Students and faculty from the Urban School, San Francisco visited MarketPlace last week as part of their trip to India. The group has travelled to India to study school systems and organizations as part of their South Asia Studies class. The students were mostly sophomores and seniors, all of whom were deeply interested in Asian culture, practices and international relations. Gracelyn Newhouse, a senior at Urban School, explained animatedly, “We’re so excited to be here! You can only learn so much sitting in a classroom, and experiencing an Asian country first hand is so much more enriching than reading about it in a book. The experience so far has been just mind boggling. I’ve visited a few South East Asian countries but this is a whole new experience!”
Later in the day the group visited the Colgate grounds in Mumbai to spend a few hours playing with the kids from the Armaan Club and mentors from the Magic Bus Foundation. The students were excited to meet the kids and learn about Magic Bus Foundation and the great work they’ve been doing with the children from Armaan Club. The kids from Armaan Club were very happy to meet and talk with the visitors and spoke of their experience with the Magic Bus Foundation to them and how it has benefitted them. The kids played football together and learnt a few moves from one another on the field. “These kids are just amazing and we’ve learnt a lot today. We’re so surprised at how well some of them speak English and how ambitious and enthusiastic they are despite all odds. Life is so different in the states and it’s pretty overwhelming to see how different things are for these kids. But it’s clear they love their time with Magic Bus and we’ve had the most amazing time on the field today!” says Gabi Walter-Clay of Urban School.
A lot of the students were part of a club called SWEAR back at their school. SWEAR stands for Students for Women’s Equality and Rights. The club tries to raise awareness about violence against women. Gabi explained, “We’re an affinity space, which means that we discuss and deal with a particular type of topic in the group. Half of the group’s activity is for our personal struggles and the other half is devoted to service and activism. We want to give back to the community and learn from the community.”