It’s been a week since I last updated this blog; sorry for the delay!

We did a little bit more Word with the first batch of kids, then we skipped straight to Excel. I figure that the teacher can handle Word and more basic Windows stuff on his own, but he’s a little weak on Excel, so I wanted to give the kids a good grounding in that myself. They’re picking it up pretty fast.

My car didn’t show up this morning because the driver had gone to Jatashankar in the morning instead of coming here, so I got something of an unexpected day off.

The teacher has been coming over regularly in the evenings to go over the next day’s lesson plans, which is nice, but hasn’t totally fixed my frustrations with the different style of teaching. There seems to be a lot less long-term (or, really, even short-term) planning involved, and the teacher just covers whatever seems to strike his fancy any particular day. The concept of making lesson plans for the day or week or month, to make sure that all the material gets covered, and nothing is accidentally skipped over or repeated, is absent. While I understand that this is just sort of the way the schools in rural villages work, it’s frustrating at a personal level, because I’d like to give the kids a higher quality education than that (and also because the lack of order bothers me).

I tried to get Wipro to fix the CPU and monitor that don’t work, but no dice. They say the parts aren’t covered by any existing service contract. The school’s only options might be to a) write it off as a loss or b) hire an outside repairperson. Wipro has to have the worst customer service ever – just finding the right number to call took me three hours of Internet searching and cold calling.

I got mehndi done on my hands today (I’ll try to post some pictures tomorrow) because Rakhi is on Wednesday. The girl, Priyanka (above), who drew it on talked to me about how she’d love to learn English and computers. I’d really like to explore options for teaching students conversational English – not even reading and writing, which some can manage on their own, but actually speaking it, which is just as important in the job market.

I’m writing this in bed, and the house next door has live music and prayers blasting through loudspeakers mounted on their roof; the speakers have been on non-stop since Saturday afternoon, starting with the reading of the Ramayana and moving on to aarti. There has been other stuff, too, but I don’t really understand most of it, so I’m not sure what exactly. The house was recently built/renovated, so I think this is a housewarming of sorts. It’s a big community event – people have been in and out of the house all weekend to read, visit, and pray.

The mosquitoes are eating me alive. One actually bit my lip the other night, and it swelled up and made me look like I’d been punched in the face for a good 12 hours. I’ve been trying to keep them at bay with a combination of Odomas and some Repel Lemon Eucalyptus stuff that doesn’t have DEET in it, but that only goes so far. The super-carcinogenic mosquito coils available here work pretty well, but they make my eyes water and give me a headache (as well as mutating my DNA, I’m sure).