David Gray

January 2017

United Kingdom

I had an amazing time at Gokuldham School in Nar from the moment I arrived. I was given a couple of days to adjust to the time difference and climate which I was very grateful for. Everyone on the campus made me feel like a member of the Gokuldham family, from the principal and teachers to the cooks and Swamis. The campus itself is very nice, with a temple in the middle of the grounds and the school buildings, cow shed, mineral water plant, ashram and retirement home surrounding it. I stayed within the retirement home where I met lots of lovely older people who seemed very happy and content living there.
The school itself was a great experience. All of the children were happy, playful, and were keen to learn. All of the classes that I helped teach could speak English so they had clearly been taught well in the lower Standards. I helped out teaching English lessons and also helped cover some other lessons. The teachers were all very friendly and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. The children were respectful and enjoyed coming to the school to learn.
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Outside of school times I had a very positive experience. Meeting the Swamis was a very interesting experience for me as I knew very little of the Swaminarayan culture beforehand. They taught me a lot about their religion and culture which I found fascinating, and they were very kind to me. We had trips to various parts of Gujarat organised, and visited numerous monuments and temples in the month that I spent at the school.
I just want to say a special thank you to Mita for setting this opportunity up for me, the principal for organising excursions and helping me settle into life at Gokuldham, and finally Pravin, who does so much for the school and the volunteers and works tirelessly for others.I feel honoured to have been a part of this learning institution, and value and appreciate the time I spent there.