Livia and Bill arrived in India last week and will be teaching at the Aikiyam School for the 3rd year in a row. Here’s an update on their work!
Words from Livia:
We starting teaching at Aikiyam School today and the warm welcome was so touching. We began the day singing Hammer Song with the entire school at their daily morning meeting. Taught them the first verse carefully having the unfamiliar words translated into Tamil. Told them about Pete and what we would be doing with the first through fourth grades to prepare for a celebration/sharing in February. They are singing so heartfully.
Three out of the four classes have worked with us over the past years. The scaffolding effect of building on movement that is already deeply in their bodies, is recognizable. Muscle memory! And also memory of joyfully dancing together in the banyan tree. We're building on our creative movement class curriculum and it really works. These Tamil children are so eager and attentive. They know how to quickly gather their attention and are learning how to BE with one another in a mindful way. I could even see the difference from beginning to end of class today.
I'm working on Pete’s song “Of Time and Rivers Flowing” with the fourth standard at Aikiyam. Usha is adding some Tamil mudras and movements to the first verse. I just choreographed the last verse today and got very emotional as I explained how we need to take care of the earth. We opened the class today entering with that song “The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her” and the whole class was about Pete, the Hudson River, the Clearwater, and thinking seven generations ahead. All was translated and discussed. Everyone was very moved. The pollution and garbage level here is significant in India so the children know what they need to do and as the song says "Now let us all begin!"