My experience in India was really multi-faceted, because I saw so many different environments, like the host family, the tent school project, the working area in FSL-India Centre and the chaotic city life. So, the 3 months were full of completely new and inspirational experiences, many heart-warming moments and a lot of hard work.
My host family in Udupi, near to Kundapur, was really used to volunteers and could handle it very well. Also, my host mother especially, was very nice and took care of me really well when I was sick. My little host sister was the cutest and most sociable 11 year old girl I know. She integrated me into the whole family and got me closer to the daily routines and some kind of traditional Indian dancing. I think, also because I had another German volunteer in my host family who explained everything to me, I had a really short adaption phase, so I felt totally comfortable after a short time.
My project as a volunteer was teaching in a tent school in Baikadi, near Brahmavar. I think it is a totally useful project. There are children from the age of 2-15, so I had very different tasks of teaching there, because everyone should be supported and promoted. I could always bring my ideas into the lessons and I really felt beneficial, like maybe one could really change something in the life of the children or at least give them a bit of basic knowledge or just some fun. And this potential, positive influence of the children gave me so much energy that I normally didn’t felt stressed anytime, but just being so ambitious and thankful for all the love I got from the children.
In my free time, I travelled with other volunteers to Mysore, Mangalore and Cochin. In this time, I experienced the cities really as a tourist. At least, it felt like this, but when I talked to other Indian people I found out more and more facets of this beautiful culture. Also, I experienced the Indian people in all my surroundings as very helpful.
All in all, the 3 months in India were incredible. I learned so much about this nice and – for me – totally new culture, I really fell in love with the country and the people, so some day, I will come back again for sure.
Charlotte De Boer- Germany