Today we made a lot of progress on the boarding house! We all work well as a team. The second water tank had not been filled yet when we got to the work site at 7 so we had a slow start, just moving bricks. Once the foundation was covered in more water we moved bowls of the special sand conveyer belt-style and layered it on top of the smashed rock. I am pretty sure the sand with the water makes cement. Sorry I am not versed in construction know-how :).
We all CTLed - did construction, tanned and did laundry and now we are just hanging out before we go back to work when it's cooler out. We also got a lesson on the Caste System from Madan. It was really interesting and a subject I knew nothing about. There are four different castes and no matter how your life changes (you become wealthy etc.), you will always belong to the caste you were born into. The people of Banjara Basti would be considered Untouchables - people with a very uncleanly lifestyle who get their name because they cannot even make physical contact with anyone who is in a higher caste.
Arun taught us another Hindi lesson this afternoon! We learned numbers, relationships, weekdays, and colours. We were all the biggest giggle-pusses from lack of sleep! We couldn't help it! We laughed so hard at the pronunciation of numbers thirty-three and thirty-five. So immature. We drank tea at four and then went back to work! It rained for like five minutes, but it was so hot out the rain felt really cold. We finished laying all of the sand for the whole building! We'll see what tomorrow brings.
We came home and showered and then played volleyball as well as badminton in the courtyard! The weather is really pleasant around seven. Not too hot and not dark yet. The weather has been unreal - my freckles are out of control.
After another delicious dinner Shreya told us how to say "I really liked the food" and Jessica, Elma, and I said it (in chorus) to the ladies. They loved it... or were laughing and smiling at how bad our Hindi is!
Arun took us to a stall down the street from Youth Touch and everyone got pop and candies!
From what I have witnessed of the way of life here in India: the living is simple, yet so fulfilling. Thanks again for reading. I can't express how much I enjoy blogging about this volunteer project (and our other fun adventures) and it means a lot to me that you're reading it.
DWC Student Team Leader
Sikar, India: May 2012