Yesterday morning and this morning, I thought of that greeting from the students that they shouted, sang, merely said, at my entrance into a classroom: “Good morning, Teacher! God bless you, Teacher!” It is a standard greeting for all teachers at the De La Salle Brothers schools. How would it change a teacher’s approach to the day to have such a blessing and an invocation of the divine into the work? I wonder.
I am so interested in learning more about how the Brothers foster the development of safe communities between the students from the majority and minority groups. I think this is something for me to explore further into the future. Perhaps a part of that is a common regard for the presence of God within each school and the attempt to make English a common language. What more do they do? They teach three languages, English, Sinhala, and Tamil in all of the schools. The students must learn all three. What more? I want to know. These will be questions that I continue to ask in the future of students and Brothers. I want to learn more.
I also want to be able to do more. I emailed this morning those who organized our trip in the San Francisco district and at St. Mary’s, noting that I would love to return to Sri Lanka, if possible, next year. I would like to continue my relationship with the Lasalle Family here in Sri Lanka.
As for today, the day started out later. The Brothers had a funeral to go to, and on the way, they dropped Liz and I for shopping. I bought plenty of small gifts for friends and family. Things for the babies in my life, things for my sisters, things for my partner and his daughter, things for me. The Brothers picked us up at around 11:15, taking us on a small driving tour of the city to drop off one of the Brothers at his school, and then they dropped us off for more shopping at the small shops. We did plenty, eventually tiring out and taking a threewheeler back to the Brother’s house.
Since then, it has been lunch and rest. I have also been catching up on the news, as I have been pretty disconnected for weeks. So much happening out in the world. So much happening here. The streets of Colombo are always so alive with activity. 5-6 lanes of traffic on the largest streets with buses, vans, threewheelers, motorcycles, cars, and more going both ways towards wherever they plan to go. Having been now to Mannar, Liz and I also noticed the fashions here in Colombo are different. The women are more likely to have short hair, cut in layers. More likely to wear pants and American-style shirts rather than traditional saris, long skirts and plain shirts, long tunics or dresses, or long shalwars with leggings.
Tonight, we will go to Brother Damian’s LCES for a community dinner with Brother Denzil. We are looking forward to the time with him as well as the opportunity to meet the other half of the UK group volunteering in Sri Lanka.
Note: Posts from July 8 and 9 have been written, but they are on my iPad, which is having connectivity issues. I will post them once I get to Hong Kong on Friday morning (July 12). They will then appear before this posting.