In the last two months, a lot has happened with us at work at the NGO ABHAS.
At the beginning of January we had quite big problems, because it got really cold in Delhi and the little ones didn’t really have anything to put on. While I have already felt cold in a sweater, jacket and long trousers, the children still jumped around me with shorts and no socks in slats! It was horrible. Shortly after, Joanna and I decided to distribute socks to all the children from the center. In the end we distributed 130 pairs of socks and it was a wonderful feeling to see the children wearing the colorful stockings the next day.
The sandbox has been ready for three weeks. The children love it. Although we couldn’t find any real sand toys in Delhi, the cooking devices are great for playing in the sand. Every day the children let me eat tons of “chai” and cook Indian “sand dishes”. Speaking of dishes: thanks to the many donations, the nutrition of the children is now secured for at least the next three months. Thank you again at this point. Now the children can eat enough again and there is no longer only “Kichidi”, a porridge of rice and lentils, but also chickpeas, rice and eggs.
Our center now lights up from a far away in a fresh yellow. We have had it painted. Especially in the small, once very dark rooms, the learning atmosphere is now much better. At the moment we are in the process of creating a small jungle landscape on the walls with the help of an artist.
Since the beginning of January, the girls of the 7. and 8. classes doing a self-defense course organized by us. It’s great to watch the girls not only to learn to defend themselves, but also to develop a body awareness.
It’s still very, very fun to work with the kids. The children are so familiar to me that I don’t like to think that I will have to say goodbye to them at some point. We play, cuddle, romp and try to teach them a little bit. The Memory Game works better and better, although they don’t accept my self-made game quite as well as the purchased :).
Every Friday we have Activity Day. On this day we always try to do something special. Last Friday we made balls with them. The radiance of their eyes was stunning when they were finally allowed to hold their own ball in their hands.
Recently there have also been some excursions. We were in the Science Museum with the big once, with the little ones we went to the Akshardham Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the world. On the way there we passed tiny flower beds. With open mouths and big eyes, the children marveled at the plants. They had never seen such beautiful nature before or had not seen it for a very long time.
I myself am still doing well. In the evenings I go to tennis lessons quite often. This is the advantage in India: many things are possible for us in India due to cheaper prices. Recently we were for the first time in an Indian mall, a huge shopping mall. I was pretty overwhelmed. It seemed like I was in Europe. People wore Western clothes, they spoke English to each other and went to Italian restaurants. In the shops you could even buy wholemeal bread and real cheese, but only for a lot of money. Here we were also in the cinema for the first time, which we enjoyed very much.
For a few days I was sick: nausea, abdominal and headache. But even that has passed, so I was able to leave fresh and healthy for an extended weekend to Amritsar, the religious pilgrim center of the Sikh community (it makes up one percent of the Indian population).
Of course we went to Amritsar because of the famous GOLDEN TEMPLE.
It is breathtakingly beautiful, as it stands in the middle of a water basin, surrounded by the white plant and shining in the sun. Although so many pilgrims are in the temple complex every day, the atmosphere is calm and peaceful, to which the chants “Ragis” from the holy book of the Sikhs contribute.
We stayed for two nights in one of the 5 Gurudwaras, pilgrim’s homes where you can spend the night for free. Pilgrims have slept in thick blankets in the vast open-air courtyard. There is also a huge kitchen where free food is distributed to the many pilgrims. Joanna and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, mainly to help. Within three days, I chopped potatoes, carrots and ginger, chopped almonds, peeled garlic and peeled peas. Together with men and women we sat on the floor, snipped and got to know nice people.
In the evening we often strolled through the small streets of Amritsar. Among other things, we were in a nearby park where a British officer shot at a crowd of 20,000 peaceful demonstrators without notice in 1919. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured…
The time out in Amritsar was great. We discover, experience and learn so much on our travels!
But I’m also happy to be back in my beloved Delhi so that I can go on with my everyday life here.
So, until the next time,