A monsoon storm breaks over our playground.
Last time we wrote a report here on GlobalGiving we were heading into our summer season and now we are nearing the end of the monsoon! Dry ground is now soaked with rain. Our rice paddy crop is in, we've planted dozens of new fruit trees across our campus and we are engaged in the daily task of removing weeds, grass & unwanted plants. The monsoon weather is like steroids for anything green!
While we love what the weather does for our gardens, the downside is that the playground and outside spaces become a muddy, slippery mess; essentially all play is now under the cover of our tin awnings. Another big downside is the snakes! This season we have already had far more of these slippery reptiles than normal. Thankfully we are experienced in catching them and releasing them deep in the jungle where they can do no harm. Last count was 16 snakes and that doesn’t include the dozens of harmless grass snakes that we don’t even bother to catch!
We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to once again report that our children and staff are safe and well. The second wave of COVID-19 that raged through India was a truly devastating time; we lost many friends to the Delta variant. Disaster after disaster had us all feeling desperate and it was a mental battle to not give into the despair. Our beautiful big campus and the protection of our walls is not something that we take for granted, we know just how lucky we are! The virus was rampant in our local area and we were extra strict with our quarantine/protection protocols, amazingly we did not have any cases within our compound.
Our school was closed for several months but as of last Monday our gates have once again opened (at least for senior students). Many families, still recovering from the second wave, have been reluctant to send their children for classes. We too have not yet begun to send our hostel students. Hopefully as time goes on things will continue to improve.
Classes for our kids are still happening in our Dining Room. A team of our Mission University students, some staff kids and our in-house school staff run lessons each day from 11:00am to 2:00pm. It’s not quite the same as school, but something is definitely better than nothing. Youtube and Zoom have also become an essential part of the learning experience. As this report goes out, the kids are sitting having exams. It’s not super stressful though as these exams only count towards 5% of their final result.
Vaccine distribution in India, like most of the world, is slowly making progress. Within our campus everyone has had at least their first dose and second doses are scheduled for early September. All of our senior citizens have received both doses, which has brought some mental relief to us at the very least.
We are so grateful for the continued support that we have received from all of you. Through the finances that you give we are able to continue to care, support and equip these amazing kids for the future.
The monsoon will soon be over, the snakes will disappear, exams will end, even COVID-19 will eventually (hopefully) be something of the past… but the impact that YOU have had on these children will last.
Thank you once again for your support and love,
The GSAM family.
A game of soccer in the rain.
Pulling our weeds is a daily chore for everyone.
The monsoon rain means lots of snakes!
Socially distanced classes in school.
Our children studying at home in the Dining Room.
Online learning has become the new normal.
Not everyone was happy to get their vaccine!