Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mid July 2009 - Europe trip and all-around-news

All is almost well on this end with the family , besides i am having little pains,cold and stress , the rest is well, grand ma is recovering, mumy is stable, ayush is well, shakti is doing good and is being sportive, Mukta is well and is planning a holiday for few days visiting her elder sister's family.

Guest House:-
Besides the world economy having crisis, the terrorists threatening to blow up Jodhpur last week,guest are still coming and are very happy to be with the hospitality.
We have decorated the guest house in nice sparkling blue, I hope our guest would like the new decor for the season, the roof is not working yet because of the rainy season,plants are smiling from the pure rain water.

Rajput Cultural Adventures:-
No groups this year unfortunately,but a group or two for sure next year.

Sambhali Trust:-
Long story short, with the help of my friend and Founder of our partner NGO Soziale Initiative Ms. Ernestine, i made one more dream come true of representing Sambhali trust's work on International level by giving four presentations, they were a great success and people admired our work very much. The presentations took place in Austria and Switzerland.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.
We had a wonderful Coverage by Times of India just before i left for my trip.
News paper article from Basel ,Switzerland about the presentation.
My wonderful friends, Cornelia, Ernestine, myself, Nigama and Margret
Home for few daysAn Indian Evening in Linz, Austria, Indian cooking class , before the presentation.Presentation in Linz(1st)
Sight Seeing
Shopping in Linz
At an open air concert, Linz
Market in LinzSight Seeing
We went to see Modern Ballet
Mr.Joseph and I after the presentation
My birthday Gift, Ms. Ernestine took me to this beautiful jungle.
Presentation(4th) in Basel,Switzerland ,arranged by Mr.Ralph Lewin
My friend Gaby in her car, Biel city, Switzerland
Nigama came all the way from Biel to say good bye to Cornelia and I, Margret came to drop us at the airport
I must thank you Ms.Ernestine for sponsoring me, for arranging the three presentations and for making this dream come true of mine and for showing me some wonders of this world that god and men has created, thanks to your wonderful Family& Friends for making my stay incredible in Austria. I will never forget the wonderful time i have spent with you all.
Mr& Mrs.Ralph and Friends for arranging the presentation in Basel, Ms.Margret for driving me nearly 2000kilometers in the 14 days and for hosting me in Switzerland, i am sorry Margret i was not always easy , thanks to your family Gaby,Pascal and all the other beautiful people for having me and showing me your life, Thank you very much Cornelia for making me understand European culture, Sorry i was not easy going and understanding always and thank you soo much for your moral support.
Nigama thank you very much for staying around and supporting whenever i was falling,thanks Emil for having me and the groups who came to India with Nigama, it was lovely to meet them again in their world.
Thank you Mr&Mrs.Max for having me at your home for the evening and thanks to all the Group members who came to India with Max, Ms.Rita, Ms.Rose Marie and all the wonderful , friendly people for visiting me and for spoiling me, showing me your life, your open hearts and invitations mean a lot to me and i am thankful for this oppertunity.

First Impressions by Ms.Dani Noble
25th June-25th August

The ‘Sambhali space’ is amazing evidence of the natural bond that exists between women. Wherever she is from, whatever her story, in an all-female group a woman can find a safe space to learn, share, and play. And as I am becoming part of the Sambhali community, I am finding it to be a sacred place for me as well as the women and girls who participate in the Sambhali program.
The first Saturday I spent here, the girls and I danced all day: kathak, para nathium, Rajasthani folk dance, salsa, hip hop…we did it all. It was perhaps the most fun I’ve had in India thus far. I think that simply letting our hair down together was a great way of building immediate trust. I am making fast friends with many of the girls, and we dance and let loose whenever we have a moment free from sewing or English lessons.
The women and girls at Sambhali are among the strongest and most resilient I have ever met. Many of them have experienced more discrimination, abuse, and oppression that I can ever conceive of. I remember during one of my first days here, I listened to one woman (Sabina, now one of my very good friends) tell stories of the domestic abuse she endured on a daily basis, showing me the cuts and bruises that littered her arms and face. She told me how this type of abuse is why she comes to Sambhali: to learn and play in a safe space, free from the troubles of her domestic life.
Something I have learned from Sabina in the two weeks that I have been here is how important independent learning is to women’s empowerment. If a woman feels confident in her own learning abilities, using skills she is taught to further her own independent thinking, she can feel confident about her own mind. She is no longer her body or her dowry, but an independent, creative thinker. Each day, after an English lesson with Sabina, I give her written and reading assignments to take home with her. In addition, I give work out of a supplemental textbook, which Sabina borrows from me to take home. Sabina takes a great deal of pride in being able to study English independently in her own home: to, after her domestic chores are finished, sit down by herself and learn. This has been, for her, a powerful way of taking a small piece of Sambhali home with her each evening.
I have also been working with another group of girls who are at a more basic English level. We are currently working on writing English letters and associating these letters with their sounds, using Hindi script as a learning reference point. It has been challenging because all of the girls are at different levels. I try to do as much individual instruction as possible, assigning different homework to the girls depending on their fluency.
I enjoy teaching English immensely because it is a great opportunity to teach English, learn Hindi, and bond with the girls over educational activities (for example, English role-playing). Over the course of my time here at Sambhali, I would like to develop a more structured English curriculum for girls who go through the Sambhali program. That is, a core reference book that would include helpful worksheets, reference sheets, and lesson plans for conversational and written English. This reference book would be structured so that non-Hindi speaking volunteers could teach concepts in clear, understandable ways. In addition, the goal would be for the students to learn English while the teacher simultaneously learns Hindi. In this way, Sambhali women could be Hindi teachers as well as English learners. I’ve found through my experience over the last two weeks that this relationship is an extremely empowering one for the girls: they are so eager to share what they know as well as learn what they do not know.

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