Monthly Archives: September 2012

School visitor

Kasiga School boasts of an environ closest to nature, it is no surprise then to see our friendly neighbours (viz. insects, animals and reptiles) saunter into the corridors on a daily basis.

Today the celebrity during the juice break was a tiny grass snake. Unfortunately it chose the noisy junior school block to make an appearance and had to beat a quick retreat. But not before I was called to snap a few pics!

Can you spot it in this picture?

Peace @ work

The Kasiga School celebrated the International Day of Peace today, with the theme: Sustainable peace for a sustainable future.

Amidst all the speeches highlighting the significance of this day, what touched me the most was that the students pooled in their ideas and resources to create banners, placards and logos for the event. Hats off to their creativity!

Here are a set of images of the morning’s celebrations:

The peace logo

The components of peace

The Principal’s speech against a very powerful backdrop

The Junior Choir singing the Peace Anthem

Peace march showcasing the Millenium Development Goals

Students march around the Oval (Cricket Field)

A rainbow for the teachers

Teacher’s day at the Kasiga School was a memorable one for me… not only because the students didn’t allow me to teach in any class I went to, or that they surprised me with a shower of confetti when I switched on the fan in one of the classrooms or the tiny handmade cards that I got from so many. All this was proof that being a teacher is indeed such a noble profession. And while I walked back home the heavens had something else is store for me. I quickly got out my camera and snapped a panorama of a beautiful rainbow in the sky!

Cheers to teaching and teachers everywhere!

Wither weather?

I was always made aware of the strange dichotomy in the weather of this place. While Dehradun can be bright and sunny, a few kilometres uphill in Mussoorie it will be pouring cats and dogs! And while the hills may be thrilling in the warm glow of the sun there are cloudbursts in the plains! Well, all this theory just transformed into a real life practical for me yesterday!

A surprise visit from a few friends flowed into an evening drive up to Mussoorie. The skies were clear after two days of heavy rainfall and we were confident Mussoorie would offer us the same weather! Hardly had we crossed the huge signboard “Welcome the Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills” that we were engulfed in a downpour so heavy that I imagined our car sliding backwards to base! The evening was a total washout, but that was not all. The way back offered us a driving test beyond anything I had imagined.

The picture may not do justice to the eerie experience that we had trying to figure out the edge of the road through that ghastly fog!

A slice of Chile in India

Today Chile celebrates its Independence Day.

How does that find its way on this  blog? Well, one of the languages offered in the here at the Kasiga School is Spanish, taught by Carolina Hahn from Chile. At the morning assembly, it was she who enlightened us about this country and its rich history.

Here is an excerpt from the her speech…

Independence Day is a very special day for any country. It makes people remember their history, roots, and you cannot help but examine who you are. Today, September 18th, is the anniversary of the independence of my country, Chile.

From the moment America was discovered in 1492, the Spanish ruled over almost the whole continent. As they explored, they found native tribes all around, but the Spanish did not find much opposition, since the natives thought them to be gods, with their horses and shiny armor. Thus they started their campaign, and established cities, converted the natives to Christianity, and so on.

The only tribe that gave problems to the Spanish was the Mapuches, people who lived in the south of Chile, and for around 300 years there was conflict.

Finally, on September 18th 1810, a group of men got together in a special meeting, and declared the independence of Chile in a document. Is this day when we celebrate one more birthday of our country, which is now 202 years old.

My only thought on this day is that I am proud to be from where I am, as anybody should be proud of their roots and identity. Respect your country, and whichever country you’re living in if you are away. Never take your freedom for granted; just think, you can have control over your life, where you live, work, and travel… you can have your own opinion for everything that happens around you, nobody dictates your actions or thoughts. This is something that is precious and too valuable to even think of a price. Independence Day also makes me value peace, tolerance and respect for one another; in this way there will be more understanding, and less war and conflict among nations.

Facts about Chile

Independence Day: September 18th
Capital: Santiago (founded in 1540)
Official language: Spanish
Demonym: chilean
National flower: Copihue (usually red, or white, with the shape of a bell)
National animals: Condor, Huemul
Currency: Peso
Neighbor countries: Perú (to the north), Bolivia (to the northeast), Argentina (to the east)
Area: 756,096.3 km2
Population: 17,402,630
Type of Government: Unitary Republic.
Current President: Sebastián Piñera

Invigilation – That dreaded word

What is this life, if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare…

– W. H. Davies

It’s that time of the year in the school where the students are the busiest and the teachers appear to be most relaxed! Yes. Examinations! But honestly, I prefer the teaching days to these where I have to wander in a classroom trying to decipher the gestures students make to each other while they answer their papers. The morse code is reinvented each time in a student’s life!

Given the situation where you have to keep your eyes peeled to spot any malpractice in the exam hall, there is pretty much nothing else that can keep you occupied and I was close to the point of boredom! That is when I spotted this painting on the soft board in the classroom made by one of the students!

I have been to that classroom so often, but I guess life gets too busy to ponder over these moments of wonder!

Your thukpa is served!

It was time to try out some of the local cuisine. Aldred (my colleague here at Kasiga School) suggested we go to eat thukpa (also called thuppa). I had never heard of this Nepali dish before and was filled with anticipation.

A short bike ride after school brought us to the joint name “Gurung”. A tiny bamboo cottage with long benches along the walls. In minutes mutton thuppa was served before us. To the untrained connoisseur it may just seem like noodles mixed in soup, but the intricacies involved in preparing it were indeed a sight to behold!

Wouldn’t mind a second helping soon…

Here is the recipe for those who would want to give a shot at cooking it.