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Jodie’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012

Location: Keeranur, India

MapIt’s strange the things you miss when you’re away from home and familiarity … as I looked through my cupboard for something, I found my only pair of socks I have with me here in India (the ones I travelled in). I felt a strange little knot of – well, not exactly excitement but something not that far off – I put them on and it was such a nice sensation! Almost like getting a cuddle – for my feet, at least.

I don’t think there’s any secret that I have been struggling out here more than I anticipated I would. Without boring you (I did wonder whether to put this on at all, but then I thought it is a diary of me volunteering in India so it should include both the good and the bad), the main problems have been loneliness and boredom. Being the only person who is not Indian and the issues that brings up, to varying degrees, every single day, eventually gets you down. The language barrier, the cultural differences, the staring etc etc none of it is all that bad, but when you are dealing with it alone and daily it becomes more of a big deal. I miss people, of course, but this was anticipated. However, with feeling a bit low this becomes amplified. And, there’s a lack of independence in the lifestyle I have here – due to where I am based, the fact I am the only volunteer and so on and so on. There are many different issues and factors, none of which are any persons fault, it’s simply that this is completely new to every single person involved and we are all learning from it …
… anyway, I have spoken honestly and openly to the very understanding and kind Christine and Suresh. I think I am going to stay until the end of March, rather than June. This just seems so much closer and easy to deal with. It is also a nice cut off point as that’s when the children I am currently working with will break up for summer. We are also beginning a Conversational English workshop for 6-8 year olds, twice per week, and 9-11 year olds, three times per week. The course will be three months long and will start at the beginning of January at the latest which will mean they will finish at the end of March too. It will hopefully feel like the right time to leave, like I am completing tasks and not leaving unfinished business behind. It also will give me the experiences I want.

For the people that helped me raise the money to come here, I hope this doesn’t make you feel let down in any way. Whilst here I am doing all I can to help the children and the charity. The school/charity itself is well worth every penny it receives as it has genuine, heartfelt aims for the young children of India, and their families. It has very high hopes and big dreams and is working hard to achieve these …

Hope this message finds everyone well