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Day 7: Friday of Camp

This morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to make it to school for our cricket match. Many of the students and teachers came to school early to teach us how to play, and then we played a regular match against the girls at the school. Michaella and I started as the strikers, and the baller tossed 6 balls per over, with a total of 10 overs in the match. Every time you strike the ball you decide if you can run to the other side before the fielders can throw the ball at the wicket (3 sticks standing in a box). Every time the runners make it to the box on the other side, that team gets a point. If a ball is thrown at the wicket before a player is safe, that also counts as an out. We managed to rack up 60 points before we ran out of balls, but only 3 batters got to play on our team. When we switched, our team took the field, and we struggled with “balling”, or pitching, the most. A white ball is basically like a ball in baseball, but the other team scores a point every white ball and the pitch is not counted in the over. The game came down to the line, with 4 balls remaining BCA down by 4 points. Kate was pitching, and we managed to clinch the game by just 2 points! It was such a blast playing with the girls and having all the students and teachers watch.

The morning activities went really well; we had three activities running simultaneously again, just like yesterday. We had Lego Mindstorms in one room, a presentation about various engineering majors in another room, and wind turbines in the third room, which was the activity Emily and I organized. The kids came up with some very creative designs, and were very competitive in trying to generate the highest voltage. We ended with a presentation about the University of Michigan, and the students seemed to enjoy learning about our school.

In the afternoon we kicked off the cultural showcase with the two dances we prepared, the cup song, and Hail to the Victors. The kids clapped along and cheered for us, and tried hard not to laugh, I’m sure. Next, the principal’s daughter and four other girls in 5th Standard did a dance that blew ours out of the water. They were absolutely adorable in their jingly costumes and did a great job with all of the dance moves. After the dance, there was a series of songs with singing and instruments by various students. We were all very impressed how talented the students are!

Toward the end of the afternoon session, the rain graced us with its presence once again. Not surprisingly, the school and our bungalows lost power due to the strong winds that accompanied the thunder and lightning of the brief storm. It was raining so hard at one point that water began flowing down the walls on the interior of the library. On our drive home we saw a giant tree branch obstructing the street that had been knocked down during the storm.

Overall I think everyone is both relieved that the outreach activities went so well this week, but also sad that our time at BCA is nearly over. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share my passion for engineering with these students, while also learning so much about their everyday lives. Although many of the cultural differences are strikingly obvious, we’ve discovered many ways that our goals and ideas are actually quite the same.

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