Monday, June 9, 2014

June 7th: Final thoughts and a return to Nepal

Shortly after leaving India, we found out about an incident that happened in a village where three women were raped while trying to find privacy to go to the bathroom in the desert. It put our whole project into a better perspective and made us grateful that the village of Morra where we worked will have a safe, clean and private bathrooms for women. It's not exactly a project that you think of as being important right off the bat, but we realized just how important it will be.

Jatan is a wonderful organization and they do so much in so many different villages - it's remarkable. I'd also like to point out that Kailash. Jatan's director, is the nicest and calmest man in the world. He has set up Jatan with a good philosophy and strong foundation. I really liked how when we were at the office for lunch and chai breaks, we were treated as any other employee or volunteer was, and were not given "celebrity status" as they would call it. We had meals cooked for us, but after meals, everyone washed their own dishes by hand. The office workers continued their work while we were there and we often had to be quiet while they were on the phone or working. I just appreciated how they welcomed us kindly, but then took us seriously and treated us the same they treat all their employees. It stood out to me because the work they do is to promote gender equality and fairness, so it's great that this philosophy starts within the organization itself.

We were made to write a daily report for Jatan every day about what we did and what we learned. Every day a different person wrote the report. We would often meet at the dinner table before eating, for a sort of reflection on the day, and finish our daily report then and there. At this time we might also write the blog post for the day. It gave us a chance to talk about what we were doing and check in every day. It was so great, and it is something that other team leaders may find helpful. If I ever lead a trip again, I will for sure do this because it helped everyone (the NGO and ourselves).

So from India, I came straight to Nepal. That was about 2 days ago now. When I arrived in Nepal, I met my mom here and we met Dinesh and Nura from Creating Possibilities Nepal, as well as their families and they had us for dinner. We met Michelle from IWEN which is another Canadian partner organization supporting CP Nepal along with Developing World Connections. It was really special to see Nura and Dinesh after one year after my first DWC volunteer trip, and share stories! I may even be going back to Dang and visiting the classroom that I helped build last year!

Vita Sackville-Hii
DWC U30 Team Leader
May 2014

No comments: