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Posts Tagged ‘kanda’

Sarah Doughty
158 Ardenlee Avenue
Belfast
N Ireland

e-mail doughtysarah@googlemail.com

I came to India for the first time hoping to find out about and experience ordinary family and community life. I never expected it to be such a rich and fulfilling time.

Being so far from home on my own for the first time could have been lonely but from my arrival I was immediately made to feel relaxed and looked after. Not once have I felt home sick as Jeevan and his beautiful family have welcomed me into the heart of their home.

On my first day in Kanda we went to Bageshwar to a festival, it was bustling with people, markets and a funfair, singing and dancing and a wonderful air of excitement. We visited with family and friends, I could not stop smiling and felt so lucky to be involved. Since that first day there have been too many wonderful things happen to talk about them all but I will mention leopard spotting, learning to make bricks, making chappatis and an amazing first day of spring.

Jeevan has allowed me to be involved in all aspects of family life and has shown great patience in explaining how the project at ROSE works. It is truly inspirational to see a community so motivated in improving the world around them and helping each other.

I would urge anyone who is interested in learning about organic farming or sustainability, or who wishes to be a part of family life to visit here. Or even bring a skill that you might think could be useful. Your time here will be in your heart forever.

It would be impossible for me to write down all their kindnesses but I thank them for everything they have done for me. I will miss you all.

Sarah
13 to 22 January 2010

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I arrived in Kanda on November the 2nd after a long journey by bus from Nainital. Luckily I met Helen and Mark, two English volunteers, at the shared-jeep stand so I didn’t have to search for the right way to ‘the square, reddish house’. With my heavy back pack the road was a bit tough, but I made it safely. After 8.5 hours by bus, it was lovely to sit back in the sun with a cup of chai, chatting with Mark and Helen.

 

 Unfortunately, the second day was Helen and Marks last day. We went exploring in a field nearby and after that I joined them in the short walk to Kanda Market followed by the steep short cut track to Kanda. I was surprised by the hot temperature in daytime; short sleeves were enough, compared to the cold weather later on in the day.  In the evening we had a great meal, including a cup of lovely fresh, hot milk with lots of sugar.

 

Early in the morning Helen and Mark left and I had to sit down for a while with a swollen knee; I think I may have been a bit too enthusiastic walking on the bumpy roads and carrying my back pack. I took care of baby Anuska, I helped cooking, made chapattis as best I could and helped with cutting the grass, although I could not handle this task for a long time – it was hard work!

 

I noticed that I had no network with my cell phone here in the mountains and Internet wasn’t working, so I went into Bageshwar to inform my parents that I had arrived safely. As I knew they were a little concerned about their daughter alone in this big unknown country. I was glad I could take their worries away; the Verma’s are really welcoming and family-like.

I arrived back in time to join Mr. Verma in a celebration in the temple up the hill. I really enjoyed it, although I did not quite understand everything, even with the explanations of Mr. Verma.

 

On Thursday there was another event in a different temple; the temple was just opened and there was a meal for everybody that wanted it. Of course I loved to try it! I received a plate with fried chapatti, a cucumber-yoghurt sauce, vegetable curry and pickled mango (really nice!). After some shopping we went home and I helped Renu take care of the baby and I helped with the cooking. Mrs. Verma noticed that I was a bit cold and immediately she brought a shawl and heated some milk for me; a great example of the warm heartedness of the family.

 

I had planned to go to Almora on Sunday, but then Renu told me there was a special event happening in the Verma house; Anuska was now 5 months old and ready to eat solid food. Lots of great dishes were cooked and after some traditional ceremonies – for example Anuska writing on paper! – She could try a sample all of the prepared food which was served for her on a silver coin.

 

The day after I traveled by shared jeep to Almora and although the trip should only take 3 hours, it took me 5 hours to arrive there and then I had to walk for 3 kilometer uphill. Because of the delay I decided to stay an extra night in Almora. I stayed at the ‘Bansal Hotel’, recommended by the Lonely Planet firstly and now by me (it was a bargain!). During my trip I visited several temple’s, including the Kasar Devi Temple, but if I am honest I was a little disappointed by it. Almora is quite small, you can do some shopping, go on the internet, eat delicious tandoori chicken at ‘Soni’s’ and have a nice chat with the locals. Unfortunately, there was a strike on the day I wanted to leave and the next day I became sick which I think was due to some of the food I had eaten at a temple, so my trip took longer than I expected. But I would still recommend Almora to anyone, just for a night or two.

After some quiet days spent helping with the housekeeping and cooking we had to say ‘goodbye’ to Dipty and Anuska, because they were leaving to return to their own home 2 hours away from Kanda. I traveled with them to their house where we had a meal and a stroll through their village and then it was time to return Kanda. It was not easy to ‘leave’ them there, but we had two new people coming back to Kanda with us Jeetendr and Chandra so there would be enough company!

 

 

 

Ro

 

Rodée Veens

19 years, student University Social Work, HAN Nijmegen

Rodeeveens@hotmail.com

11/2/08 – 11/24/08

Holland, Netherlands.

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