Just Nap through the Explosions

Isaiah Lewis - India


October 29, 2016

Mortar Attack! What’s happening? Gas leak? Is Pakistan invading? At about 4:15am last night I awoke to the sound of explosions crashing around me near and far. I sleepily rushed to my window to see my friends and family gleefully setting off fireworks in the street next to me. I could hear the distant explosions of families throughout the city doing the same. Apparently a key part of the Diwali celebration process is to handle explosives in the middle of the night and scare the shit out of any unsuspecting foreigners. It is now 1:15pm and I am lounging in the sun on my porch drinking chilled guava juice. This peaceful image is contrasted however by the ceaseless stream of “controlled” detonations throughout the city. So far I think that this juxtaposition of calmness in chaos has been the key to surviving my time here. Keeping a level head has been essential to any minute success I’ve had in teaching a class of 50 rowdy but motivated 5th graders. On my third day working as a co-teacher to this class, neither my Teach for India fellow nor the assigned substitute were able to come in so I was forced to solo teach my class English, Science, Math, and Art without any lesson plan or remote idea of scheduled subject matter. I decided to wing it and taught poetry, fractions, and the atmosphere with a highly debatable level of success. In my time here, nothing has been more important then keeping calm in the chaos, going with the flow wherever it takes you.

Isaiah Lewis