Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Chai and an EduCARE's experience manifesto

So I'll be talking about my overall experience with EduCARE. It has been quite a ride. Four months have passed but I feel, at least, one year older. It was fast yet so enriching.

Most western people come to India to find themselves. I came to India to find India and then, maybe, find myself. You see, how could I find myself if I don't even know where I am? If I can't even understand basic hindi or why people act like they act in here?

I'm glad I've found an organization like EduCARE, which gave me the opportunity to live so close to the Rait community and within Indian culture. Here I've met some of the kindest people in my life. Indeed I can use kind as a good description of Bhahari people. They will welcome you warmly to their homes and be genuinely curious/interested about you. Even without knowing you they will still feel responsible to take care of you. And let me tell you, they will take really good care of you. Obviously, they also come with their eccentricities. For example the difficulty to say no or that they don't know the direction to some place you are headed put me in messed up situations where patience couldn't really help me that much.

Anyways, I am also really grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with all the EduCARE team, particularly the (G)RAIT Team. Working next to you made me grow as one can only do among family. You'll be with me forever. (G)Rait brothers and sisters, I'll miss all the laughter, all the trips, all the messed up situations we put ourselves in and escape alive of and how we used to learn together. How we managed to live with each other having all different paces and make such a beautiful home out of the Rait house. It was amazing to work with all of you and getting to know what you are made of and what daily India can be.

There was times when I was very unsure about the work itself. I was wondering, is it just me? Am I really too ambitious while being too quiet while being too aggressive while being unlikable? Am I not funny enough? Am I not working hard enough? Do I belong?

Well, the adaptation can be a really hard process, which for me resulted in this kind of questioning. It took me a while to pick up on my work and get the hang of it; understand my duties, my rights and my limitations within this position. In the end, all the questions answered, I felt freer than ever as well as empowered: I learned that I'm more patient than I thought I was and that I can indeed overcome quite a few obstacles. The important thing is: Slowly, slowly but Rait is moving forward, gi. 

& Chai 4 life!

InĂªs Ramos - Portugal
Women's Empowerment Project Manager, Rait (Himachal Pradesh)

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