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Archive for August, 2008

Over the past four weeks of my stay here in Kanda I can quite easily say I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. From the first day I was made to feel very welcome by everyone within the family, and the bonds and friendships I made only grew with each day that passed.

I really like the atmosphere here at R.O.S.E where everything is done at your own pace and I was able to help out as much or as little as I wanted. Within an hour of arriving I was helping with the construction of a new storage room which will ensure greater future success for the dairy pilot project the Verma’s have taken up. At the same time, I also had plenty of opportunity to just sit under the porch and chat to the other volunteers, read or write up my journal.

For the last 3 weeks, I helped out in the school nearly everyday, helping children there between the ages of 7-11 further their English. I was really impressed by the standard of their English given their young age and slightly taken aback by their overwhelming enthusiasm to learn; their eagerness to receive a ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ written in their books! My grasp of English was put to further good use when helping Gotham with his reading homework most nights.

The food here is fantastic and any concerns I had prior to coming about the infamous “Delhi Belly” were unnecessary. 3 large, healthy, tasty meals a day, with the insistence usually that I have seconds, – what more could I ask for!

Because you are considered more a member of the family here than a guest, I was able to get a real appreciation for the Indian way of life, witnessing close up its culture and taking part in the various celebrations that always seem to be going on – the excitement that all the children had on Independence Day for example, as they paraded up and down the streets singing and chanting, was particularly memorable. It was also a fun and interesting experience to accompany the family on a trip to a nearby temple where I gained a close-up experience of the Hindu faith in practice.

There was plenty of opportunity to explore the surrounding area, and I embarked on plenty of walks within the foothills and took a number of jeep-shares to the nearby town of Bageshwar. With every trip I seemed to meet new and interesting people who approached me out of curiosity or a simple desire to practice their English. I also made a 3 day trip to Nanital, about 8 hours away. The town, centered around a lake, reminded me much of the Lake District landscape back at home, and it was definitely worth the trip.

My four weeks here seems to have flown by, and I guess that’s further evidence that I have enjoyed my time here. I think all that remains to be said is thank you once again to Mr. Verma and his family for being so welcoming. I definitely intend on keeping in contact and supporting the projects here in any way I can. I hope my links with Durham university students could prove useful.

All the best,

Gethin.
Gethin Jenkins
Durham University (Politics and French) – Bachelors Degree

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