Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 11th: Our first day in Udaipur

Hello everyone!

I'm happy to report that we've arrived safely at the Jaiwana Haveli Hotel, Udaipur, India. Well, four of us have anyway. Four of our Californian friends have been experiencing some frustrations in obtaining their visas and the unfortunate result is that one had to postpone her DWC trip for another time and the remaining three won't be able to join us until later next week. Ironically, this includes our fearless team leader, Tommy. Leaving the rest of us to do double duty I see, well played my friends, well played. Jokes aside, we hope you guys are able to get things sorted out and join us soon!

Just a heads up to all of you back home who might be taking in our daily blogs over your morning coffee, I'm not exactly what you'd call a gifted writer so feel free to set your judgements aside. Having said that, I'll do my best to report on our daily experiences without boring you too badly.

Today was a great day. After what at times felt like seemingly endless hours of travel Bob, Kim, and I met up in Delhi airport and embarked on the final leg of our journey together. Upon landing at Udaipur airport we were met by our driver, Jamil, who with skill and ease, zigzagged along single lane streets, narrowly missing overloaded motorbikes, trucks, cars, and more than the odd cow or two.

After enjoying breakfast with a view from our rooftop terrace we wandered the streets a little, taking in the local vibe. However, the moment our rooms were ready the three of us were all too happy to catch a few hours of shuteye and recharge our batteries. The three of us regrouped this afternoon, some of us more energetically than others, and met with Mr. Heera our host partner. He welcomed us warmly and arrangements for travel to Bhinder tomorrow morning were made. As we were flying in over Udaipur the floods from the heavy monsoon rains last month were very evident.

It's cool to think that we're going to be assisting in building irrigation systems that will aid in collecting the water and put it good use.

Following our meeting Bob, Kim, and I headed off to tour the Monsoon Palace and take in its infamous sunset. The Palace is situated upon a high hill and overlooks the city of Udaipur. We were able to wander around, learn some some of the history, much of which did not stick due to lack of sleep. But thankfully the view and sunset did not disappoint.

Arriving back at the Jaiwana Haveli Hotel, we were excited to meet up with our Australian teammate, David. Despite exhaustion the four of us enjoyed our first authentic Indian meal together. The conversation was full and lively and the energy and excitement palpable. We even captured a "group selfie," the first of many to come I'm sure.

There's no question that we've all been eagerly anticipating this trip and are excited about this experience with DWC. For some of us this is our first time on such a volunteer trip and for others we're repeat DWCers. There's no question that this is going to be a dynamic team and a memorable experience for all of us.

Tommy, Denise, and Chris, looking forward to your safe arrivals! Until then, rest assured that Bob's holding down the fort.

Anya Malda
DWC Volunteer Participant
Udaipur, India: October 2014

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