Wednesday 25 Oct
I am down to my last day in Nagpur. What an amazing experience. From the people right down to the wearing of the sari. I have enjoyed it all.
The day before last I moved in to Ritchies familes house. They live across the city from Anujas family and I went by scooty. What a fantastic ride. If I thought Roma was something else in terms of driving...I was wrong. But it was enjoyable to get on the back of a scooty and feel the wind in my hair!!! haha.
Ritchies parents are just as lovely as I might have expected. They are very lively and positive...and very very generous. I spent one night with their family at another Diwali dinner. More sweets, more firecrackers and more family time.
Today we went to Sevegram. This is an ashram that was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1933. It was quite peaceful and was full of the original adobe huts that Gandhi actually lived in. I learnt a lot about India and the struggle for independance that Gandhi fought his life for. It included many things such as his first hut, his office, his wifes hut, etc. Oh yes, there was even the place where he did his prayers...it was sectioned off and taken very good care of. We had a lovely picnic under a tree there...soaking up the good energy and watching people explore the compound. I also made some more friends. Little children are very curious about me and some speak good english. I had a little pack of rugrats following me around for most of my time there. We took some pictures and they were soooooooo excited. Cute!
Afterwards we went to the Gandhi Picture Exhibition. This was a collection of photos, art work and sculptures that followed his life...from birth to death.
A great day. Now lets talk the drive there and back. Many many chaotic drivers packed the streets. As well there were herds of cows, goats and sheep. Lets not forget the packs of camels!!!!! Oh wait...and the people. This made for a crazy, slightly tense drive there and back. But I just sat back and closed my eyes...tried not to realize where I was or the road conditions!!! haha. But it seems that among the chaos there is some type of order and people get along fine!!!
Tomorrow I am off to see some World heritage sites about 11 hours from Nagpur. While I am there I will be staying with friends of Ritchies parents. Just fabulous. I am excited.
Now---here is the super duper fabulous announcement that I have to make. I will be volunteering from Nov 6 - Nov 26 in Dharamsala...in the Himilayas!!!! Read below and this is what I am doing!!!
Volunteer project: Valleys of the Himalayas - where the heaven meets the earth. This small paradise is home to the Dalai Lama and to a significant Tibetan settlement in India. Dharamsala is set in the backdrop of the snow-clad peaks of Dhauladhar Mountains. It is the capital of the Tibetan Government in exile and the residence of the Dalai Lama. In the first two weeks of the camp, the volunteers will get the opportunity to learn about the Tibetan culture and the different issues related to the exile of its people and the re-settlement in India. There will be cultural activities and exchange with the Tibetan Youth with the support of the Tibetan Welfare Office. The project will also include an awareness campaign for the protection of the environment and solid waste management in cooperation with the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh. Furthermore, the volunteers will support a local school in need with simple renovation work and interaction with the children (Indian children).
Finally, the last and third week of the camp will be an environmental trek in Sai Ropa, Kullu Valley, and the Great Himalayan National Park for 5 to 6 days, with professional guides.
Love you all