From 5th-25th July, 14 teenagers and I went to India, for some of us for the first time, to participate in a sustainable agriculture program, for the implementation of a water harvesting system and in an educational program.
A very complete and diverse program, which let us to know more about Indian culture, their contrasts and their culture, but also gave us the opportunity to grow as persons and know more about each other.
The first 3 days we were in Bangalore, getting into contact with Indian culture. We did some yoga and visited some buildings like a temple, a church and a mosque. But also, we started our volunteering in a school where we interacted with the kids – playing with them, doing some sport competitions and planted some fruits trees. Then, we interacted with some teenagers from FSL-India.
The second step in our trip was at Mysore, where we visited Shuka Vana, an awesome and colorful place, where we found injured and uncared birds coming in from around the world. We had cultural visits such as Mysore Palace and the Art Gallery, too. Here, we did our volunteering in a school where we taught English and played games with the kids.
We learned more about ODP (Organization for Development of People and Natural Resource Management) travelling to Maryapura, where we interacted with farmers. We collected chillies and some volunteers also tried how they tasted. They were very spicy for them!
The village was incredible! Not only because it was so pretty with those fascinating colours used in the houses, but also because everybody was very nice and helpful with us. Before leaving the village, we went to plant coconuts and we helped farmers with their work in the fields.
The last week, we went to Hunsur, where we stayed with different host families. In my opinion, it is the biggest and the most attractive opportunity to immerse in the Indian culture. We have seen how they cook, play board games and the role of each person in the family. In the end, we have seen how they live from day by day. Some of us also had the opportunity to wear a sari and go to the temple with them.
In Hunsur, we did our volunteering in a school teaching English but also implementing a rainwater harvesting system. Maybe the hardest, but rewarding work we did in India.
In conclusion, in these 21 days, we had time for everything. We had bad moments, but also good moments. We had time to learn, to have fun, to know more about India and their people but also to know more about us. A wonderful and unforgettable experience that I really recommend, and I would like to thank the FSL-India team for all the support and work that allowed us to carry out all these activities.