Vadodara - Day 4

Trip Start Jul 25, 2009
Trip End Aug 01, 2009

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Flag of India  , Gujarat,
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hello - Laura here. Today we visited our third and last school.  It is named Gujarat Public School but I believe it is private, people pay a tuition to attend the school.  The way schools are organized here is very difficult to understand.  This school was also a boarding school although only a small percentage of the students live at the school.  Interestingly she said the youngest boarder was 3 1/2!!
The students at this school were very quiet, but the talk went well.  The best part about this visit was the video they showed us after.  The showed us how they celebrate festivals at the school.  There is one festival in which they dance and celebrate at night for 9 nights in a row.  They do a traditional Gujarati dance called Garpa - it is really beautiful.  They also showed us a video of last year's sports day.  This was a huge production and they modeled the opening ceremonies after the Olympics.  The best part about this sports day was the events...keep in mind this was held at the school.  They had feats of strength like breaking a cement block with your hand - the hand belonged to a 7 year old and the top of the cement block was on fire.  They had a sharpshooting event - with real guns.  They had a child being run over with a motorcycle (not kidding) and several jumping through hoops that were on fire.  This was shocking and I think says more about our society than theirs'.  I would imagine this kind of event can take place because parents realize that if there son volunteers to get run over with a motorcycle and then gets hurt he is responsible - that it would not be right to sue the school for everything they have. And if he does get hurt health care is free, so there is no reason to sue. 
After the school we went back to the Women's Institute where the kids presented the money and medical supplies to Mrs. Shaw - we had an amazing lunch - and I got a chance to meet more people who work at the institute and hear more about the work they do with female sex workers and AIDS prevention.  This institution is doing great things for this community.
Later on we did some shopping.
Tomorrow we go to visit a palace and will have lunch in the private home of Mrs. Shaw.  I am very excited about it....and then we will begin our long journey home.  
Check out the pictures - 
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