Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14th: Day 2 of hard work by villagers & volunteers!

We woke to another beautiful morning here in Bhinder so Bob and I took the opportunity to squeeze in some light yoga before breakfast.

The mattresses here aren't exactly what you'd call pillow top. Following a "non-spicy" breakfast we headed off to the job site.

You know that saying, "actions speak louder than words"? This absolutely rang true when we arrived at the job site. Not only were the villagers already hard at work, but they had reconstructed our shade covering to 'better suit our needs'. It is now complete with a double cot and blankets.

As if that wasn't bad enough, when we went to start work on the water structure it was very apparent that after our departure yesterday they all worked their tails off. Overnight the work had progressed significantly. We were beginning to feel as though we might be slowing down progress rather than boosting it. However, we are quick to remind ourselves that it's simply their eagerness to please that's shining through.

We must have proved some of our abilities yesterday though, because today was filled with a few more challenges in terms of work. For example, David graduated to carrying the large boulders by using the handmade "stretcher," or horizontal ladder as it has come to be known. This is a step up considering that yesterday David and Bob were barely permitted to lift more than one stone at a time. I also was able to try something new, carrying water on my head! While I've got the balance bit down, I think it's going to take a few more days to boost my confidence enough to attempt it hands free.

We continue to marvel at the ingenuity and hard work displayed by the villagers. They have a system for all aspects of the project. Sand is mixed with cement and water in free standing piles before it is transported via big bowls to the masons waiting down in the trench. They lay the foundation as rocks are passed down by other workers. Even the collection of smaller rocks and bigger boulders has a process. They work together like a well oiled machine. Sometimes we feel like the extra parts that they're trying to make use of - ha! Okay, to be fair, it is only day two and we're still finding our groove.

It was super hot today and we quickly realized that we were spoiled yesterday with a refreshing breeze. Unsurprisingly, we all jumped at the opportunity to leave the job site a little early in order to visit the village primary school. They have 61 students to just the one teacher... unfathomable. The kids were so excited to see us, all save except one little one who started crying at the sight of Kim. The older children introduced themselves in English and then a few of them sang us some traditional welcome songs in Hindi.

We toured the teacher's office and the classroom before heading back to the palace for a nice refreshing cold shower.

We spent the afternoon recharging our batteries (not just our electronics but our bodies as well) and continued to get to know one another a little better over a light lunch and good conversation.

Anya Malda
DWC Volunteer Participant
Udaipur, India: October 2014 

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