Messages of the Day –
‘The future depends on what we do in the present.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Team Journal entry from December 21, 2014:
Our team gathered together as one for the first time this morning for breakfast. It was fun to hear the level of chatter and excitement as we started to build relationships with people who we’ll be sharing life-changing experiences with in our time in India with Global Volunteers.
After a delicious breakfast prepared by Rani, we started our orientation. We have a large team of thirteen that surpasses the capacity of the guesthouse so five of the team members are staying at another location a few blocks away. We have quite the line up of volunteers: Coral from Mexico, Diane from Boston, Mickie from Utah, Robin from Chicago, Jill from San Francisco, Nouf, Fahad, Faisal, Dahna, and Fatima from Bahrain,
Joelle, Marie, and myself from Minnesota. Some of us have served on this same program multiple times, some have served on other Global Volunteer programs, others are starting their adventure in service with this trip.
We discussed the volunteer work of helping out at the daycare and orphanage of Assisi Illam. The daycare allows parents with young children to work with a nominal fee of $200 rupies a month. The orphanage is home to 24 children from age 8-16. The other organization we support is Seam Children’s Home is home for 24 children, many of whom have a parent at home but for some reason the parent isn’t able to care for them.
The main thing we’ll be doing is sharing our love with these children. We’ll also be helping with their conversational English.
We set goals for our time here. Our goals were distilled down to the following core areas:
- To serve
- To educate and empower children
- To strengthen relationships
- To wage love
- To experience Indian culture
- To gain new experiences
We also brainstormed on the characteristics of an effective team. Once that was out of the way, we broke for lunch and continued on with training. We discussed free-time activies; it’s clear that we want to cram it all in!
After training was completed, Sheeba led the way as many of us wondered around Porur for sari shopping. I’ve accumulated several saris and can always find a reason to get one or two more.
We headed to Seam Children’s home where they were entertaining Christmas carolers. The children shared their talents in song and dance and then they introduced themselves one by one. We broke into small groups and read books, played with wooden letters, danced, and took photos. The children so easily let us into their lives. I loved reconnecting with the children at Seam. One of the joys of returning so many times is that the kids remember me and love hearing that I remember their names. The kids were requesting me to play the same song “Dhinka Chicka” that I played for them two years ago. It’s fun to see what they latch onto: I’m known as the person who dances and does karate with these kids. We left with the children saying see you tomorrow.
We went out for dinner to a restaurant in the neighborhood, Anjappar. Stephen ordered a nice variety of Indian food for us to enjoy including: appam, parotta, cylon parotta, tandury chicken, and gobi. Many of us were exhausted as we finished up our first day, but we had to stay alert in order to cross the busy street. It’s all part of the adventure in experiencing Indian culture.
Entry submitted by: Katie