On Thursday(23rd September) Projects Abroad India conducted the Art & Craft Workshop for the Volunteers especially for the Care volunteers.
In the workshop, the volunteers were taught about Fabric Painting also few paper cutting works which the volunteers actually enjoyed learning many things.
In India,the Children will be having their vacation for 2 weeks starting from next week so teaching these kind of art and craft things to the children will definetly bring some good results.This is why Projects Abroad India conducts these type of workshops for our volunteers.Also we are planning more things like pot painting,fabric design,etc..in the near future.
Contributed by Nadia – the Social Manager
Projects Abroad India’s recent Dirty Weekend Activity was held at a School named Velli Veethiyar Girls School where we did the whiteboard activity at the Weekend.
Usually they have blackboards in which they use chalk pieces to write on that.But if there is any wind the dust from the chalk pieces which would cause irritation in the children’s eyes. Since the school is getting very small amount from the Government for their maintenance, they were unable to replace the blackboards with whiteboards.Hence the school authorities requested Projects Abroad for the whiteboards for their school.
And hence there comes the Dirty Weekend where our volunteers also were very much interested for the activity.
Once we fixed the whiteboards the children were so happy and also the School teachers.
It was a memorable and remarkable day for both the Kids and our volunteers.For that we have to thank the School authorities who gave us an wonderful day to work on.
Contributed by Nadia – the Social Manager
Madurai is popular for its traditional and cultural programs.And since from ancient times Madurai proves to be one among the cultural cities in Tamil Nadu.
And recently our volunteers attended a Traditional Dance Show and the audience were only our Volunteers.
The Dance show includes – Bharatanatiyam, Village folk Dance, False Horse Dance and the Shadow puppet show.And the Dance show lasts for about 3 hours and that was full of fun.
Also the volunteers enjoyed a pure Indian traditional Dinner with Banana leaves as their plates.That too was good and healthy.
Contributed by Nadia - the Social Manager
Recently there was a new arrival to Love and Care orphanage – one of our Care placement.The new arrival was a girl child of 1 month old.
The volunteers over there were very happy to see her.She is so cute with her little arms and legs.And also the Kids at the orphanage were so excited to play with her but they can see only the sleeping small beauty.
The new kid has been given enough care though the other kids were also helping with her.
Contributed by Nadia - the Social Manager
Last month the 2 weeks Cookery programme was held in India and its been a very great one.And the volunteer really got exposed to many of the food varieties (both traditional and modern) in India.
Also she got an hands-on training in the famous hotel at Madurai. She prepared Dosas, chappathis, parottas by herself .
In the meanwhile she got a chance to visit the famous catering institute in Madurai city and learnt more number of dishes over there also.Moreover she enjoyed her weekend at Thekkady with other Medical Volunteers and it was also a lovely one filled with activities like – Trekking,Elephant ride,Spice garden visit,etc.
Projects Abroad India feels very happy to say that the programme goes on very well and it was a huge success
Contributed by Nadia – the Social Manager.
Living in an apartment with no air-conditioning, no fridge, no television, random power cuts for hours on end and a constant heat that never allows you to feel completely clean had been one of the best 2 months of my life. This initially completely chaotic and alien world, became my home. By the time of my departure I actually was afraid to go back to, what I now felt was an antagonistic, egocentric western world dictated by money and a disturbingly strict code of conduct. For me, India had been a place where I could feel free, happy and where I had found myself, who I really was and what I wanted to do with my life.
Now, sitting in the darkness with only my desk illuminated by the bright desk-light, back in London, thoughts rush through my head of how this wild blunder into the unknown has changed my life. I ponder on how different my path will be from now on, compared to what it would have been had I never decided to exit my comfort zone and experience the real India. My initial thoughts of this trip were of a cliche holiday; travelling around the country, taking pictures and enjoying my time there in the stereotypically western, superficial and tourist manner. However, I desperately tried not to imagine exactly what it would be like, because of the knowledge that anything that I could possibly conjure up in my mind would be entirely divergent from what the actual adventure would be like. This proved to be true after my arrival, but more on that later.
As my departure loomed, a panic in two parallel, yet disparate aspects began to form in my mind. The first was the anxiety of making sure that I was ready to go to such an alien world. My exceptionally large suitcase was full of medication, hygiene and first aid kits, and a foolish amount of clothes that I was taking “just in case”. My shoulders had been shot full of injections, my desk covered in checklists, flight details, photocopies of passports, insurance papers and other “important” documents. My entire room was a chaotic disarray of things I thought I needed to pack, yet could not find any more space for in my already overflowing suitcase.
The second level of panic was in my mind, and felt deep in the gut. As I had purposely not thought about what to expect, I now had my heart in my mouth from the terror of the unforeseen. Thoughts of things going wrong, from plane crashes to forgetting a camera charger were a constant buzz somewhere in my mind, and the only thing I felt sure of was that I would feel completely lost in India. I regretted not contacting people who had already been there, so in my last few days in the Kingdom I anxiously and desperately attempted at getting in touch with someone who could advise me on what to prepare for. This last minute cry for help did aid me in some ways as thanks to it I did bring essentials I had previously not thought of; including several rolls of toilet paper.
The plane journey felt like a sleepless nightmare, this whole thing did not feel real. Frightening thoughts of what to expect constantly flew through my mind, I really had no idea what I was going to for two months in India. Only after my arrival, and realising it wasn’t as scary as what I had conjured up in my mind during the flights, I began to calm down. I could see that the Indians in their native country were not some sort of alien race; Slumdog Millionaire fashion: out to steal all my belongings and put my eyes out. These were people just like me and you, and I already began to feel cordial towards them as on my domestic flight already several had completely unexpectedly offered me their assistance with finding the correct terminal and gate. This sudden friendliness was bizarre to me, being from London where smiling at people on the street was completely unseen, and on no account would anyone unexpectedly offer their help to a stranger. This amiability was not only demonstrated at the airports, but everywhere that I travelled in the country. It was a nice change from the mostly hostile environment people experience when travelling to the western “developed” countries.
Upon my arrival in Madurai, a small Tata car arrived to pick me up with three incredibly friendly and jovial Indians from Projects Abroad who happily picked up my gargantuan suitcase and put in the the trunk.
Having squished into the scorchingly hot, minute car I enjoyed a nice little chat about what to expect with the others inside. I was offered a bottle of drinking water and in what must have seemed like completely deranged behaviour, I began nervously sipping at it, staring with goggle eyes at the views outside and flinching at the constantly honking traffic that seemed to be missing us by inches. Upon arrival at the accommodation, we were informed that he would be back to pick us up within half an hour to fix up some paperwork. After that moment, the tiredness and the jet-lag took a grip of me and the next couple of days are an unintelligible blur in my mind.
The first few weeks in India, I began to experience the incredibly vivid and beautiful life that the people that lived here obviously found nothing extraordinary about, yet I still flinched every time a motorbike used its horn on the road, and stared in wonder at the vibrant smiles on the faces of the many people living in unquestionably dismal poverty. I also had no choice but to absorb the customs and passionately begin to love this country. The food slowly stopped bringing tears into my eyes and my gag reflex turned into an almost constant hunger for the suddenly incredibly tasty native food. I began to eat at small restaurants around town, ones at which my friends and family back in London would never look twice at, not even consider approaching. One of my favourites was just across the street from our little house, which referred to a hotel in its name. In response to my query about the location of this hotel, and a thorough amount of gestures, pointing and awkward laughs attempting to demonstrate what I was asking, the owner of the eatery simply shrugged. The food there was not only amazingly delicious, but also cheap and the portions were very generous. By the end of my placement I was going there every day for lunch and dinner.
After a month living among the people with no air-conditioning, no fridge, no television and internet only after a searing fifteen minute walk through the blazing sun and choking dust to the Projects Abroad office, I officially had become “Indianised”. Haggling for everything: from fruit, to necklaces, to statues of Ganesh; was now an everyday part of life as well as the chaos of the city, and in fact the whole country. I now crossed roads with motorbikes honking and zigzagging all around me just like a native, no longer flinching at what had now become just a constant background noise, wherever you went, wherever you tried to hide from it. Every weekend either as part of Projects Abroad, or just with a few friends, we would go travelling somewhere in either the state of Tamil Nadu or Kerala. I saw many incredibly beautiful things: from the sunset on the beach in Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India; to snake-boats on the canals of Alleppey, a city nicknamed as the Venice of the East.
Before leaving for India I had decided to do a teaching project in Madurai, and it was one of the most exhausting, novel, amazing and eye-opening experiences I have ever had. Every day I would walk to and from the school that was just 2 minutes from my accommodation, often seeing my students on the same way as me and waving hello, always receiving an enthusiastic wave back. Trying to control the children and teach them english and maths was an every day struggle. However mostly I enjoyed it as the kids would always make me laugh and there was a very positive and happy feeling in the classroom at all times. It was a completely different system of education than I was used to and it felt even stranger having the roles reversed, instead of me being taught, I was the teacher!
However, the part that had really made this whole adventure so incredible and worthwhile to me personally, were the fellow volunteers with whom I ate, slept, worked, travelled and had the most inconceivably amazing time with. The memories I have with these people will stay with me for the rest of my life, and in several cases I would have to admit a special lifelong bond was created. Already plans to meet again back in Europe have developed and I just cannot help counting the days down until I see them again. Over the duration of my placements in India I made many friends, with whom I have stayed in touch with and looking back on my memories with them, I cannot help but smile. I will never forget the time I spent there, and am already planning another trip with several friends to go back travelling round this amazing country for another 3 months next summer.
Contributed by Mateusz Orlowski - Teaching Alumni Volunteer
The cow that is taken care by the model farm volunteers and staff recently yielded a dead calf.
The very important thing is the delivery procedures for the cow was handled by our volunteers and the program manager because of the lack of Veterinary Doctor in the near-by area.
Actually the calf got struck up in the womb because of over-weight and was dead in the womb itself.
Our volunteers tried for the whole night and removed the dead calf from its mother’s womb. Also our volunteers gave some herbal medicines to the cow to remove the waste materials from the mother’s womb which otherwise will harm the cow.
Everyone at the model farm were little bit sad because of the loss of the calf but happy that they saved the mother Cow.
Contributed by Nadia – the Social Manager
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