely flat and then the mountains just bust up out of the earth.The farm was pretty interesting. Not really what someone from America would picture a farm as. Everything was still all dusty and didn't really seem like good soil for growing things in.

While we were in Yoga's village, we visited a local government run school. Because we were foreigners and guests to the village, we were able to walk through the rooms that the students were working in. They were all so adorable that I just wanted to take them all home with me! I was dying. All I had to do was wave at a little kid and they would be so excited they couldn't even sit still. It was precious.

By the end of the day I was so tired that I almost fell asleep on the bus ride back to the city! And it was only about 4:30 in the afternoon. I can't believe that Yoga rides the bus an hour and a half every morning, sits through a day of school, and then travels all the way home again in the evening. I thought it was bad to ride in to Hall-Dale from Richmond when I was in high school. At THAT was in my mom's van, not public transportation. Overall though, it was a great day and I was really glad that I got to spend a day away from the noises and crazy traffic of the city!

No comments:

Post a Comment