As I write this it is coming towards the end of day four. As I am sure you can imagine our days are full of all sorts of things that you won't get to read about but mean that I don't always get around to getting the blog posted as quickly as I would like - also with 14 of us all using the wifi it means that posting pictures can be a little problematic. Also every time I sit down at my computer to write the blog I am surrounded by a little crowd of children who want to look at my pictures and find out what I am doing.
In many ways today was much the same as yesterday. Dan has just wandered by with a video camera, in the background are are mix of Indian and English students practising the violin. Josh is taking photos and there is generally a happy feel in the room, as if this group of people have been together for much longer than a couple of days.
Having done three days of the girls getting up earlier to be in the first car over to the school and the boys having a lie-in so we have negotiated a change to that tomorrow morning, and I for one am looking forward to a lie-in even if it is only 1/2hour.
Our tabla lesson was given by the older boys and they taught in the way they were taught and made each of us repeat back what we had learned. It was a great moment as even those students who claimed they couldn't remember what they had learned produced very good interpretations of what they were being taught.
Our lunchtime concert was delayed until after lunch as we had a new arrival in the form of an old friend of Anup's Revd Rachel. She had been a lawyer in the early days of the Mathieson Music School and had helped establish the charity in the UK, which meant that money could be raised and set to India. The last time she had been here was 22 years ago when Dipak Sapui, the head teacher of the school, was a child. Once Rachel had been welcomed in the same way as we had been our students performed a little concert of their own with some violin folk songs from Abi and Charlie and solo vocal performances from Orla and Hugh. Then everyone, musical or not, was dragged off to hymn practise. I think it may have been an alien concept to a few of our Strodies to learn to sing hymns, especially the older hymns that Rachel is introducing to the school for this Sunday's Mass. But then I guess this is a cultural exchange so perhaps they are learning a little about their OLD English culture? After hymn practise it was orchestra rehearsal.
The sciency students have been sending the ever amenable John out for a variety of odd ingredients such as Bicarbonate of Soda and Red Food Colouring and Mints and lemon juice. These have been used to make invisible ink, and more excitingly volcanos, there has be a demonstration of the Coriolanus Effect, plenty of paper aeroplanes folded and paper cup telephones.
One of the daily occurrences, since the purchase of all the plants, is that they are brought outside in the night time to catch the dew (which is often quite heavy) and be watered. This does however mean that they need to be removed from the sunlight before they all wilt in the heat of the day. There is now quite a good system of carting them backwards and forwards, however the sooner some of them get planted the better it will be for them.
The day came to a gentle end with lots of games, MMS children being show how to use the camera, the older musicians were practising their parts until ultimately everyone ended up playing card games which included a lot of cheating.