Review 2009/10 Volunteering in India Report 6

The last report of my voluntary year in Delhi

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Hello. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in touch the last time. Well, that had also a not to be despised reason: It was hot. 45° Celsius in the shade. The whole of India was moaning and sweating. And Joanna and I no less. Our room was a single incubator at this time. The fan was just tiredly doing its rounds while we were lying on our beds drenched in sweat…There was nothing to do with much activity. Since our center was closed for the vacations anyway, we were entrusted with the important task of writing the annual report of ABHAS. As I said, there was not much else going on during this time. Often we were drawn to the mall or other air-conditioned rooms, we participated in one or another cultural event and tried to do some sports at least in the morning.
We were all eagerly waiting for the monsoon. Every day I looked up to the sky. But it remained cloudless for days. Every day I searched the newspapers. But again, the date of the arrival of the monsoon kept getting postponed.
But then. Finally! At the beginning of July, the time had come. It rained. The temperatures cooled down noticeably (to 38° Celsius).
How do you imagine the monsoon? Well, it does not rain all the time. Here in Delhi at least. It can happen that for a week not a drop falls on the ground, that it pours like from buckets, lightly drizzles, gives a short flurry or rains for several days. The rain is great. It is fresh. In our room it can be endured again. Everything around us becomes green. Only when it is not raining it is almost worse than before, because then it is not only warm but also humid. If I go outside for only 5 minutes, I am already soaking wet. Even without rain!
The rain also brings one or the other problem with it. In Punjab there are floods right now, which is why the vegetable prices have risen sharply. Here in Delhi, houses are collapsing and streets are under water because pipes are breaking all the time. Unfortunately, this is less due to the water masses than to the sloppiness in construction.
But enough talk about the weather.
There is also our work at ABHAS. It is really great at the moment. Finally, the children are back and we have new teachers who are very committed and work well with the children. It is really nice to see how well the center is running now! Last week, thanks to the many donations, we bought a lot of toys, so that the children can now keep themselves busy. It is a great feeling to leave the center in such a good condition. After all, there are only 6 weeks left here in India. It is amazing how the time has passed.
It was really a great year, full of experiences, impressions and insights. I have learned a lot, both about myself and about another people with a completely different culture. I have become more independent, more open and more content. I have found close friends.
I can now communicate more or less in Hindi, do yoga regularly and can play tennis. I have had the opportunity to travel to many places in the subcontinent and have met beautiful places and nice people. I have learned to love Indian cuisine and have picked up a few things.
But most of all, I have learned to appreciate having family and friends who will always stand by me and support me. Thank you for that. I am really looking forward to Germany and I am thankful for my luck to be born in this country. In a country where I don’t have to wonder every day if I will get something to eat today, in a country where I get a good education and have future chances, in a country where I don’t get from one illness to the next. In a country where I am not threatened by daily attacks. In a country where democracy works well…. I love India, but it’s really hard work. I am now looking forward to home!

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