People

Who's who? | Who does what?

Who's who?
A regularly profile section of an individual or family in the area. Please contact krystyna@intamail.com if you would like to be featured. Don't be shy.

This section is dedicated to the numerous skills and interests that our villagers hold. Why not have your details listed?

Contact us now!

A handful of children from the SCAP School for children with special needs
Rachel and students - SCAD Engineering College Sept 03
Rachel Giddens

'Volunteering In India' By Rachel Giddens

In September, I once again set-off for Tamil Nadu. This is the most southerly state in India, set beside the well-known state Kerala, which runs along the west coast. It is a very different place to the pleasant Keralan countryside where lots of vegetation and fruits grow and the beautiful Arabian Sea along it's shore. Tamil Nadu is the hottest state in India & probably one of the most rural with lots of poverty and in many ways is very backward. It is very dry & had not had rainfall for two years. Whilst I was there they had a little rain, but the other states had plenty. Even other areas in Tamil Nadu seemed to get more rain than where I was. It would threaten rain, but rarely did it happen. I was based near a town called Tirunelvelli. I actually had two placements. A rural & a town one, both within an hours drive by car of each other.

My first placement was on the campus of three colleges and a school for children with special needs. I was to work in an Engineering college with students aged 17-25yrs old. This I did, teaching spoken English & communication skills to girls and boys. I would take about 5 classes a day. Initially they gave me 60 students at a time in a normal classroom setting, which proved impossible. So I managed to get the class split to 30 students and to hold my classes in a special room with seating in a semi-circle, therefore was less formal and more friendly, something they had never experienced before.

The classes were very difficult, because although the students spoke English, I could hardly understand them. It just sounded like Tamil, very fast! They could not understand me either, even speaking very slowly & clearly. Gradually we did get to understand each other on most occasions. But there were other difficulties too. Culture was the biggest, boys were not supposed to speak to girls & certainly not sit beside them! I had an awful job trying to get them to speak to each other. In fact the girls were very reluctant to speak to me to begin with. Some never did really partake fully. I would say that the classes of over 20yr olds were more like 12 yr olds, as far as getting them to speak socially. They really were very shy & unsure of themselves, especially the girls.

However the students were great & soon made me feel very welcome. The lecturers tried hard too, though it was very difficult with them constantly speaking Tamil at every opportunity, even though their subject was English. This was a problem for me as I was the only white English speaking person on the campus and after a few weeks I began to feel very alone. I lived on my own too on this campus, with a girl to cook & clean for me. She spoke no English & was very unsure of me to begin with.

My spare time was filled by reading, yoga & spending time with the children with special needs, at the little school. They were great fun, spoke little or no English, but made me very welcome. They were all gorgeous! I was not really allowed off the campus, which was a bit of a bore. But I did escape to the nearest village on one occasion. It was a 30 minute walk in the 40c heat, but great. Apart from the fact that I would be constantly stared at, as people had never seen a white person before. I did manage to get a coffee, from a little roadside shop, which was a delight.

During my second placement, I again taught in a college & also was given the chance to go into a school too. This was much harder, as I never knew who I'd be taking or what age they'd be. It ranged from 5-16yrs!! Sometimes it was a nightmare as the children would get so excited by my presence, that I just could not keep them quiet. Indian children really do know how to talk when they get going, unfortunately usually in Tamil!
The classes with the older students progressed well, but unfortunately they had important exams and they were withdrawn from me more & more, so in the end I came home early as there was very little to do.

The ten weeks I spent in this part of India, were a real experience of another culture. Really living within it is just so different when you are an outsider. I have learnt a lot from my experiences and from my lecturer friends, especially the younger women. I do not think that I could live here. It will be nice sometime in the future to experience another part of India to compare the difference, as I understand each area is different. The cities are much more westernised, but it really has not reached Tamil Nadu yet!!

If you would like to talk more about my or your own travels in India, I am happy to. I can be contacted on rachelgiddens@hotmail.com

Read about Rachel's previous trip to India

Paul Crank

Your friendly neighbourhood webmaster

Paul has been in Great Gidding for over 10 years - so still a newcomer! Lives with his wife Krystyna at the Old Chapel on Main Street.

He started the Giddings website to practice his web skills never realising it would take up quite so much of his time! Gets involved with the village pantomime but strictly behind the scenes - painting them usually.

Paul studied fine art and graphics in Manchester. Now runs a graphic design business - Catalyst Design Partnership - with Krystyna.

Other interests include painting and drawing (www.paulcrank.co.uk), motorbiking, photography and going on holiday!

Steve Smith

Welcome to 'Pantomime Director' Steve Smith

Steve is a new member of the village, having recently moved into 19 Chapel End, with his wife Lyn and their 2 year old son Jordan.

Originally from Hertfordshire, Steve works as a Civil Engineer, based in London – so is no stranger to the journey up and down the A1!

In an attempt to get to know some of the other villagers, Steve wanted to be involved in this years pantomime – Cinderella. He has many years experience of professional theatre and hopes he can bring this to his role as director.

 

Carole Smith
Carole Smith
I.T.E.C.DIPLOMA in Massage
DIPLOMA in Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology.
First Degree in USUI system of REIKI.

My name is Carole Smith, I live in the 'big house' next to the 'long house' in Chapel End. We moved to Great Gidding eight years ago and in the short time we have been here our two youngest children have left school and started careers of their own. I found that I also had time to persue a career of my own and promptly enlisted at Huntingdon Regional College to do a course in Reflexology, Anatomy and Physiology. Whilst at college I met a lady who had just qualified as a Reiki Master and I became extremely interested in the subject. I studied First Degree and Second Degree Usui system of Reiki and gained the necessary diploma's. I am a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and can offer the following treatments.

SWEDISH BODY MASSAGE is an excellent therapy for relaxation and can help relieve stress and muscle tension. It can also improve lymphatic drainage which helps rid the body of germs and toxins.

REFLEXOLOGY can help with various conditions such as digestive dissorders, hormonal imbalance, sciatica, muscle tension and stress. It is believed that 'lifeforce energy' travels along energy lines and circulates between the cells and tissues of the body. Illness or trauma can cause a blockage in the flow of this energy, which in turn can delay the body's own healing process. To help remove these blockages, massage and pressure techniques are applied to the reflex points in the feet to restore the energy flow and allow healing to take place. Relaxation is just one of the many benifits of reflexology.

REIKI is a deeply calming and relaxing therapy which can help the body's own healing process and raise energy levels. The 'lifeforce energy' is chanelled down through the therapist's hands to the recipient. Reiki treatment is given whilst the recipient lays fully clothed on a massage couch and lasts approximately one hour.

Full Body Massage (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours) 25
Back & Shoulders (40 minutes) 12
Legs & Feet (40 minutes) 12
Reflexology - One session (1 to 1 1/2 hours) 15
Reiki - One session 15

For appointments - Please Telephone Carole Smith 01832 293594 ( between 9.00 am and 7.00pm )

Who does what?
If you have a skill or hobby that you think may be of interest to other people please contact krystyna@intamail.com
Candle-making
Candles by Tony Scott

Handmade candles.

Contact: Tel 01832 293 385

Mosaic
Mosaics by Krystyna Wojcik

Anything from mirror edging, bathroom panels, table tops to outdoor paving. Commissions welcome.

Contact: krystyna@intamail.com

Papier Mache
Papier Mache by Krystyna Wojcik

Mostly bowls of varying shape and size. Commissions welcome.

Contact: krystyna@intamail.com

Painting
Paintings and drawings by Paul Crank (www.paulcrank.co.uk)

Landscape, figurative paintings and drawings. Commissions welcome.

Contact: paulcrank@intamail.com

Reflexology
Carole Smith

I.T.E.C. DIPLOMA in Massage,
DIPLOMA in Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology.
First Degree in USUI system of REIKI.

Full Body Massage (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours) 25
Back & Shoulders (40 minutes) 12
Legs & Feet (40 minutes) 12
Reflexology - One session (1 to 1 1/2 hours) 15
Reiki - One session 15

Appointments: Please Telephone Carole Smith 01832 293594 (between 9.00 am and 7.00pm )

Massage
Carole Smith

I.T.E.C. DIPLOMA in Massage,
DIPLOMA in Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology.
First Degree in USUI system of REIKI

Full Body Massage (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours) 25
Back & Shoulders (40 minutes) 12
Legs & Feet (40 minutes) 12
Reflexology - One session (1 to 1 1/2 hours) 15
Reiki - One session 15

Appointments: Please Telephone Carole Smith 01832 293594 (between 9.00 am and 7.00pm )