The Monsoon Has Begun — What About School?

The summer heat has broken; monsoon has begun.  Vacation is over as school had closed for the intense summer heat.  Now begins the season of figuring out if and when the girls go to school.   For Ganga, yesterday was her first day back at school.  Ganga has CP and cannot speak but she attends Class II in the local government school.  Yesterday was her first day back.  A massi (childcare worker) goes with her.  On the way home yesterday Ganga started to cry.  She wanted to go back.  She loves school.  This morning at 5:30 it was wet out but not raining, so I said to get her ready and if the weather clears to take her, if not she would stay home.  At 6:30 she was ready to go and they took her to the doorway and then told me it was raining. (not the best sequence of events) so I said to keep her home.  Ganga protested, yelling and thrusting her body towards the door.  So we covered her up, and they went to school.

Ganga has fought to go to school since she arrived at four years weighing 17 pounds.

Jelly slept in… her answer to monsoon
Ganga came home at 8:30 am with three new books, and very happy.
In the meantime, our four older girls started back to school today.  Usually we walk them to the bus stop.  We pay for the schoolbus to pick them up and bring them back, but we bring them back ourselves.  We never know exactly when they will be dropped off by the bus, or even where.  Also the bus waits for a later class to get out, so some students have to wait an extra hour to come home.  No, the school will not give them a place to be, except one covered concrete area.  They can’t play on the grounds because some classes are going on, and they can’t study because there’s no place to be.  They are not supposed to board the buses early but they do.  Namely, there is no supervision or security.  So we pick them up.
This is our first monsoon season with this school.  So this morning we took them by car to the bus stop.  The bus never arrived.  Finally Bijoy called the bus company and they said they weren’t running buses because of the rain.  So we took them to school, and learned they will get out early.  I’m wondering how many children actually came.  But, our girls are there.  We are always under scrutiny there.
As I look out the window now, the rain has slowed, but the road is flooded — only about six inches.  Monsoon always has mystery to it, whether there will be more or less flooding as a result of the “drainage improvements” in the previous year.  As this was an election year there were many improvement projects.  But judging from the flooding after only a few hours of rain this morning, I’m guessing we are set for “minus improvement” which is when the water level goes up after the drainage pipes have been re-done.  Sometimes it will rain for days, but now we have flooding after four hours.
I’ve just sent Bijoy and Pearl, our house supervisor to go to the school and wait.  They have lunch money with them in case they have trouble getting back.   Most f our teachers at Shishur Sevay live close by and are able to get here.
p.s. I had a dream last night that I was in a hotel with my family in the US and then the hotel lobby became a shallow pool about six inches deep and I was sitting in the water in the sunlight holding Victoria, my 9 month old granddaughter and feeling wonderful.  To live “in the present” is sometimes to live more than one life at once, more than one set of feelings, yearnings, love — all true, and all happening at the same time. 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LinZi
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 22:02:00

    I love your new blog! Very beautiful.

    I was wondering if you could do some posts featuring different girls? They are all such interesting kids, I would love to get to know them better. I also remember reading about the computer program to help the girls with CP communicate and that one (or more) of them was using those to share their interests with you. I would love to hear more about this too! (Persuming you have time, hehe).


    • Dr. Michelle Harrison
      Jun 26, 2011 @ 11:20:22

      I will do more (given time!) on the girls with disabilities, but with the older girls I’m also protective of their privacy. I write so any of them could read what I’m writing. It’s a strange distinction in some ways but our children with disabilities will always live very protected lives and the danger to them as a group is invisibility, so it’s important for people to know them, their spirits, interests (yes I’ll do more on that). For the older girls, danger is in visibility that can be misused. Over time I want to give voice to what they say, what they write about their lives and experiences. A viral fever of some sort is going through the area and four were very sick, another started with fever just this morning, and has exams tomorrow… one staff is out sick, but the big girls who don’t have exams are taking care of the little ones and I’m hiding out at the computer, with everyone in full view from my “perch.”


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June 2011
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