The 12 year old Inbarasan was the first to ran towards us to take over our bags, the 15 year old Ajay jumped up and gave air kisses from across the hallway and Br. Chinna gave us a firm handshake and welcomed us back. The 16 year old Ashok told me proudly he cleaned my entire room and hand washed my bed sheets and the 13 year old Deepak Raj was the first one to ask about my Taj Mahal photos. Aaaah, it felt so good to be back.
I’ve been back for a couple of days now and since then it’s been all about celebrating Saint Nicholas under the palm trees, focusing on our fundraising project, doing Christmas preparations and having lots and lots of fun with the boys… Get ready for my favorite moments of the past week:
The first full day back was Friday and after being gone for 10 days, all the 16 year olds had to update me on their love life. Mind that 16 year olds in India are worlds apart from 16 year olds in The Netherlands. Which means we talk about air kisses, love notes and writing girls’ names with hearts in their biology notebooks. When I ask about French kissing or even a pack on the lips, they start giggling, laughing and they tell me they’re well-mannered and that that’s not something they’d do. Or well, they actually tell me: ‘NO SISTER, no kissing, I’m no bad boy, I don’t kiss girls, I’m good boy.’ If even they’d know what the average 16 year old in the Netherlands does hehe… Anyway, they sure have fun discussing all the school girls with me. It’s our fav subject to talk about hehe.
Saturday was a day filled with games and some cleaning tasks. The 10th graders and I ended up scraping old, dried up paint for 3 solid hours. Old paint-pots had to be cleaned out so the boys could use them as new water buckets to wash themselves. After 2 hours of scraping, Dominique found a layer of new, wet paint… not much later I ended up in a paint fight with Ashok, Moorthy and Sathya. White paint strokes all over our arms and legs, oops hehe.
Furthermore, this week was Jawaher’s and Naveen Raj’ B’day! Both boys got a few rupees from their parents to get themselves something yummy, so Karlijn and I ended up going shopping on the Sunday afternoon with the boys. They got toffees and cake for themselves and even got us a piece of bubble gum and a caramel candy. We wanted to give them something small like a bag of chips, but let me tell you. These boys are so sweet, but so stubborn aaaagh. ‘No sister, I can’t take that’ times a 100. Eventually, they ended up choosing both a lollipop. Naveen Raj felt the rest of the day that he had to share his cake and chips with me, so so stubborn.
Sunday night was movie night, we finally watched Mersal! The new it-movie that all boys were raving over for the past 3 months. The boys were all told we’d watch the movie in the evening and since then they couldn’t contain their excitement. To be honest, I couldn’t either. For the past 3 months, the boys made me watch the trailer at least a 100 times (I’m dead serious), we talked about it for 20+ hours or so and we’d all do the Mersal hand symbol for days. I was dedicated to watch this damn movie before I’d go back to the Netherlands, and so we did. It was the best night ever, some local sponsors gave the boys chips and cake. Seriously, getting both cake and chips in 1 day literally never happens… lucky bastards. Even luckier, normally they’d eat snacks outside, in silence while sitting in lines on the floor. This time they got to eat the snacks while watching the movie. I loved seeing them all being so into the movie. They were (very Tamil like) hanging all over each other, Sathya was using Ajay as a pillow, Stephan was on Clements lap and before I’d knew it, Ajay’s legs were all over mine while Francis was leaning against my back. Lol, at least everyone seemed in a comfortable position, except for me whose butt started to get harder and harder by the cold floor. Some of them cried during the sad scenes and they’d all scream out of excitement during the fight scenes. Yep, the night was def successful.
Monday was new start of the week and Karlijn and I started it on a good note by surprising our Carpentry boys! The carpentry boys are working hard on building the 10 tables and 20 benches for our sponsor project. They decided to continue working 6 days a week instead of 5, this way it’ll def be ready on time! We’re beyond excited it’s all finally happening, we really feel like we’re investing (y)our sponsor money the right way, providing the boys more of what they need. Anyway, since the carpentry boys have given up their free Saturdays to work, we decided I’d be fun to surprise them with the most popular cake in Tamil Nadu: The dark forest chocolate cake. Yep, it tastes as good as it sounds. It was a great success, we chilled with them for half an hour, ate cake and then it was time to get back to work. Btw, check the photo of Sharoukan eating cake and putting his finger in his mouth while trying to look sexy and all. Absolutely freaking love it hehe.
Monday night was a study night for the boys. Inbarrasan, Pradeep and Praveen are three 12 year olds who asked for private English grammar classes this week. I have plenty of spare time, there is a lot to improve on their English and they seemed more motivated than a ton of other boys. Personally, I felt a lot better doing this than doing the English classes for twenty 8th graders who didn’t feel like studying. They understood some stuff, but there is still a lot to work on. I’m dedicated to spend my last month with them on their grammar, I’m not leaving before they’re flawless in using the past and present tense hehe. It’s keeping me and them busy and it feels like a good, personal project on the side.
Tuesday, the 5th of December was our Dutch holiday Saint Nicholas aka Sinterklaas! It felt like a normal day on the project, but I tried to get a little more in the Sinterklaas vibes by surprising Karlijn in the morning by secretly putting cake in her shoe. We ended up celebrating with a bag of pepernoten for ourselves (the dedication it took me not to open the bag before December 5th, Aaah) and gave all the boys cups of ice cream after dinner. Ice cream is for most boys their favorite thing and something they don’t get often. Father told us to give something else, the temperature was too low (27 degrees!) and it would give the boys a cold. Off course we were stubborn enough to do it anyway, our father should know better by now. 😉 Anyway, it was worth it because the boys definitely loved it.
We spend the rest of the week working on Christmas preparations, which are in full swing. This means decorating the statue of Maria with flashy, red lights, praying a lot more and watching Tamil videoclips about Jesus. To sketch the situation for you: just imagine a 100 Indian boys and 2 Dutch girls humming on Tamil music while watching Maria carrying Jesus around. An interesting situation, for sure!
As you can tell, lots of fun and laughter in just the few days that we’re back. This post might be a little too chaotic with a ton of small things, but I guess I just wanted to share some of the small, but meaningful moments I’ve had with the boys the past week. For now, this was my update. I’m trying to enjoy my time here as much as possible, knowing time is flying and things here are coming to an end. Talk to all of you soon, loves.