26th February 2014
After loading the bus at base camp with tools, tarpaulin, food, cricket bats, balls and bamboo, India Yankee 2 set off to Beerathamanalli Hadi, which would be home for the next 10 weeks. Receiving waves and smiles whilst entering the village, the bus stopped outside the school where hoards of excited children came to say namascara (hello)!
The team began the task of unloading the bus and setting up camp, involving some of the members using their strength (and heads) to get barrels of food and tools off the roof. The group found themselves settled in quicker than expected, immediately bonding with the community through cricket and limited Kannada conversations. After setting up beds and personalising mozzy nets some members of the group were forced to overcome their fears of wild dogs, challenged by night-time toilet trips armed with sticks and head torches – talk about self development!
India Yankee 2 got stuck in to learning about and integrating into their village with a community meeting. This enabled the group to introduce themselves and meet various villagers, plus highlighted the UK volunteers need to develop their chai making skills – after all, the key to a successful meeting is a pot of tea and copious amounts of Parle-G! The group walked around the village, using their limited Kannada skills (and biscuit bribing!) to personally invite everyone to attend.
15 men and 5 women came to talk about available resources in the village, the work Raleigh International are here to do and the long term outcomes and impact it’ll make. Everyone got involved in the discussion and both parties left with a new level of shared understanding and familiarity with one another.
So as they collect the empty cups as the Indian sun sets, Yankee 2 think they’re going to like it here...
Blog written by Collie Poole.