Time to Catch Up!

So as you may remember, my family and I have been somewhere for a few weeks.  About the length of a month.  And my, how it’s flown by…  Sluggishly?  Weirdly, it felt pretty slow while here.  But looking back on it, it feels like it all flew by.  We arrived, settled into our apartment, met new people, my brothers/parents went to classes,  I was given a class halfway through, etc.

I joined a program for teenagers who were learning Leadership skills by helping out with kids.  We met every other weekday, until a week ago when the program ended for the Summer.  I actually jumped into it in the middle of the program, so I missed the whole first part of the training.  But while I was there, I learned and had fun.  Our leader (should I call her a mentor so it’s less confusing?) was nice, and fun/funny.  I got a teensy bit better at speaking in front of crowds because I had to get up and explain games every now and then.  And because I had to prepare and give a short lesson in front of all the kids.  Let’s go into more detail on that, actually…

So I was told that I had to get up on a little stage in front of a crowd of children and give a lesson.  A bible story, really.  The lesson would only last a few minutes, but I would have to prepare it myself and tell it myself.  In front of kids.  Kids are people.  Groups of people make crowds.  I don’t like being the center of attention in crowds.  Using my amazing logic and deduction skills (which I have acquired over many hours of watching BBC’s ‘Sherlock’) I immediately knew that this was not going to be good.

I panic, I try to think of a lesson.  I quickly find a lesson that I myself am actually interested in (The Parable of Talents) and tell my fellow leaders that I’ll try to do it.  I have time to prepare…  But I don’t.  I draw a scribbly picture to go with the lesson, and I go to bed thinking that I’m ready.  I was worried, and panicking so badly that I had a dream about it.  I dreamed that my lesson was about the Titanic, I had a Powerpoint playing some song about a ship sinking (which is a real song, but I don’t know the name of it) and then a song about chocolate rain (probably inspired by Tay Zonday’s ‘Chocolate Rain’).  In the dream everything went well.  But when I woke up the next morning, I realized how little I had prepared…  Commence the panicking.

Scurrying around doing this doing that, blahblahblah, until I got to leader-training.  The leaders went through their usual morning routine of preparing games for the day, talking, praying, etc.  And I panicked the whole time.  My fellow leaders told me not to panic, and said that all of their lessons had been REALLY corny, but the kids don’t ever notice.  But that didn’t stop me.

FINALLY, the time came.  I walked shakily–and what I was sure looked dorkily–up onto the stage with my little hand-bag full of art supplies.  I waited awkwardly for the mass of children in front of me to settle down, and then I finally spoke.  “So–uh–today we–um–I have a–well a–a bible story.”  One older girl in the front row rolled her eyes to her friend, and I got kind of snappy.  Staring right at them, saying.  “Yes, of course.”

And I unsteadily launched into the lesson, with much stuttering, many ‘ums’ and just as many ‘uhs’.  Finally I finished, they clapped, and I stumbled off of the stage–getting my bag along the way–and walk-stumbling in a daze to the back of the crowd where I could sit down and let someone else take the lead.  I remember every minute of this very clearly, because I was terrified.

After that my fellow leaders (and mentor, as we’ll call her) actually said that I did really well!  They said that my lesson turned out better than theirs had.  And, well, that did make me feel pretty darn good.  But it didn’t stop me from trembling for about twenty minutes after that.  xD

WOW.  That’s a good sized blog post right there, but I still have more to say.  ;P

While here, we’ve been training for going to South Asia.  And by training, I mean stuff like researching Asia and learning how to deal with culture shock.  Good, stressful stuff like that.  Not the researching part, but the other part.  I liked researching about Asia, decorating poster boards with papers that I’d written, etc.  I even painted an Asian-styled painting based off of an actual Asian painting that I found on Google images.

Painted by me, DO NOT steal.

The classes were very stressful for me at first, though.  I had two teachers.  One main teacher, who was a woman.  And another teacher, who was a man. Both teachers were there at the same time, but at first, the classes with the man were really frustrating and emotional.  It was class meant for a group of teenagers, but I was the only one here this year.  So I had to answer each one of the questions, mull them all over, actually pay good attention, etc.  I was the whole class.  And these were hard, emotional, questions.  I did cry.  But after that first week of classes, everything started heading uphill.  🙂

And now we skip ahead to today.  I’ve been preparing a presentation with my teacher.  Researching, writing papers, painting, etc.  We bought food to make Asian food, and today that’s exactly what we did.  In the kitchen at the big building where I’ve been having classes and stuff, we made Indian food.  Butter Chicken, Naan (we bought the Naan), and Darjeeling tea.  All of which turned out great!  😀

My teacher brought a sari (a traditional piece of South Asian clothing) for me to wear and a punjabi for herself.  She helped me wrap up in the sari (which is just a BIIIG piece of cloth that you wrap up in and tuck in different places and try not to make it fall off).

DSC_2077

Me wearing that sari. :3

We made the food, and went over my presentation a few times.  I tried hard to actually sound good, and not fake (which I was doing REALLY badly at first).  And then the time came for me to present.

My parents, brothers, my other teacher, my new friend’s (the one I went on a sleepover with in my last post) dad, and another lady were all there.  And my normal teacher and I.  I sat on the floor in between the two decorated poster-boards plastered with papers, and I began to present.  I had to look back at the papers a lot, sometimes I talked too fast for them too understand me, and sometimes I talked too quietly.  But while I was talking, my teacher brought in the tea and food.  When I finished, the real fun began.

Because we might have put a few challenges in there.  You know…  For fun.  The men were served first (as is typical in Asian culture), everyone sat on the floor, no one let the soles of of their feet point towards another person (which is very rude in Southern Asia) and everyone ate with their Right hand only.  Because–um–the Left hand is unclean.  I’ll let you Google why.

It was super fun, and the food was good, and everyone liked it!  My other teacher (man one) said that I actually did better than the previous students.

Commence the happiness explosion.

Oh yeah, but we’re leaving on Saturday.  So…  Packing.  O___O

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