Let's play cricket!
One of my highlights so far was playing cricket with some of the gym teachers at the American School. We were just watching them play and a guard, who previously treated me as an outsider, suddenly became friendly and animated. He was genuinely excited that we wanted to play. After learning some different throws and techniques from the gym teachers and tips from security guards, we jumped straight into our very first game. It is remarkable that participating in something they love completely changed their view toward us. The security guard mentioned above, who had stared at me before, stopped me as I was walking away. He told me that he worked from 7 to 3 and if we were interested to play anytime, he would find us some people to play with. He said, “Just approach me anytime.”
Aside from being a lot of fun and a welcome change of pace, the cricket game made me realize that the 25 discs (frisbees) that I brought from home may be far more valuable then I had anticipated. Initially, I brought the discs with the intention of leaving them with the kids as a gift and as something to remember us by. Now I realize that I may be able to use them as a positive reinforcement tool to encourage learning.
At the Teach for India dinner a few days ago one of the women told me that she really likes to use frisbees as a leadership tool. She didn’t go into detail about the activities themselves but she did say that she didn’t have enough frisbees to make the exercises worthwhile. I chuckled a bit and told her that I would love to help her out with the shortage. After feeling moments of hopelessness in the first week, I really cherished that conversation because in a small way I knew that I could improve the lives of 50 students for the school year.