We will always remember those three wonderful weeks we spent in India!
Rain, traffic jam, humans, cars, rickshaws and animals on the same road in a very chaotic traffic. Noise, pollution, heap of garbage at each street corner. These were our first impressions of Bangalore. But when we visited Lal Bagh Garden and how people from the slum of Lakshman Ram Nagar were nice and smiling, we felt a little bit more at home.
First day of work we started by social mapping in the biggest slum of Bangalore and discovered many similarities but also differences compared to Mysore. There we met Maria, a woman who is very committed to help the people of the slum. Back at the accommodation we were eager to write a special script for Bangalore slum and therefore we went to Lal Bagh Garden where we enjoyed the calm atmosphere of the nature.
Next day we practiced our new script until we were perfect to perform in the evening. We counted more than 400 people watching health on stage play. Wednesday was all about social mapping and interacting with people. Our first stop was at a school. Girls answered how the teachers expected them to, thus it was difficult for us to define the problems. But they were really cute and sang a song for us. Compared to the school it was easy to get to know the problems of the slum because people were open to all our questions.
We ended our work with an exhausting Thursday that was packed with action. Luckily, an Indian volunteer named Shraddha, who arrived on Wednesday, was there to support us. After practicing for one and half an hour, we were excited to be invited to an Indian Family Lunch. Something Superb! Later we were welcomed by over 600 girls and the teachers. Performing for them was a real joy because we felt comfortable in our actions on the big school yard. Our play was followed by a dance performed by the girls that we appreciated a lot. The kids could not get enough of us so we stayed one hour longer to play with them. Performing in the slum was not that good because of rain and less space but we felt that people had lots of fun and thanks to the play their eyes were opened to the problems they face and the solutions they could find.
Since some volunteers and our dear theater teacher Chakkrapani had to leave on Friday, we decided to celebrate a big party all together. On Friday we looked back on the last three weeks. We were sad to know that the end was near. We will always remember those three wonderful weeks we spent in India.
To view the video footage on HOS at Bangalore click on the following web-link
Caroline and Marie
Health on Stage Volunteers