The first three months of my volunteer service in India are already over. I can’t believe how fast the time passes. But on the other hand it feels much longer than only 14 weeks that I am here.
The project where I live and work in is near Mangalore and called “Abhaya Ashraya”. It is an ashram for old and disabled people and also includes an orphanage with 20 boys between 6 and 16 years. The people here are really friendly and I felt welcome at the first moment I met them.
My work times are in the morning and in the evening. That means I spend time with the children before and after school.I help them with homework, studies and practice English with them, especially with the younger boys. Sometimes it can be exhausting when they are naughty and not interested in learning anything. Also the language barrier makes it always a bit complicated to understand each other. But it becomes better every time and all in all I like my work and I really love the children.
During the day I am free. So I have time to meet other volunteers, go to yoga classes in another ashram in Mangalore or try to learn Kannada. A woman who works in the project already teaches me to write and read the letters. Now I have to practice talking. It would make many things easier if I could say more than “beku”, “beda” and “solpa”.
On weekends or holidays I travel together with some other volunteers who already became good friends to me. I really enjoy spending time with them. Seeing new places, meeting new people and getting to know more and more about this country and the cultures.
Living here became so normal for me, it already feels like a second home and sometimes I forget that I am in India. I never thought I would say this after only three months in a foreign country but I think it’s a good sign. So I am looking forward to all the things, places and people I will get to know during the next months.
Pauline Fries (Germany)