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Back from India!

posted 24 Oct 2011, 16:07 by Chris Morris
I've just returned from my latest international excursion with Pure Media UK. We travelled to Chennai in India to work with some volunteers and workers from the People's Education and Rights Trust and Signpost International. We split into two teams - One collected stories from field workers and transformed this into art, and the other did some work in a school using art, drama and (eh, sort of) music.
The team that travelled to India was made up of people who work for Pure Media, volunteers like myself, and a team of teenagers from Kinlochleven High School. Here we are at Glasgow Airport:
The team from Kinlochleven High School were simply outstanding to work with. Their ages range between 15 - 18, but even the youngest of them performed above and beyond what some may have expected.
For me personally, I felt some more could have been achieved with regards to the music groups that I was part of - Travelling to India to try to teach young children music without the use of any instruments is a challenge enough - not to mention the language barrier. Still, in the end they sang some songs and managed to produce a performance after just three days of working with them.
We also visited some villages and brought some creativity with us in the form of art, music (I got to play a cool Indian drum), games and talking to people. We feel we have started something, and got these villages to start thinking and talking...
It was definitely an experience seeing first hand how these people live - We slept on a floor which was sometimes swarming with insects, we washed with a bucket of water, there were serveral power cuts and water cuts each day, it really opened up our eyes and made us realise how lucky we are to live in Scotland - a country where free education and healthcare is a right!
It's definitely good to be back, and I have to say that I thought a great deal about teaching drums when I was out in India. I have come back inspired and full of ideas - The biggest idea of them all is to make Dundee Drum Academy bigger and better. See you all in lessons soon!
Chris Morris.