Archive for June, 2015

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Homestay: The rooms were spacious and very comfortable. I appreciated that Gunja went out of her way to make an extra bed so we all had our own bed to sleep on. Too bad only one of the plugs in the room worked.

Family: The family is lovely, one of the most considerate and fun families I have ever met.

Nature: Rose is situated in a very beautiful area of India. Jeevan gave us a lovely tour of the area including the fields. I also appreciate the temperate climate.

Project: I’m so glad that we were able to fund and help the toilet building project. I wish that we could have been put to better use. I felt like I did not work very hard.

Culture: I learned a lot about Indian culture here at ROSE. I appreciated being immersed in family living as well as learning about culture specifically down at the school. Your teacher were very interesting..

Community: the community in and around ROSE I found to be much more welcoming than when I was in Delhi. I appreciated how well the community allowed us to integrate into their daily lives

Service: FANTASTIC. If we needed anything Gunja or Jeevan were always there right away.

My contact information:

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My name is Claire Ferguson, a Program Leader with Operation Groundswell, located in Toronto, Canada
Operation Groundswell is a Toronto based organization that organizes and facilitates 6-week educational and volunteer backpacking programs throughout the world for youth aged 18-30.

Welcome: We were warmly welcomed by the family. The guesthouse was very clean and we felt right at home! Even though it was late, they had dinner ready.
Homestay: The homestay was fantastic. Jeevan’s family is very kind and made us feel like part of the family. It was easy to spend hours lounging around the house.
Family and Food: Gunja cooks so much! I can’t believe how much food is prepared in such a small kitchen. Everything was delicious, and all our participants with allergies or particular food needs were accommodated. There was always LOTS of food, and although we aren’t used to eating so late at night, we were certainly always very hungry once dinner time came around.
Nature: The area is beautiful , although the thought of leopards made it scary to go to the bathroom at night.
Project: I think we were able to contribute what we could to the project, though we weren’t always sure we were being helpful. It wasn’t always clear who decided which member of the community would receive the toilet (whether the community at large decided, or whether the Verma family decided). It would have been nice to know more about the family that we were building the toilet for, to get to know them and their situation, or to learn more about the importance of a clean santitation system, as it is something we often take for granted at home.
Culture: Jeevan did a great job exposing is to Kamaon culture, bringing us to many temples in the area, and inviting us to part of a wedding ceremony. We weren’t really sure what the ceremony was for before we went, but we found out. More information about the marriage process would be interesting.
Community: I think we integrated really well into the Verma family, but didn’t engage much with the rest of the community. Everyone seemed very friendly and welcoming though.
Claire Ferguson
Toronto, Ontario
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