Here's a little update on the progress made on the boarding house. We made a well (see photos). The foundation trenches were dug up except for one row because it was too sandy there. That's when we came in! We added gravel evenly to the floor of the trenches. While this happened, the masons made posts for the corners and outside walls out of metal rods. The men added water on top and packed down the rock to make a solid surface on which the foundation will be built. The masons secured the mental poles in the ground by a grid. It is also made out of metal rods and made sturdy with cement. They do measurements with string. We carried many rocks to the sides of the trenches for the mason and his workers to build the foundation out of rock and cement until it reached the ground level. The sand that was dug up was leveled out around the foundation in the ground. Currently, we are continuing to move rocks from large piles that have been brought by trucks to the edge where the foundation is being built. I hope that paints a nice picture of the work we've been doing :).
Today we were split into two groups cause there wasn't much work to do. Work started at 7 as per usual; I decided I might as well go to both sessions. Madan's sister hooked us up with watermelons. So freaking good. We had a lesson on Vastu Shastru (or Hindu feng shui) today at 11 AM. We also learned that Dadaji (Grandfather) is one of the oldest in the village. If someone looks at you with bad intentions, and you need to get rid of that presence, you come over and Dadaji will spit on your face. This is supposed to cleanse the evil. So that's cool.
We had tea at 4 then went to work again. Arun, Elma, Melissa, Jerry, and I went on a walk afterward. By the end of it, we had like fifteen kids following us, saying hi and laughing with us (or more likely at us...). We pet some goats as well. We had the bombest dinner - gulgule and the yummiest mangoes I have ever tasted.
Anyway, we visit Banjara Basti tomorrow and see the Taj Mahal in three days! Alvida, friends :)
DWC Student Team Leader
Sikar, India: May 2012