As we prepared to travel to the monastery on the first proposed day of the new schedule, it struck me how hot it was and how nobody would want to learn. I find that in the extreme heat my brain becomes foggy and it’s hard to move much; my limbs become leaden. The same was true for my pupils; the head monk was groggy and one of the girls was freshly-washed but sticky from the damp humidity mixed with the water from washing. She was unwilling to move a great deal and this impeded my lesson plan which involved walking to various places.
To adapt, I decided to change the my afternoon classes to the mornings on our off days instead. Now, all classes end by 11 am. Although this is not ideal as it takes away from vital planning time, it is too hot by 11 am to really do anything and most villagers spend their afternoon in slumbers meditated by the inability to breath or move.
I am resolved to think that the rainy season will be better because we can resume our old schedule. In the rainy season, there is mud and sometimes classes are cancelled on account of the driving wind, which causes the rain to enter the sides of the unprotected classrooms, but it is not as hot and we can resume our prior schedule with more ease, albeit also more mud. For now, we will continue to adapt to the heat, and change course as we go.
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer
Photo Credit: "White Hot" by Rich Herrmann (CC BY NC ND 2.0)