There many things that popped into my head when having to think about my first month in India.
And having to write a blog post can be really difficult. Where do I start from? Ordering my thoughts, I would focus on my feeling regarding the arrival to Gajner and the construction of the relationship with the community, especially with the kids.
I immediately fell in love with Gajner, and I mean it.
Before arriving here, people were keeping on describing the heat of this place, which made me think that I was going to hell, instead of to a physical place. Can a place be that hot? Will I be able to survive?
WILL I DRINK ENOUGH WATER? HOW OFTEN WILL I BE SICK?
I arrived here and Gajner smelled like home. The house, the village, the dust and the heat: everything was in its own place. I felt like everything was just fine, nothing was too much, nothing was too less.
Engaging the community has been easier than what I thought and, although the process is still ongoing, hearing kids shouting your name when walking in the street, makes you forget about the heat and everything e. There is something special about these children, and it is not common sense. There is something authentic and sincere. It is a sparkle in their eyes; it is a smile or a football match. I’m not saying that everything is easy, it is tiring and frustrating especially for what concerns the language barrier; it is hard to communicate, it is hard to express yourself and can be difficult to stand the impossibility to understand what kids themselves want to tell you. This is the hardest part for me, there is a lot which is unspoken from both the parts. However, anytime you manage to communicate and see that whatever you are doing is working, you come back home already thinking about the next time you will see these kids.
Moreover, working at EduCARE means being a multi-tasking person, one day you dig a hole to collect sand, one day you work with kids, another day you attend an English class and another you spend time mapping a community. I heard many times that EduCARE is an extremely flexible environment and things can change anytime, you adapt to the environment you live in. It is true and it is challenging and fun.
I also believe that a very important aspect for the functioning of this is having a strong team to work with. Having people around makes you stronger, no laziness allowed; what you face becomes a collective action, rather than an individual one. Doing that, any action turns to be easier, because is shared.
My first three weeks in Gajner have been a full and intense human experience. It is like being in a blender and being constantly moving and shaking. It is like a tornado of people and experiences, at home and outside. It makes you feel alive. The best is yet to come and I couldn’t ask for more!
|Soccer championship outside the house with Laure, Vijay, Johann, Mehar and Camilla|
Camilla Brancolini - Italy
ASP project manager, Gajner