Sorry it has been a while since we have written! The past week has been very busy and exciting, and WiFi is not always reliable. Here is a recap from where we left off in the last post:
- · Session with Shobha about the purpose and operations of the preschool
- · Visited cattle market in Jamkhed – Saw many decorated cows, bulls and goats for sale.
- · Walked through farmer’s market – Street vendors crowded the market with fresh and colorful produce and goods.
- · Visited CRHP organic farm. Here we learned about the crops and their uses in rural India as well as how the farm is used for rehabilitation purposes for women and families. We witnessed the vermiculture composting (worms) and got a tour of the farm including the fields, animals and facilities. We even got to ride a bull cart and milk a cow! We were also able to meet the very inspirational farm manager, Ratna, who told us her powerful story about her struggle with HIV and how working on the farm has turned her life around.
- · Dined on the rooftop with CRHP director, Ravi. Beautiful view of the stars accompanied by a yummy meal. (With our first sodas in weeks!)
- · Many of us slept in, waking up to find we had missed French toast!
- · Attended morning church service where both Indian staff/villagers and foreign visitors sang hymns together in both Marathi and English.
- · Visited CRHP’s Helping Hands, where women can sell handmade products to support their families. Many of us bought beautiful souvenirs.
- · Went into town to do some more shopping. Visited a shop of Pooja’s friend (the young woman who has done all of our henna) for more clothing. Some of us had our first Indian street food – a spicy potato patty served with bread. Yum!
- · Met with Dr. Prem to discuss the findings of the latest group surveying Indiranagar who observed use of toilets and sanitation practices.
- · Learned about tribal people and how CRHP has worked with them to provide healthcare and community organization.
- · Saw how artificial limbs are made/applied and even witnessed a man who had just received an artificial leg learn to walk! Also toured CRHP’s demonstration site for soak pits which purify ground water after use inside homes.
- · Departed for women’s festival in Jamkhed. We all wore our best saris and Punjabis to visit several temples which were filled with women and children. We were all mobbed with women who applied the traditional dot of red/yellow dye powder to our foreheads and who gave us sugar. The children were very excited for us to take photos of them. This festival celebrates the official beginning of “summer” as the sun passes over the equator into the Northern Hemisphere.
- · Gathered in our room to play an exciting game of Trivial Pursuit.