Hello, this is my last diary entry as I am now back at home!
The Journey home was so long, but after a 6 hour bus ride and a 10 hour train journey where I had to share a cabin with about 6 other men who just stared at me for the ENTIRE night (making it very diffult to be able to sleep very well) I eventually arrived in Delhi! Here I was supposed to be meeting a person from the idex organisation who i'd travelled out there with. However, they were not where they were supposed to be, and so I had to call an emergency number and then wait for two hours for someone to come and get me! It was a little bit scary being in the middle of Delhi by myself and having no idea if anyone was coming to get me, but I met a nice man and wife who were kind and let me sit with them for a while and borrow their phone etc.
I then got to my hotel and as it was one of their taxi drivers who was so late picking me up they were very apologetic and gave me the nicest room in the hotel which was a plus! I went upstairs and watched about 4 films on t.v before deciding that I should stop being such a wuss and just venture out in Delhi by myself to do a bit of shopping. So i did, and then found a pizza hut which made me very excited! As soon as I sat down though I had people coming over and asking for photos with me (I think I caused quite a stir being a young white girl out for dinner by myself!) So I decided to take it back to my hotel room instead where I spent the rest of the evening watching yet more films!
I've now been back home for a week, for a few days it seemed very strange! But i've adjusted back to this culture now, and already India seems like a lifetime ago!
Anyway, I'm just about to post up some photo's if I can work out how to! Hope you enjoy them, and see you all soon! xx
Hiya, i'm not really sure where to begin with this week, it's been a bit crazy!
Work has been really good this week, I now have another volunteer with me so i'm not left to deal with all the children myself which is nice as you're able to spend a little more time on individual kids instead of having to have your eyes on all of them all the time!
On tuesday the "teachers" weren't even in as they were on strike so there was just me, kai (the new volunteer) and Alpana, my project executive in. I think it's ridiculous that the teachers went on strike though as they do nothing! When I first arrived here and went looking around all the placements, the reason I chose the day care centre was because the children were just made to sit very still on chairs doing absolutely nothing all day while the teachers sat around talking, reading the newspaper etc etc. And apparently that is all the children can do when there is not volunteers there to teach them and play with them as the teachers can't be bothered to do anything! And the whole time i've been working there I haven't seen the teachers do a single thing for the kids! So i think it's outrageous that they have the cheek to demand a pay rise!
I have fallen even more in love with Sangita, nowadays as soon as she arrives at day care she just plops herself down straight on my lap and refuses to move for the rest of the day! She even chatters away happily to me now, which everyone finds amazing as she used to never talk to anyone! I have no idea what she's saying as it's all in Hindi but I don't mind, it's just lovely to see her smile and laugh!
Today I went to the doctors to try and find out why i've been ill for such a long time, and I really wish i hadn't bothered! They attached me to a drip, took a sample of my blood, and then forced me to take two pills, two lots of medicine, and injected two lots of god knows what into my arm! They told me that i had dangerously low blood pressure, severe dehydration, and that I would have to stay in hospital for a few days. When I told them I had to leave in just two days to go back to England they told me I wouldn't be able to! Then yet another nurse came in with yet more injections and pills and as you can imagine I went a little bit hysterical at this point! I told them absolutely no way was I going to take anything or have else injected into me! I told them to take the drip out of me and let me go home at once! They kept me there for a good half an hour trying to convince me the needles wouldn't hurt, and wouldn't listen when i told them it wasn't about the needles, it was about me wanting to get back to Delhi in time for my flight on monday! In the end they gave up and let me go, after the doctor had told me I was a very stupid girl for leaving... I'm 99% sure though that he was just trying to scam as much money out of me as possible, as it turns out my blood pressure is low, but still perfectly healthy and absolutely nothing to worry about! So I wonder what else he was exaggerating about... And i'm 100% sure that if I went to a doctor with the same symptoms at home they would simply give me a course of antibiotics at the very most, and just tell me to go home and rest! A big fuss for nothing i think, I only agreed to go to keep the manager happy!
I can't quite believe I only have a day left here and then I begin my three days travelling home! I'm looking forward to seeing all of you lovely people, but i'm definately not ready to leave the kids just yet! And i'm dreading having to get a 5 hour bus journey, a 10 hour train journey, then a night in Delhi and then a 9 hour plane ride! I'll just keep thinking of the macaroni cheese waiting for me when I get home though eh Dave?!
See you all soon xx
Hello, I can't believe I come home in just over a week! Today i'm having to pack up all my stuff as we're moving camp - the one i'm at at the moment is being renovated so we're moving to a place up the road which is actually really nice! It's good as well because all the volunteers can stay in one building whereas before, some of us were at main camp and some of us were at a place called Silveroaks and so it was a bit rubbish!
The community visits this week were really good, although one boy I went to see called Rahul was living in just a little shack, with no bed or anything, and his parents had gone to Delhi for the week and left his 10 year old sister to do all the cooking, cleaning and looking after which is why he hadn't been attending day care.
It was Krishna's birthday on thursday, so on wednesday evening we all went down to a nearby temple and sat with everyone while they played music and sang songs. It was really nice seeing what they do to celebrate, as I guess it's a bit like our christmas!
This weekend I was supposed to go to Chandigarh where there's a really beautiful rock garden, and also a few night clubs! But yet again I was ill so couldn't go, and as it's my last weekend here it doesn't look like I will get the chance. Never mind though, it just means I will have to come back to India to visit it another time!!
The new volunteers arrive tomorrow which i'm really excited about, as although i get on really well with all the current volunteers, being only 6 of us it can get a bit boring! Hopefully having 16 new arrivals though will spice things up a bit! xx
Well I went to Kangra, and if you ever want to feel like you're famous I suggest you do too! We went to the big temple there and people just would not leave us alone! They ask for photo's, your autograph, and then when you try and walk away they follow you everywhere, giggling and pointing and trying to touch you or talk to you! We picked up quite a crowd! We also went to Kangra fort which was a mission walking around in the heat, but once we reached the top it was definitely worth it, the views were stunning!
Today I have just been working at the day care centre, and have decided that I want to steal one of the children to take them home with me! They are so cute, and most of them are eager to learn. Most days we take them to the temple which is on the same site as the day care centre and its really beautiful. They always include me in their routines, teaching me why they do certain things like covering their hair and throwing a thimble of water over their heads, its very interesting, and probably one of my favourite parts of the day as it's so peaceful there! And on tuesdays the temple provides food for all the children and staff which is nice, it's very spicy but tastes so good, and makes a nice change from the porridge that the children normally get served up for lunch.
I had better go as i'm about to go and do "community work" which is basically going to the children's houses who haven't been attending day care for a while and talking to their parents about the importance of education, and persuade them to keep taking their child to day care. It's good seeing real Indian homes and spending time with the children and their parents together, and most of the parents are so lovely I just get spoilt with food and chai all the time!!
Hi guys, I've just seen the other volunteers off who were only staying here for a month, it was so sad! Met some amazing people out here, from lots of different country's like Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, so I've got my holidays for the next couple of years sorted! We went out for a goodbye meal last night to a place called the lounge, and during our meal they played "the macarena" so we all got up and did the macarena dance!
There's just 6 of us left here at camp now, but next weekend 18 new volunteers arrive which should be good!
The weathers improved a bit these past few days as well, it still rains, but not all day everyday anymore!
I'm off to a town called Khangra tomorrow which is just two hours away on a bus, and apparently has no western influence whatsoever so it will be nice to see a typical Indian town as most of the other places I've visited are fairly westernised and have lots of hotels, internet cafe's and western style restaurants.
Will keep you updated on what it's like there!
Hi guys, I'm sat in an internet cafe at the moment soaked to the skin! English waterproofs were definately not made for use in the monsoon as I don't think there is any part of me that is not soaking right now!
The thunder is also mental here, it sounds like we're being bombed or something it's so loud! Yesterday I went shopping with a few of the girls here and found it so hard not to just buy everything in sight!
Today me and three others went to a Buddhist temple which was really nice, although you get so many people there asking for pictures with you, and for your autograph - it's crazy! Afterwards we went to a Tibetan museum which was good but very sad learning about everything that happened over there. Tibet is definately on my list of places to visit though!
Me and Jemma are hoping to stay here in Mcleod Ganj until Tuesday as there is a festival happening which celebrates the relationships between brothers and sisters!
We're off to a cool restaurant this evening which has like an open mic night - indian style!
But for now the rain seems to be stopping so I had better use this opportunity to make a run for the hotel!
Hiya, writing this from an internet cafe in Mcleod Ganj where we have all come to trek this weekend. It's a lovely place here, a bit like Manali with people coming from all over the world! Unfortunately I can't trek this weekend though as I have been a bit poorly and can't see very well, which I'm gutted about as the trek was one of the things I was looking forward to the most! About 90% of the people staying at my camp including the workers have caught conjunctivitis! I had an allergic reaction to the eye drops as well and ended up looking like quasimodo from the hunchback of notre dame, don't worry I've got some hilarious pictures of it! It's clearing up nicely now that i've got some different drops though so it's all good!
Apart from that not much has been happening here - we've all just been concentrating on getting better! xx
Hi guys, I'm back from Manali - went back to Amit's house and saw him which was very nice! They are so generous there, as soon as we arrived we were bombarded with food and drink, even though they can barely afford to eat themselves.
The journey back to camp from Manali was about 7 hours, but it was impossible to sleep as our driver was crazy! Broke every rule in the book, overtaking round corners and as we were going up hills so you have no idea what coming the other way! I will never complain about David's driving again!
Back at camp now, just seen Becca off as she's going home early. Was so sad saying goodbye to her but I'll see her in October as we've already arranged that she's coming down for my birthday! (hope you don't mind mum!)
Everyone in camp is dropping like flies at the moment, Delhi belly galore! So far I've been okay though, just hope it stays that way!
I've managed to gain the trust of one o the little girls at the day care centre and I want to take her home with me! She's so cute but a little troubled I think, she cries a lot and refuses to join in when the other kids are playing. I managed to get her to play a little bit with me yesterday though, and she even cracked a smile!!
Apart from that there's not really much going on here at the moment, looking forward to the trek this weekend thougb :)
Speak to you all soon!
Hi guys, sorry for not writing on here for ages, but not much has really been happening! I started the volunteer work, i'm working with Becca in a day care centre with children aged 0-4, sooo cute! It's right by a temple as well which is nice as you can learn a bit about their religion, and there was a festival going on a few days back so lots of men with bright coloured clothes and face paints and dreadlocks were about!
IDEX is a bit crap though as we have to hang about for hours and hours.. we work at 9-12 and then do nothing for the rest of the day! but it's too difficult to actually get anywhere to explore which is a bit rubbish. On the weekends it's good though as we can organise our own trips.
This weekend, me and 6 others have come to Manali, the land of marijuana and my favourite place in the world! It's really weird being back here, lots of memories have come flooding back!
I attempted to get the bus to Dobha today, which is where the family I stayed with last time I was out here live, but the bus dropped me and jamma in some random place and we ended up having to trek four hours to get there! We reached a river crossing and were just about to give up and go back when a jeep came along and told us to hop in the back and they would take us to Dobha! We then picked up another guy, and it turned out he knew the family! so he took us to their house. It was an emotional reunion, and it was nice that they remembered me. Amit wasn't actually there unfortunately, but he is due home tomorrow at 9am so we are going to go back there and see him :)
We have also met some guys from Punjab who we are going to go and have a drink with tonight, and some fellow travellers from dominican republic who we are also going to meet up with! William said that I can go and stay out in dom rep with him whenever I like, so that's next years holiday sorted!
I'm now in Jaipur, and it is just as hot, sticky, and crazy as Delhi! I'm staying with a local family at the moment along with 5 other girls who are volunteering with me. Everyone is so lovely, and Soniya the wife is an amazing cook. I think i'm going to be coming home a few pounds heavier, the food is so good here!
I rode an elephant today which was an experience! I felt a bit bad for the elephants though having to walk the same path lots of times a day, but they seemed to be well cared for.
We went shopping today as well, and I bought a beautiful saree, as well as other indian style clothing. God knows when else i'll wear it apart from out here, but they were too pretty to resist, and I bought them all in bright colours you'll be pleased to know mum!
Tomorrow i'm off to the taj mahal which should be good, and then we're getting the night train to himachal where I start my volunteer work. Hopefully will be back on here soon with some photos! xx
I've arrived in Delhi safely, and it's just the way I remember it! Totally hectic, but amazing! I've almost been run over about 20 times already, but i'm beginning to get used to the rules (or lack of) of the road in india!
I've met quite a few of the people who I will be spending the next 6 weeks with, and they are all lovely!
Tomorrow we leave for Jaipur and are staying with host familys for a few days while learning some Hindi, going to the taj Mahal, and possibly getting to ride an elephant!
Sorry for the short message but I'm going to go to bed now as I haven't slept for about two days, but I will try and get on here again soon to keep you updated with my travels! xx