Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm Still Here


Here we are.  So much for the “get the India experience on the blog by the end of January” goal. 

So much for the end of February….and March.

But here I am.

I am one of those people that is constantly setting goals for myself.  You should see my planner notebook…it gets ridiculous.  (Am I the only person that writes down something I have already completed just to simply have the satisfaction of crossing something off immediately?...I didn’t think so. )

So the goal about blogging about my experience in India in a timely fashion did not happen.  Life happened.  Other things got in the way.  Like online classes, horrible colds, and trips. 

But here I am.

So…where was I?

Oh yes.  Chevuru…

The memories of working in Chevuru have all to quickly begun to amalgamate into a lump of nostalgia.  The smiles of the children resonate in my memory.  I have forgotten how weary my body felt from the work and shock of travel. 

When we arrived in Chevuru to the tears and smiles of the people, I had no idea what to expect.  I knew we were there to work.  And work we did.

Our work fell into two categories:

1)    Helping to build physical homes for people.  This meant you were doing one of the following: mixing cement, pouring cement, or passing cement (or sometimes bricks).   That was it.  Pure grunt work, baby.  It was great.  

2)    The second type of work found us in the village whenever we were not sweating profusely and covered with cement dust…usually in the form of small children.  We played with them.  Talked with them.  Visited their homes and families.  Took photos.  Smiled.  Laughed.  Loved.

The four of us volunteers spread ourselves as thinly as possible throughout the village, attempting in vain to oblige every invitation for chai.  The evenings were crowded by smiling faces with a unquenchable thirst for our company.  One such evening we were invited to teach an English lesson in a small building next to the protestant church.

The village children crammed into the one room school house lit by a single long fluorescent light affixed to a wall. The stark blue light reached as far as it could, but still left the far corners of the room unlit.  Nobody cared.  Their bright eyes shone through the dimly lit room, eagerly awaiting entertainment.

We played some games.  The children soaked them up like sponges. 

When we finished, we each took turns speaking to the children, encouraging them to study hard in school.  Although their English level is relatively good, Ravi translated into their native Telugu.  It was heartening to see how eagerly they listened to our messages. 

And though we were exhausted every evening we left the village, we were always excited to return the next day.  

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