2003 – Chaibasa –

In early November 2003, Mr. Buntrock, Mrs. Küstermann and four former students visited Chaibasa again. Among them was, once again, Alexander Nitschke, from whose travel reports some shorter extracts follow (translated into English by Roman Bansen):

Outdoor lessons for the youngest

The whole school and all inhabitants of the church compound were afoot to see us. As simple, usual people from Germany we felt quite honoured and flattered by all this furore. The best of it was the honest joy as well as the curiosity, that could be seen in countless faces of the children. As four of us had already visited Chaibasa in the year before, there was also the meeting with the friends from the previous year. We were especially impressed by the enormous improvements, that some of them had made in their English skills. The essential motivation for them was mainly the personal contact, that had been made with the visitors in the year before. Insofar the success of partnerships are probably to be found especially in the small and often personal things.

Again we visited the classes in the four different schools, that are located on the church compound of Chaibasa. The youngest seemed to be very interested in us white people and asked many questions, e.g. what we eat in Germany and how we celebrate christmas. Our accommodation was part of the old missionaries house from the late nineteenth century. In this “guest house” we were usually in private, but at all mealtimes different women were cooking for us.

Some trips we made from Chaibasa, visisted other schools, other church communities and enjoyed the wonderful, somehow romantic nature with its fields and hills during all the tours. The quality of the streets is absolutely uncomparable to the European standards. Every few meters there is pothole beside pothole.

New computers in Khunti

In Chaibasa itself we examined the work on the computers, that were installed by our group here the year before. Meanwhile many students use the computers for learning. This means at lot of theory for them at first, but like everywhere in the world it’s the younger, who learn fast, especially in terms of technology. Two of the eight computers we brought to Khunti, a place about 50 kilometres away from Chaibasa, so that interested students here could learn how to work with computer technology. When we inaugurated the small PC room, many small faces beamed all over with curiosity. To ensure the work with the computers, a young man named Pawan Toppno, an expert on this field, cares for the whole project on location on behalf of us since last year. The new school building is under construction for some time now, but the progress is very slow, as there is a lack of money, just as everywhere else. That this construction is really necessary we already realized last year, when we visited the overcrowded class rooms in the old building, which is in danger of collapsing. Unforgettable times we had with the students on the compound, e.g. when we played soccer or cricket together on the school yard or just horsed around, without understanding just the slightest bit of the other’s language.

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