Sarah de Courcy Volunteer, DAS 2016

I lived in Kolkata for 10 weeks during the summer of 2017. Every morning, my alarm would go off at 5.45am and I would groggily eat my breakfast, pack my bags and head to school.

Me and Aisling taught in two schools, about an hour outside the city, in a little village called Bhojerhat

Alongside our teachers; Bibah, Subhash and Kajol

Although it was tiring work.....

We had so much FUN!

We did lots of arts and crafts...

Sang songs until our voices went hoarse.....

Had fun days....

Sports days....

Practiced our dancing skills....

And had many games of duck duck goose after class.

There were of course particularly special days;

Our school tour to Science City,

The DAS showcase - where all the schools came together for a big performance

With our young kids performing a dance to"the Bare Necessities"

And our older students performing a traditional dance alongside their much-too-clumsy Irish teachers,

My 21st, towards the end of placement...

Where all the teachers and students pooled together to get me this amazing cake....

And a group of girls from my class choreographed a dance especially for the occasion,

And, of course, our final purchase in the local shop

But how could everyday not be amazing with students like....

Babusona, Cheriswar Coaching Centre. My cheeky monkey in class.

Rubina, NCLP, who loved to dance and perform.

Siana, Cheriswar Coaching Centre, who always tried to catch your eye just so she could give you her biggest smile.

Raja, NCLP. The class leader, who was so smart, helping us explain activities and retain order in times of chaos.

Akash, NCLP, a little rascal who gained so much in confidence, he was like a different boy by the end of placement.

Ananya, Karishma, Sakiya and Easmina, Cheriswar Coaching Centre. They walked me to the shop everyday after school, taught me the days of the week and dressed up in sarees to perform for my birthday.

Saying goodbye was the hardest thing

Fortunately, you have the opportunity to travel after your teaching placement. This is the perfect way to readjust back into the idea of going home. I jumped at the chance and toured around India for 3 weeks.

Visiting spice markets and trying all kinds of local dishes

Admiring temples across the country

Experiencing breathtaking sunsets

Surviving a night in the desert

And trying to control the urge to jump in all our photos

The SUAS volunteer programme is an incredible experience, instead of staying on the peripheries, you are thrown into a community for 10 weeks. You develop relationships unlike any other with your students, teachers and team. You get to see your students grow both academically and socially under your tutelage whilst simultaneously learning about their culture and daily life. I have made lasting friendships from this programme and I've seen things I would have only dreamed of before. I cannot recommend it enough...

So sign up today!

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