31st October 2014
IY8 Arrive at Sonnahally A Haadi
Namaskara from Yankee 8! When we finally arrived in Sonnahally A Haadi after hours of travel we were warmly greeted by the locals with flowers and numerous smiles. Our accommodation, an old primary school, seemed quite small at first but within a few hours of planning we managed to build the showers and set up the bedroom. The first few days were mainly village integration; we were given a language lesson prior to a formal introduction to the villagers, who happily invited us with great hospitality offering us chai tea (delicious) and biscuits involving us in village song and dance. Many of the villagers were quite apprehensive to start off with but with the magic of smiles and basic Kannada we managed to bridge the gap.
We have been further welcomed to our stay with gifts such as raw honey, sugar canes and coconuts all of which were delicacies new to us all. Eating the sugar cane was quite a challenge as it involved using our teeth to peel it. The women noticed one of the girls trying on a saree for the first time, the villager rounded up 5 women and children and came into our accommodation. They put on their sarees’ and dressed them up as brides with flowers in their hair and bindi’s on their foreheads.
With UN handwashing day on the 15th of October, Yankee 8 constructed and demonstrated how to build and use tippy taps.
On the 5th night in the village the team organised and ran their first village meeting. We collected information to create a timeline, relating to the history of the village, which was established in 1970. Further to this the team visited the local government – the Gram Panchayat- to discuss Raleighs aims in Sonnahally A Haadi.
The whole team explored the nearest town of H.D Kote, stocking up on fruit, veg and chai tea for the week!