28th July 2014
Having firmly found our feet within the village of Hongalvadi, it is very difficult to comprehend the fact we have been in India for almost a whole month. In 3 weeks we have successfully integrated with our villagers and have held several events including sports day, village meetings, youth clubs, English lessons, ladies night and various health related awareness sessions.
As well as this we have successfully completed our Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). PRA is a process of which surveys were carried out on our 140 households in order to ascertain the needs of our village and how exactly we can help most effectively. After two days training at MYRADA- our project partner; we were well equipped to complete this process. We achieved this task in two days and I have to say being invited into the homes of the villagers for cups of chai tea and a biscuit was definitely a bonus.
Sports day had a very positive turnout with the children getting into 5 different groups in order to compete against each other. We, as volunteers, also participated with two volunteers per group spurring the children on to win. The children competed in a limbo competition, relay races and a make shift discus competition. Holding sports day directly after our village meeting really cemented our integration within the village. It has become very clear who we are and why we are here to all the villagers – children, young people and adults alike.
Ladies night saw the girls of the group leave the fellas indoors for a game of cards. The female volunteers further cemented the relations with the villagers by purchasing sarees and henna. With an evening of nail polish, henna and saree tying we incorporated the importance of feeling good alongside wellbeing for the ladies of our village.
We have also visited several schools in and around Hongalvadi – a fact which reiterates the wider impact of our project. The pleasure of holding hand washing lessons and tooth brush club have been very well received by the children whom we have become very fond of.
Cross cultural sessions have seen an exchange in English/Kannada language lessons in addition to the exchange of information as far as Indian and British festivals. We ended this evening with singing and dancing in a Christmas meets Divali rendezvous!
Finally, we have also completed construction on our first toilet/shower room. Despite not having to make the journey to the primary school; we are still enjoying the beautiful stars at night and our bucket baths.
Last night the group enjoyed a special meal cooked by ourselves and were all reminiscing as we held our very own Romeo 3 Oscars awards ceremony!
With mid phase review starting tomorrow; we are all so excited to head back to field base and feedback to the other groups- the adventures of India Romeo 3. Phase two is highly anticipated amongst us all to finish what we have started in Hongalvadi, India.