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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thursday June 3rd - Order, discipline and restraint

Restricted - in so many ways. It’s a word I hate so much, a word I had banned from my life but it’s now a word that’s apart of my life once again, all through the choices I have made.

The past 3 days I've been up and down. It’s now Thursday afternoon and after my Manic Monday, I thought I had calmed myself. I have to a certain extent, but I still don’t know whether this is going to work out or not, me being here at Ebenezer school.

Yesterday - Wednesday - was the opening day. It was also the first day of lessons. It went fine. Really it did. Being so blown away by all the newness on Monday, was no longer too much of an issue because I’d had a better day on Tuesday. I went to the nearest town with the 3 girls from downstairs to buy a saree for the opening day; it was compulsory for all teachers to wear one, for the special event. It’s the traditional Indian dress (different from the other Indian dresses I‘ve been wearing, which aren‘t as formal and a lot more comfortable - called "churidar") and has 6 meters of fabric that you have to wrap around yourself - or in my case, somebody else had to wrap around me. It takes a lot practice to dress yourself and walking, sitting and going to the toilet is all a little tricky. So I wore my new saree yesterday, for the first time. I felt uncomfortable to start with, but after an hour or so, I felt totally fine. It was one of the most special dresses I’ve ever worn in my whole life! So that made my last 2 days pretty eventful and unique.

However, I’m still up and down. I’m questioning my being here, every chance I get. I can’t help it. And I know why I’m wondering whether to stay or not; because I know how easily I could put a stop to what I’m doing. I don’t have a commitment with the school, only an agency. But I don’t have a contract, so I can walk away. I don’t know if I want to or not though.

To get back to the start of this post: Restricted. In many ways that’s what I’ve become, no matter how much I’ve told myself I’m free. On the surface, I‘m not. Today the language barrier was getting to me. It’s something that has never bothered me before, whenever I’ve been around only Indian people, who are speaking their local language (Malayalam). It’s never made me feel to be sitting on an island by myself, trying to reach out to others as often as I have the energy for, but being met with very little in terms of connection, especially when I’m with more than 2 or 3 teachers at the same time; which is nearly all day. It’s like I try, to a certain extent, to follow what’s going on around me and to find out what’s expected of me, but many teachers are still figuring things out for themselves too (because they are also new and unfamiliar with the way things work here) and to have to also explain everything to me can be too much of an effort for them, which I can understand. I never want to be too much of a nuisance or hassle. I don’t want to become too dependant on others either, when it comes to figuring out where I have to be, what I have to do and when I have to do it. I don’t want to cling to others, or be the one who is “hanging around”, looking lost all the time and constantly asking what’s been said, because of not understanding the language.

I was sick of it today. But what to do in such a situation? I need to get accustomed here and for that to happen, I have to ask, I have to question and I have to be a nuisance to them. I have to push to find things out. It’s either that, or shut myself off and not know nothing and never end up feeling comfortable here at this boarding school.

I just came from a meeting this afternoon, where more rules and regulations were thrown at us. My head became so full of the principles “bla bla bla”. It went on and on and the list of duties we are to carry out, seemed to get longer by the minute. I realized that it was going to take a few weeks before I’d fully get familiar with how things work here. But did I want to put myself to the effort and then leave so soon because of my visa running out? Was it worth the effort? What was I doing this for? For the experience, I know. But if I start to feel like an island, if I don’t have anything or anybody that will give me a reason to stay here when I’m obviously not ecstatic, then is it really worth it?

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