Monday, 25 January 2016

My experience in EduCARE: from Paro to Rait

I have to refer to two different places when I write about my experience with EduCare as I had worked in two centers (Paro and Rait) completely differentiated by people, thoughts, projects and atmosphere but united by EduCare. What I can mention and what I cannot in this blog seems very difficult to me because there are a thousand memories coming to my head when I think of my last three months with this organization. To witness the diversity in this country in two neighboring states with respect to people, lifestyle, language, food and landscapes was very intense. Two states so close to each other but so far in many ways.

Initially, attracted by its mountains and scenic beauty I wanted to be placed in Himachal where I thought I could work alongside nature but I was asked to move to Paro which I must say was disappointing. However after speaking to Mr. B I realized that to begin with it would be better for me to move to Paro to work on the projects that I was interested in and then move to Himachal later depending on the projects I will be involved in. Punjab was a very good experience indeed as it was a remote village and I had the opportunity to learn a lot from the villagers and the other interns I met and worked with. All of us were from different parts of the world and it was very nice to live and work together on different projects, we had the time and liberty to work on our projects at our own pace and convenience. Even though we were all assigned to different projects we made the most of it by sharing ideas and helping each other wherever and however we could from soap making to making a garden for the migrant community, we had our hands on all the possible work that we could be involved in. I am missing all those people I met, the migrants at the camp, the kids, the interns with whom I had spent so much time every day from making breakfast till hitting the bed and not to forget, breakfast at Indojap and Fauji’s chicken curry. I hope to meet all of them soon during my travel. 

My initial plans were to stay with EduCARE only for 2 months, but by the time I started enjoying my work it was already going to be the end of my internship so, I decided to extend my internship for another month to be involved in something I really liked and always wanted to do. Thus, after a month and a half in Paro, I was asked to move to Rait. I was happy to go to the hills but I was equally sad to leave Paro as I had been already attached to the people and place there. Thus saying good bye to the place and people I already felt belonged to in just a month and a half, I left for Rait ready to meet new people and a place which I was not aware of. 

Me with Aurelien, Breanne and Amelie in a festival in Hariana

The place and the intern house was very different from Paro, two neighboring states but so different in every way pertaining to weather, language, people, food and landscapes. To witness the diversity in this country was very immense and intriguing. Nevertheless, I had to start getting used to the new interns, the villagers and also the projects that I would be working on. But in no time I was very comfortable with everything already and I commenced work with the same enthusiasm I had been working in Paro. Again it was an intense time in Rait as I had only 6 weeks there. I felt that I did a lot of different things in Rait when compared to Paro as I was always on the move working with the other interns on different projects, meeting the villagers to speak about our projects, meeting government officials, working at the local school and so on, I was never confined to a single project, I had something to be involved in all the time which helped me learn and understand many things, things I may never be associated with In the future. 

Working with completely different set of people in two different centers in such a short span of time was very intense for me, but I enjoyed every bit of it during my three months with EduCARE. This organization has helped and inspired me to get involved in the kind of work I was always interested in. Now all I wish for is to involve myself in helping the underprivileged in this country in whichever way possible.

Madhu, Sylvia and me with Dr. Sudarshan Dabroch and his family, the only ones using biogas in the village

Rizwan Ahmed - India
SWASH Project Manager, Paro (Punjab)-Rait (Himachal Pradesh)

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