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Archive for September, 2014

The drive up to Kanda was very nice, going through long winding mountain roads and beautiful scenery all the way. When I arrived at R.O.S.E Renu and Saju (Mr Verma’s daughter and son) took my bags from me and I went up to the house where I met the family and three other volunteers. Tim and Katrina are a newly married couple from the UK and Clemence is an 18 year old Belgium girl who was braving India on her own since her older brother had to go back home (I was and still am in awe of her bravery!).
I was shown around the next morning by the other volunteers and settled into to things very quickly. Tim had been excavating sand and rocks from the local rivers so that the materials could be used for building and also to improve the flow of the river. The girls had been working at the local school where Gautam (MR Verma’s Grandchild) was studying. They would go up at 9am and do the daily prayer with the class and then it was yoga. After this they would then teach until 12pm in English and return for lunch as it is the hottest time of day.

Whilst being here I have met 7 other volunteers(Tim, Katrina, Clemence, Blake, Helena, Mark and Helen) and I only spent 2 days on my own which were actually quite nice as I only got closer to the family. I have done daily grass cutting, which involves a big wheel with a blade on it and the cattle fodder is fed through the machine and you end up with finely cut fodder which apparently helps cattle digest their food better. This is a tiring exercise but an important daily task and it’s amazing how you use muscles you forgot you had but like everything is becomes easier as you go on.

I have excavated sand and stones from the rivers to help the flow of the river and to use the materials taken for building. I have done road maintenance as the roads are very uneven and have lots of potholes. I have also helped improve the drainage alongside the roads for when the storms hit. I have been involved in harvesting Soya beans. The cut plants are brought up to the house and left out to dry, once dry we would beat them hard with sticks until the pods broke open and the plants were broken down finely. Then the beans and plant leftovers could be separated out by air sifting. Using a blanket two women would create a wind flow and then the woman would drop the mix down and the leftovers and Soya beans would separate. This had to be repeated time and time again until eventually there were two separate piles. Drying of rice is also important and I have helped to gather it up into sacks once the grains have been dried out.

On one of the days here Mr Verma had been away and came back with an adopted baby girl for his daughter Dipti. There were lots of celebrations for the baby’s arrival and on the same day the cat had had a litter of four kittens ( you couldn’t write this stuff!).

Whilst being here I have visited many temples and there was a religious festival that went on for 3 days and at the climax of this festival to honour one of the Hindu Gods. Although this may sound horrible it was actually very interesting and was done very humanely. The atmosphere was electric and I have never seen so many people in and around the local temple as I saw that day, nearly every inch of space and was taken up by people and it was just amazing as normally the market is very quiet with only a handful of people at any one time.

I don’t think I could have learnt as much about the culture of India and Indian people if I hadn’t come to R.O.S.E. Living as part of an Indian family in a small and very friendly Indian community has been life changing for me and I have come to really appreciate my own family and my standard of living back at home. You don’t realize how easy our lives are until you come here and get back down to grassroots with basic tools. When you undertake any labour tasks you can’t help but think…..If only I had that tool then I could do this so much more efficiently and it would make people’s lives a bit easier to do the task.
Mc manan

Charis MC macnam

ROSE  home stay cover page

Kanda from Annapurna

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