I am Susanne, staying at the orphanage De Mercede during the summer holidays. I stayed the first 2 months of my volunteer sevice in India here. I got a hearty welcome and the children accepted me from the beginning as their akka (big sister).
Everyday I woke up about 5.50 AM to make sure that the kids brush their teeth. After breakfast, I did some stitching. I made sure that the kids do their studies and after that, we had a lot of fun playing some ball games outside. I really could not wish for a better start in India. Not only were the people nice, but also, the place itself and the good food, mostly from the garden, prepared by the lovely aunties. There were only a few children left, and that made it possible for us to get a better insight in the individual life of the kids. Only 7 children stay the full holidays at the orphanage. Normally, there are 96 children at this ashram.
It is a very nice place with a lot of banana and coconut trees. I also helped to water the plants and to keep the garden nicely. Every day, the banana plants have to be watered. In the evening, we help the kids and the sisters to put water with buckets and a pipe to every single plant. In the very big garden, a lot of vegetables are grown. For example, brinjals, pumpkin, drumsticks and jackfruit – a fruit I have never heard of before. When the garden work is done, I play with the kids. They love skipping and games with a ball. This is the best, fun-filled time of the day.
My tasks are to play with the kids, study with them and to stitch their clothes and bedsheets. The food is simple, but always delicious. The vegetables and fruits are from the garden, where I help whenever I can. I had a nice welcome from the sisters and the children and will be sad when I have to leave this place.