Sunday, February 26, 2012

December-January-February

My name is Margret Nobs and I am from Switzerland, french part.Since five years I come to Jodhpur as a friend of Govind and Mukta. I am working for the second time as a volunteer for the Sambhali Trust. 2009/2010 I stayed here for four months and this time I am here for three and a half months. I teach the girls and women to knit and to crochet. At the first time it was very successful and for me en enriching experience. As long as my health allows I will come back in the following years.


My name is Sylvia Hasenheit and I’m from Germany. I’m as a volunteer here in Jodhpur since 03.january 2012.

I’m working 3 ½ months for the Sambhali Trust as an Art-and-Craft-teacher. It’s a new challenge for me and so different to my “real life”. During this time my dream was and is, to bring new ideas and knowledge for the handicraft classes. I was very interested in the live here in India, different people and culture.

After 6 weeks I can say, it was a good choose to go to Jodhpur and a very good decision to work for the Sambhali Trust.

I have really much fun with the girls in the Jodhpur Empowerment Center and the women in the Payal sewing center. It is a very good atmosphere, to work together. The girls and women all are very friendly, full of humor and interest.

I must learn to have more patience, because it’s only one hour per day for art and craft in every group. But I hope we have a good success together till april when I leave.

What I think is that it is important for the girls that I am here. I do bring the world to them. Most of the girls will never have a chance to travel into another city in India or actually into another country.

I remember my youth in East Germany. It would have been so exotic for me, to meet french or english people. But none of them had a chance to come to East Germany! So I can understand the situation of our girls here better than others.

Finally I am now here in India. The girls see, the possibilities for european women. They get an idea of strong women, self-confident women and creative women.

I think, all these aspects might be a chance to change their lifes a little.

And this makes a good feeling for me.

Till now all my experiences tell me it was a really good decision to come to Sambhali Trust.



First report of Ingrid Geilert, Germany
February 13th, 2012 ( after four weeks of teaching )

I arrived at the end of December, during the holidays. One of the grannies took care of me and showed me all the things I had to know. She also gave me my timetable. So it was easy for me to start my time as a volunteer.
School started on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 and I had a first look at the girls I was going teach. The next day, I had the chance to see a dance performance, which the girls made for a group of tourists from Switzerland. On Wednesday, I could assist to a workshop about health and in the afternoon I saw the second place where I had to teach.
It was planned that English and mathematics should take place at the same time, in the morning at the Jodhpur center and in the afternoon at the Payle center, four days a week. And there is one translator for the two groups. She goes from one room to the other, as she is needed. That is very helpful.


1.) Jodhpur center
I started to teach on Thursday, January 5th, 2010 with addition and subtraction and I tried to find out what the girls were able to do. I realised that their levels were quite different. The next day, there were no students for me to teach, and Monday, too. Finally, I started to teach regularly from February 10th on with one week of holidays at the end of February.
Normally I had 3 to 6 girls in my group, the last two weeks mostly six, but there have been new beginners and others left.
So I decided to let them work individually. To each girl I gave a different sheet with problems. They had to write it in their copy books. When they finished one sheet they could check the solutions on the backside and than they got the next sheet. This way they could progress step by step. At the end I took the copy books with me and I noted in a list what they had done. The problems I gave to them were basic.
ex. 30 + 5 = ; 57 + 9 = ; 42 - 7 = ; ... - 13 = 18 ; 58 + ... = 63 ; 42 - 23 =
But we also made games and oral work. One granny helped to teach the absolute beginners in the last weeks and now they all can follow my programme.


2.) Payal Empowerment Center
In the Payle center at the beginning we didn't divide the group. So I had between 12 and 16 girls and women of very different ages and levels. They were sitting on the floor one beside the other and it was more difficult for me to teach them. There were only two days with mathematics and the other two days I assisted in the English lessons.
After our team meeting we changed it. Since Monday, January 16th, we also divide the group. I worked in the same way as in the Jodhpur center. Some girls are very good because they go to school in the morning. So they progressed quickly and after two weeks I began with multiplication and division. But there are also beginners. The group changed a little after we moved to our new rooms.

I am glad to continue until the end of March.




My name is Hildegard Lehnguth. I live in a small village near Munich. Travelling a lot in my life, now my intention is to learn more intense about foreign countries, about their people, and their everyday life.

What a luck for me to find a report in my newspaper about Granny Aupair. They are offering for “older women” to go as an aupair into many countries of the world or to join projects like the Sambhali Trust in Jodhpur. I knew India already from trips I made before, so it was an easy decision for me. On the other side I felt that my job as a teacher gave me confident that I could bring them a bit for their life.

Arriving in Jodhpur there were already other “grannys” helping me a lot to find all things for my everydaylife here in India, so I felt rather quick familiar.

My task at the Sambhali Trust is first of all to teach english. At the beginning it is not easy to find the right way. The girls and women need a lot of visibility and repeating. Further on there is a lot of changing. New girls are coming nearly every day others are leaving. So you have to start rather oftenfrom the very beginning. But they all try to do their best. At school they feel happy and free from their familiar backgrounds which are really hard to be read and even harder to be understand by us.

Second part of my life here is living in a lodge with the familiy of Govind and his wife Mugda.

We get so many informations about indian way of life which you never would find in any book or report. We were invited to take part in a marriage of Govinds family. Then there was an inauguration of the shelter house, new part of the trust, by a Brahman priest. We go by Rikscha to many points of the town. Everyday shoppings are done and it is not so easy to find shops for example where you get pencils or notebooks.

Tourists are coming to the lodge and we have interesting discussions with them. A big table where we have meals together is the center of many activities and making plans.

At least I must say it is a real enriching time for myself and I plan to come back again with more background knowledge and preparation.

Namaste

Hildegard


Had a wonderful day yesterday, visited all of our centers in a row, went to Setrawa, it was lovely meeting the representatives of GDG (Global Development Group, Australia/America). By the end of the day the GDG team said Sambhali Trust is very credible.... Thank you my dear team because without all of your hard work nothing would have been possible....


http://memographer.com/2012/01/incredible-india-sambhali-trust-book/
AMAZING....... Want to share this wonderful link with all yourselves http://memographer.com/2012/01/incredible-india-sambhali-trust-book/ Please do comment on the link for our dear friend Memographer Alex Kay for putting his valuable time and incredible efforts in this book.

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http://www.lizcleere.com/2012/02/top-award-for-a-rajput-gentleman-from-wanderlust-magazine/

'A Rajput Gentleman' has won the annual award for Best Experience in the Wanderlust Magazine awards for its on-line community. It's great to see how well the Trust is being received by everyone. Follow the link on my blog page to 'A Rajput Gentleman' to read about Govind and the Sambhali Trust from my personal perspective.

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We are very honored to introduce our new partner Forty Red Bangles (FRB). http://fortyredbangles.wordpress.com/ FRB has helped us sponsor the operational costs of the new Sewing center we want to establish for the six women who have graduated after the two year training at Sambhali Payal Empowerment Center on December 2011. The Sewing center of the graduates will be established around the Airforce area of Jodhpur.
fortyredbangles.wordpress.com
Sustainable Luxury
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http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/hauptnavigation/sendung-verpasst/#/beitrag/video/1563380/drehscheibe-am-8-Februar-2012
ZDF TV channel from Germany came to Jodhpur and filmed a short documentary on the Sambhali Trust volunteers coming from Granny Aupair. Please check the link and scroll it to 29 minutes or find and click on the short letters link saying Namaste.. below the screen...

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Mrs. Ramona Saboo, Member of our Advisory board and Director of Forty Red Bangles, visiting Sambhali Setrawa Empowerment Center.



25 December 2011 -Sambhali Trust received its first recognition from the Rajput community of Jodhpur. We received a certificate and an award for our social work in the field of Women and Children empowerment. The award was given by the chief guest of the occasion H.H.Maharaja of Jodhpur . This is the first community certification to the work of Sambhali trust by Jodhpur. Thank you everyone... Thank you to Shiv Singh ji and Mohan singh ji Jodha for introducing me to the Rajput community.

December-January, I hosted seven Swiss guest on 18 days trip around Rajasthan-Delhi and Agra through our Rajput Cultural Adventures, Virendra could not join because of his work. We added new adventures on the trip this year. The trip gave me six new friends and Ms. Nobs joined us on the trip for the third time.





8th February- The managers from all the Sambhali Trust projects, some members of the our Micro-finance project from Setrawa and myself have been to Ahemdabad, Gujrat for two days trip and visited Manav Sadhna, Gramshree and SEWA long established organizations. The visit gave our team a very good exposure and experience to know about the work other organizations are doing for women empowerment. Our partner Forty Red Bangles joined us from Mumbai. Picture with the founder of Gramshree, Ms. Anarben and our team.


13th February- Today we feel honored to be invited by Sh. Anurag Saboo ji on the occasion of the second passing away anniversary of his grandfather Late. Shri. D.P.Saboo ji. The day was dedicated to help the needy. Two big organizations Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti and Saboo Charitable Trust joined their hands and partnership to support 50 underprivileged women and girls with self-employment. Sambhali Trust was invited with names of 10 venerable women and girls in need of support. We offered 5 names from Sambhali Jodhpur Empowerment Center and they were Neetu, Deepika, Aarti, Sultana, Shweta and 5 from Sambhali Sheerni Micro-Finance project in Setrawa , Sajiyo devi, Dakhu Devi, Rani Devi, Usha Khatri, Prem Devi. We are very honored to have been invited and thankful for the opportunity to bring self-employment to the participants of the Sambhali Trust.



Ulrike Britscho,

Northrhine westfalia, Dusseldorf, Germany

28th of November-28th of January

Incredible India - the 8 weeks I worked for Sambhali were one of the greatest experiences in my life. I came to India with an open heart, an open mind and no expectations at all. Since God has given me so much it was time to give back some of it.

Time has passed so quickly - when I leave in some days I go with tears in my eyes but with my new family members of Sambhali and Durag Niwas deeply rooted in my heart.

I have worked as an English teacher with groups both in Sambhali and in the Payal Empowerment Center, groups that consist of Dalit girls and women aged between 11 and 40 years. This diversity of age is also reflected in their educational background - many of them haven't been to school at all. Nearly all of them live a life full of hardship andd have experienced physical and emotional violence, poverty, hopelessness, deprivation, before they came to Sambhali ( I got to know many details about their lives, education and family background while I put together their personal files and took their photos ). Sambhali - a ray of sunshine and hope in their world, empowering them to live a life with more knowledge, independence and self-esteem. Although we haven't got much beyond some basics in our English lessons I could give them an insight into the world outside their community via PC: I introduced them to my children and their way of life in Germany and took them on a virtual tour to Switzerland, Spain and Australia.


As I also love arts and crafts, we made small items like hairclips and keychains that will be sold in the Sambhali boutique and are first little steps for them to earn some money.


As farewell we spent a wonderful Saturday together in Mandore - we went there in carriages drawn by horses and the delight and emotions reflected on the girls' faces and in their behaviour are moments that will stay with me and continue to inspire me to do my bit.
Who says opportunity only knocks once ?


Saturday, other cultural activity day... Teena ji, a student turn teacher at the Sambhali Trust being sportive at high jump...
14th February- We attended one day workshop on community-based rehabilitation organized in joint efforts by Shared Vision Foundation, Jodhpur, India rehabilitation council, New Delhi, Community-based rehabilitation network, blind peoples association, Ahmadabad. From our side Sylvia Hasenhiet, Manju Mehta and Reena Rathore went to attend the workshop. It was certainly a learning experience for our team.

11 February- On invitation from the National Law University, Institute of rural research and development, Jindal Global law school, we attended the regional conference on good rural governance and citizen participation at the National Law University campus, Jodhpur ... The day was very good and we have hope to work with the Law students in the future.



3rd February-The Documentary team of ZDF from Germany came and filmed the Grannies of Granny Aupair volunteering with the Sambhali Trust few days back. The Documentary shall be shown in this first week of February in Germany. I will share the documentary's web link with everyone soon. I think this will be a good publicity for the Sambhali Trust in Germany.4th February- Today we celebrated the "foundation laying" ceremony for the new upcoming project called "Panaah", its a building for a short term shelter home for the women and girls who are suffering from any kind of assault or abuse and are participating at the Sambhali Trust or has come to us for help and support. Mukta Singh Rathore, Shakti Singh Setrawa, Virendra Singh Chouhan and friends of the family, the contractor, volunteers at Sambhali Trust participated in the ceremony.



22nd February, Inaugration of the new graduates sewing center which will now combine all the old and new graduates work together from one place and produce orders for the boutique. Mrs. Ramona Saboo, member of our advisory board and director of our partner organization Forty Red Bangles came from Mumbai to do us the honor. Sambhali Payal Empowerment center shuts down on March 1st after successfully completing its 2 years program. The graduates from this center have their own sewing center setup for their income generating activities.

Jodhpur Empowerment Center girls at their face health and beauty workshop by our volunteers on the 18th of January 2012.. Our girls enjoyed it very much and had a wonderful day.

Report of Volunteers without portrait pictures for privacy reasons

Erika Skorka, volunteer at the Jodhpur projects

Arrival November 5, 2011 Departure January 28,2012. I come from West-Germany

My report:

My first contact with Sambhali Trust came about through "granny au pair" an organization in Germany where women over 50 plus are placed abroad. My name is Erika, I'm from Ludwigshafen, Germany and it was always my desire to live abroad for a longer time and experience the land and its people not only as a tourist. Granny au pair had now offered me the opportunity to live for 3 months here in Sambhali Trust and to support the Trust.

My reception was very cordial, Govind picked me up from the airport and Mukta, his wife, welcomed me with flowers, a very friendly Namaste and the wonderful Indian welcoming ceremony. The first days I took very slowly; Christa, the first German "Granny" in Sambhali Trust first showed me the surroundings around Jodhpur, told me where I can buy what I need, bought with me my first “kurta” and led me slowly into the habits here in India. I had applied to Sambhali Trust to do Administration and I already asked in advance what I have to do here. I thought that I would work in an office together with other volunteers, but there was no office. It was only me and my Laptop and very often I worked in my room sitting on my bed. But so I was very flexible and I could almost work everywhere with my "portable office". and do my various tasks such as create Job Descriptions, Timetables about the arrival of new volunteers, schedule for working hours for volunteers, creating an information report for new volunteers, etc. Very important in this context is to have the appropriate software. I had only Word Star and Word Star is unfortunately not compatible with the newer software from Windows. My strong advice is if possible to have a newer version of Word on the PC/Laptop, as you come close in cooperation with other volunteers and very good experience in working with Word documents, Excel or equivalent. You should also have very good verbal and written English skills and it would be a benefit if you have prior experience in administration.

Furthermore, I conducted all the correspondence with the German Volunteers, for example, I have given them information about the visa application (X-entry visas), I took care of the newly arrived volunteers during their first days, I showed them - so Christa had done with me - Jodhpur and the surrounding area, the Clock Tower, Payal Empowerment Centre, Sambhali Boutique and made them a little more familiar with the culture and how things are going on here in India. Even the numerous tourists from all over the world who were visiting Sambhali Trust - I explained to them what the Trust is doing and how important the work for the people here is. Additionaly I worked with the young girls/ladies in the Jodphur Empowerment Centre where I gave them basic English and Mathematics lessons.

I can say, that I have had a very comprehensive and interesting area of ​​responsibility, which kept me very busy. My recommendation is definitely for all these tasks, is to bring with you a lot of patience, (there are always changes and so many different people to coordinate), a lot of love, openness and interest for the country, the people and cultural sensitivity as well as flexibility and adaptability.

I would never forget my experience here, I have met so many interesting people. I'm particularly pleased with the young girls and women who are learning here in Sambhali Trust, because they are so delightful and very very inquisitive. As well, I would never forget the time and the evenings with Govind when he showed us his Jodhpur, the absolutely beautiful Christmas Eve and the wonderful weekend trips to Pushkar, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. The very nice day trips and the new corners, which I have discovered in Jodhpur and learned to love. And it was the same with the people here in the guest house, like Mukta, Govind‘s wife and Bunty, his cousin. They never said “no”, they always took their time when I had a question or I needed something to know or help. I felt always in good hands and like in a big family. It has given me much pleasure to be here, to be close to the people, to experience their culture and participate in their daily lives. A wish that I had as a young girl was so true for me. So I can say, I was at the right time at the right place.

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REPORT FROM Ms. Carlotta Heckmeier arriving on 7th March until 13th February from Berlin, Germany


Workshop Beauty
First I prepared something and bought some cremes and facial masks, lipstick and nail enamel. The girls had to bring a small bowl and a smal towl from home.
I introduced them what I would like to do and that beauty is something that comes from the interior more than the outside how cosmetic companies would like to tell us. I told them that in my understanding it is a big lie how they do want to make us feel more happy when we buy their products. I mentioned that´s big business. Otherwise it is important that you take care of your body, your skin and a normal cleaning and daily care with water and a normal creme. Which one fits to you that has to be find out. Although to use some bodyoil or lotion especially in that climate here would be good to apply. Although it is very normal that they have skinproblems in their age because body will change. And also another part is caused geneticly and can´t be changed. I told them that I do not apply any special in my case and age and only take normal care because they asked me for.

Then I asked them to work in couples. One was sitting before the otherone who was standing behind.
First I wanted them to relax and to close the eyes. The person behind had to bring fresh water and to clean their hands and start then with cleaning the face with water. After that they should give a massage. Here I had to teach them to do it in a sensitive and soft way and not strong. When this was done they started with the masks and brought them on the face very carefully. Then I requested them to change and the other girl did the same on her sister. Then reverse and I showed them how to clean the face. After all they used the lipstick and the nail colours I brought with. At the end we ate some fruits. I asked how they feel like. They enjoyed it very much.


Games workshop
I tried to make them familiar with some plays. First we started with "musical-chair" as a warm up and with a lots of fun. Then they had to run through the room and to copy me everything I figured out, rush, slowly going, dancing and moving.
Another play was to ask every single what they like, to stand up and to come in the middle in order to transform that in a movement. The others had to find out. Next: what do you like on your body and to share this with the group.

Next was an exercise for trust. We built a tiny circle shoulder on shoulder, one came in the middle and took a stiff position. I had to teach them that the person inside has to rely on us that we could rock her for- and backwards and a little bit around. The outside had to hold their hands in front of their chests and to give the person inside hold when she rocked. Understandable?

A last exercise was to let them feel how it feels like to be on a stage and give us a presentation of dancing. This was difficult and the little ones of a second group were very shy. I told them it needs courage to present itself. The idea behind was to build out their self-esteem. The only one was Lakxmi who showed us her dancing very lucky. It was important not to push the other ones. A little experiment.


When I came in December 2011 to Sambhali Trust I was applied for Family planing, STD (sexual transmitted diseases) and HIV. Besides I had to teach mathematics and English together with another granny. The last two subjects seemed to me very easily because the level wasn´t high (just beginners).

Math
We started with very simple tasks for all ages (girls and married women). For instance to count the numbers in English until hundred, to let them write down, to give them easy additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions. We did this by mental arithmetic and also by writing. So we could see what differences were in the group and who needed more help or who just started even math. When somebody was a beginner and could not follow it was nearly not to find out whether the girl had a problem with math or it had to do with not knowing the English word for it or it was a mental problem because the girl is handicapped.
So the first experience we made was that always it was needed a Hindi teacher to translate in English otherwise you could not work.
Then we started also multiplication-tables simple and for progressed compound.
So another question we asked our-self was why the girls had not their own exercise-books for math and English marked by their own names. There was no structure by handling that e.g. assorted by alphabet in a box?? So when we wanted to start lessons they spent a lot of time to find their exercise-books and it was always the same chaos at the beginning of every lesson. Finally because it took so much time we gave them any exercise-book so we could start. In this case you never could control the progress of somebody over a certain time and it drove us crazy. It would be so easy to change this by the constant teachers.

English
We started with the alphabet to speak and to write it down, to read it together and single, to sing it and then to build English words of every spell. Because it was not our professional subject we did a lot of improvisation and had fun with our own unprofessional structure.

Family planing
A big and important word not knowing what I could start with and what presuppositions there are I started my first lesson. There was no introduction of the Trust or any teacher about the rules and values, traditions and cultures of Indian women and girls they live in and how to handle this sensitive issue for somebody foreign who is not familiar with that and to deal with it in a workshop. Even the translator you always need was not familiar with all that very specialized topics and so two different worlds met each other in a heavily way. It was quite challenging. So very quick I could realize that even the word family planing was very different in my understanding from an understanding here. So I stepped into my first lesson with 15 years old unmarried girls who never had have any information about their body from their mothers or older sisters, what they will expect when they get their first menses or what will happen when they get married and pregnant and how to deal with that? Also sex is a word I could not use or even explain because there are so many taboos and fears about it although they watch TV and bollywood movies. So my first question to myself was how you can give information about HIV when you can´t speak over detailed positions to make clear what is risky and what not. Even about sexual transmitted diseases in a country that has a high number of infected HIV people and the country expect like an explosion.

In the second group with married women and one or two born children it was very different and a little interest for knowing more about HIV, but because women here were all sterilized the interest was not much big as much not to become pregnant. So that was not anymore an issue - even not contraception! Either in the group of unmarried women nor in the group of married women I could apply the knowledge normally women would like to know . How paradox situation! This came up after 4 weeks I worked with both groups. What a contradiction! And I brought a whole bunch of contraceptives with me for demonstration. So how to do a good job in between?

Unmarried women
1st lesson
So my first lesson in this group was to come in contact with them and to become familiar with each other. I started a little play with a ball and asked questions about their family, how many children they would like to have etc. I tried to find out what they know about their bodies and what they had to tell about their first menses, feelings and fears, how their bodies will perform and be ready to conceive a baby. A showed them a painting (produced in Samhbali Trust with another group) of an uterus, the ovaries and the fallopian tubes and the painted vagina and why they bleed every month.

2nd lesson
We did some plays together how to copy each other or follow me in different positions and to make them relax.
Then we started a repeating of the last lesson and dove in deeper into the reproduction system. We told them from our own feelings and experiences when we were in the same age and became mature to become a woman. Then we told them that it needs an egg and a semen to become pregnant and the body will be prepared for that every month.

3rd lesson
I started to tell them something about nutrition and hygiene, the different vitamins, important trace elements and what else a body needs for good growing and development especially children and pregnant women, clean water, toilette hygiene, diseases like cough, cold, sleeping on a cold ground, bladder and kidney inflames, what a baby needs and what does that mean, when children not have sufficient food for their development, physically and mentally especially in the first four years, otherwise you can´t reverse it anymore and that boys will better nurtured than girls in India.
I brought them different fruits and we ate them together to give them an example. They told me that they eat very little fruits in their family, sometimes only once a month.

4th lesson
We talked about pregnancy and the different phases of a growing baby in the belly. I showed them photographs and what´s important for the mother to know during the pregnancy, how she gives birth (hospital or a midwife) , feeding the baby, food for the mother, what is allowed or forbitten during pregnancy.
Then I asked them how many children they would like to have and that European women can make decisions by their own. Another information about German women e.g. that is possible for them to have own children without having a husband or being married made a big irritation by the teacher who wanted not to translate this in Hindi.

Married women
1st lesson
I started to introduce myself and told them something about my earlier work as a social worker in a center called "Center for sexual health and family planing" and what I had to deal with. I spoke about three pillars like family planing, STD and HIV and I asked them what they would like to know first. So I started answering questions about STD and listened when they told me that they are all sterilized and contraception is not an issue anymore. So we had to deal only with the question about HIV and other diseases and all contraceptives I brought with me for demonstration was not in their interest to know.
At the end of the class I requested them to write questions down for the next lesson.

2nd lesson
Transmission of HIV. Definition of HIV and AIDS.
It seemed easier for me to work out the not risky situations and after all to talk about the risky ways. I showed them my pictogram with certain situations and we started discussing. I explained them that sterilizing would not protect them against Aids.

3rd lesson
Nobody was there. I waited half an hour and spoke to Payal who started a phone call. But nobody came.
Next day I heart that somebody died in the neighborhood.

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Isabel Murray, Oxford, Uk (Final Report)
Finding Sambhali Trust was a happy accident, a serendipitous discovery. I had come to Jodhpur to work at a swanky hotel in the walled city but soon discovered that I was not interested in helping rich people to have a good time. Luckily, the beautiful Sambhali Boutique was on my way to work and one day I popped in to see what it was about. A few days later I quit the hotel and came to work for the Trust. I was immediately charged with editing a crucial proposal for the Planet Wheeler Foundation, and I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was doing something good, something worthwhile. As I grew to know more about the Trust, about the strong team and the girls from the centres, this feeling grew. I was lucky enough to help with two proposals and a couple of reports, which I hope were successful! The Durag Niwas Guesthouse was also a little oasis of quiet and calm. I felt welcome there the first time I walked in and there is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst the volunteers and the endless stream of interesting and diverse travellers. I spent a very happy five weeks working on proposals, exploring Jodhpur and meeting fascinating people…. I hope to return someday soon.

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Urte Schonfeld, from Bielefeld, Germany, 67 years old. I came to Jodhpur in 29th October until 28.01.

My expectations of the country India were shaped by books, prevailed novels. My imaginations were very realistically, so I was neither positively nor negatively surprised.About Sambhali Trust and the work, which I had to do, I had no imagination. I was a bit unsure, whether I could meet the respiration. Govind´s statement “ do what your heart says and it will be good” ( corresponding ) did calm me down. So I came here and that happened at Divali. This festive day was committed by religious rites, a massive spectacle of fireworks and finally a wonderful banquet meal. It was familiar and very nice. I felt myself being welcome. This feeling kept during the whole in-habitation. Mukta and her stuff always look after us and she helped me, when I had healthy problems. Beside the guesthouse is a large sports facility, where I go for jogging.We had some holidays, so there was time for a seasoned volunteer to introduce me very carefully. I got to know shops to buy kurtas and trousers and everything I needed. My working day starts with going by bus to the Payalcenter. At payal the women manufacture bags, dolls, animals, cushions, kurtas and several sorts of trousers for the Sambhali Boutique. At present they fabricate many elephants and camels. I cut the needed parts, the women embroider them esthetically, sew together and stuff them. I let them pick out the colour of the material and the threads, especially the younger women like to take time for that. I think, that motivates and they get a little feeling of codertimination. For the articles of clothing I have a look at the quality of their work. I also go to the Sadar Basar and buy everything the women just need, threads for embroidering, needles, cutting papers a.s.o. and take the scissors to let them sharp. I manufactured a cat and some accessories for a camel.

In the afternoon I stay in the guesthouse with young girls. I introduce them to knitting and crocheting. They are active, nosy and ambitious. In knitting they got basic knowledge, in crocheting they still need some lessons, until they can for themselves manufacture a cap, a bag or a small jacket. I also want them to embroider lettercards with some animals like elephants, camels and birds. They are already good in embroidering. As well the women as the girls are very friendly, curiously and candid to me, so that I like very much to work with them. At Saturdays or Sundays we did some short trips p.e. to Pushka( camel market ), Osian ( some awe-inspiring temples ), Kailana Lake and saw some artisans at work : a block- printer, a carpet weaver and a potter. We saw a polo match and several times we went to the cinema with Govind.We use to say goodbye to the volunteer, which leaves, with going for a common meal. So I got to know some very nice veg and non-veg restaurants. I am cogitating, where I want to go at my last evening.Now I stayed here for more than two months and some weeks are remaining. Afterwards I will only have the memories and my photos of this nice and usefully spent time.

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