From 08.07.-08.08.2010 I spent one month in our hockey village Dorf Garh Himmat Singh. Finally we could restart our english lessons - due to a lack of teachers we weren't able to provide that serivce on a regular basis. Already at the first day I was facing the following difficulty: it was nearly impossible to teach the children in english without and speaking their language - here in Germany that works - I remember my first english class - the teacher was only talking in english and after some days we understood... not here in the village... I brought an online hindi language course with me and I learnt at least words like colours, days, numbers, animals, fruits and vegetables and words for repeat, look, listen,... Some of the children were perfect in spelling the english alphabet, but nobody was able to read what he was spelling! They had so much fun in repeating what is written on the board, but they didn't understand what they were yelling on me! So I had to think different... I brought balls and I asked them to stand in a circle and then we were throwing the ball to eachother asking him his name, age, favorite colour... that was better... puhhh! Then I brought a bag with different things inside and the kids had to pick one and tell me what it is... That was good as well and then we went for a village walk and they needed to tell me what they see like tree, tailor, fruits, houses,... So we ended up at a interactive english lesson which was fine with me - even at 45°C... The next difficulty was to make them come regularly - every day I saw different faces and half of them came late so that there was always trouble in the class room. I tried to register their names but some of them were not even able to write them down and I had to repeat everything every day again because of all that new kids... But I was so happy to see that so many kids show their interest - and we continued throwing balls, painting things...
Two weeks later 2 volunteers from France and Switzerland - Suzann and Elise came to the village to help me. We devided the kids into 2 groups - one from 8-9 years and the next one 10-12 years. Again we tried to list them but that took too much of our time - so we left that... Later in the afternoon we called them for the hockey classes - here we were facing the same situation - it was impossible to get the crowd organised without speaking their language. Only with the help of my brother Chandu and his brothers and a whistle we made them stand in a line and queue up to receive their sticks. In the beginning the hockey ground was still under construction and due to heavy rain work couldn't be finished so we had to move into the courtyard of the fort and I was squeezing 60 boys in that small space and made them run around the tower... Girls were easier to entertain - they were happy in jumping over the sticks that I arranged in a line on the ground and they had fun... On the hockey ground the water massed up everything plus the cows that took their teritory back. My room has a view to the ground and I was worrying every day when I saw that chaos outside. Finally we managed to get a roler of a street working company nearby for a weekend - the first day the roller went over the field and I was very optimistic that my dream of a hockey ground will come true soon when the gear broke and the roller driver tried to repair the rest of the day... Grrrrr The next day the roller was ready to role again, but the driver was sleaping on the seat - well done... I know that this is not Germany, but I wanted the ground to be completed before I am leaving - not so the weather - it started raining agin and the roller drawned into mud and water... Anyways - it was already more of a ground then before!
The next day 100 boys came to the ground and wanted to play... I was thinking about how to handle the crowed and I called Dilip in Jaipur and ordered T-Shirts in different colours. Colours I know in hindi already so I can make them move - haha! And we were able to limitate the numbers of children as well - we just gave out 60 shirts - no shirt - no hockey! Next day the girls again - same story! Where do all this children come from??? But I was so happy to see them so enthusiastic playing and having fun and non of them was worrying about the water on the ground, the cow sheet or the dust... The 120 sticks that we had in the beginning were already limited to 60 because they are not of a good quality and the kids are used to play cricket, so they hit and run and the weak sticks are breaking... But after some days I could already make out some raelly talented players - boys and girls... getting ready for the hockey academy!!!
Same with the girls - while they were only interested in funny games in the beginning their sporst spirit was there and they started to play really serious and got angry when something didn't work out well! I was so happy to see that! And the best ist - I know have some helping hands from the villagers - some elder boys are helping me coaching - the reason is that they want to snap the sticks once we finsh the exercise with the kids and play amongst themselves. Then I am sitting with a chilled Kingfisher on the roof top of the fort and enjoy my work! That is really out of this world!!! That became a daily ritual and more and more spectators came from the village to see what's going on with that crazy german lady...Auch bei den Mädels, die anfangs nur lustige Everybody was so excited to have a real sports ground in the village - wow! In the morning I always went for a run at 6h because later it was getting too hot - this was the most amazing thing for the villagers and some of them thought I am running away from something. I was running over the fields and some tractors stopped because they thought I might need a lift. Others were just staring on me while brushing their teeth on the street and others were just cycling besides me, entertaining me with music out of their mobile phone... And every morning the same bulk of kids were running out of their houses to say good morning dada!!!! What a feeling!!!! That one month in the village passed by too quick and there so many more things I wanted to do... I am already looking forward to see the kids, the villagers and Chandus family that was already like my own family again soon!