Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oct 21st: A Traditional Indian Welcome

We have completed our first full day in India, and it has been incredibly rich thus far. We arrived last night from a hectic day of travel and were greeted into a beautiful, peaceful courtyard. The manager of the hotel is a beautiful young lady and a descendent of the maharaja who owned the building and a significant area of the surrounding area. They have worked very hard to modernize the building while retaining the essence of the original design.

Our first day of work went very well. We were greeted with a traditional greeting ceremony comprised of marigold wreaths, bindi's, introductions, speeches and chai. elected representatives from the local government were present as a show of support for the project, and educated us on the area and the importance of this underground reservoir which will raise the water table for 5 wells in the surrounding areas. Considering that husbandry and agriculture is the major source of income in the area, we felt very honoured to help.

Before the work began a ceremony was held at the location to bless the project. In addition to blessing the site, the ceremony was to bring together the various villages who would benefit from the project to encourage engagement. As this is a shared project with the local villages, they will be working along side us and will also be responsible for its success.

We met lots of people and worked side by side with them. They were kind enough to fashion a private bathroom tent for us ladies.... From which the locals seemed to get great amusement!

Rebecca Kaus 
DWC Participant 
India, October 2013

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