Monday, August 01, 2011

July 2011

Hello Dear Readers,
I have been delaying with updating my blog nowadays because this facebook thing is addictive. I am really sorry for this. I will make sure to keep yourself updated on regular basis in future.
The family is doing well, The Sambhali Trust does very well too.

Please find some information on July 2011 below, some more updates in August Blog.

Sans Frontieres from France make it back to Jodhpur again this year with eight groups, Our participant from Payal Empowerment center talking about her daily routine at home

Below first impression by our volunteer Ms. Marta Schmidt

First Impressions by Marta Schmidt

July-August 2011

Age 21, from Gliwice, Poland.

Student of Politics and South Asian Studies, SOAS, University of London.

I arrived in Jodhpur after 3 touristy days with friends from Mumbai. After 18 hours of first exciting train journey (just like in the films!) in a compartment with a huge, friendly Rajasthani family, at 6.30 in the morning I was picked up from the Jodhpur Railway Station by a small and skinny man on a – oh dear – motorbike! With all my huge bugs, I could only utter a hysterical laughter and said that I could definitely not travel with all my bags (not to mention I have sworn never to get on a motorcycle in my life) on this little space, having experience with crazy Mumbai streets and their lack of any rules or regulations. I was put on the rickshaw (my first –how exciting!) and we got quickly to a beautiful blue guesthouse. There everyone was still asleep…

The day was a mixture of nervousness and exhilaration. I met people working in the guesthouse, who seemed like a family after a couple of minutes. Volunteers, Kerry, Sharzy and Kareena – told me all about their experiences and explained how everything works. I met Govind ji during the first meeting of Priyadarshini Adarsh, a microfinance project running in collaboration with the government of Rajasthan. He seemed like a serious, experienced and very professional man – how big was my surprise when I found out he’s much younger than I initially thought!

First nights in Jodhpur were a little bit harsh to live through - me, a woman from the wild north (i.e. Poland) who prefers the temperature not to rise beyond 20 degrees, had to deal with almost 40.

But to compensate for long nights – what is not better than Indian food! Making rotis in the evening with other volunteers and the boys working in the kitchen, and then eating delicious Indian curries, is a grand pleasure indeed.

The first experiences with girls of Sambhali were also wonderful and unusual. Firstly, I lead an English class on Saturday, which made me realise how much I love teaching – and thankfully I speak Hindi, so communicating with them and explaining things is much easier – also gossiping about Bollywood actors is! The second unusual experience was during the 7 a.m. self-defence classes (a weekly workshop). Seeing those beautiful and seemingly fragile girls smashing the air with bamboo sticks – and being able to face the potential goondas – made me feel empowered as well.

I feel very privileged to be able to help for a while and maybe make a little bit of difference in their lives…

Some pictures from Art competition in Setrawa Empowerment Center ( a community involvement program)

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