Saturday, 16 April 2016

A sad but fond goodbye

Six months ago my Internship with EduCARE began and now I’m on the way back home to England! As with everything in my last days with EduCARE and in Naddi; I’ve definitely been stalling knowing that my internship and the times with my wonderful Naddi family will soon be over, so this blog post is the end point of an amazing Indian adventure.

During my six months I’ve created so many memories and had crazy experiences that I’ll remember a life time! I thought I’d use this blog post to share some of them:

Sick in my Shoes

In October I was on my way to Delhi on an overnight government bus, after about an hour or so I managed to drift off to sleep whilst my Tibetan neighbour was continually vomiting out the window because of the bus drivers mental driving! At 3am I wake up and the bus has stopped for a short break so I decide to get off the bus to stretch my legs and use the toilet – stupidly when I went to sleep I’d taken my shoes off and left them underneath my seat. So as I put my feet into my shoes, I notice one of them is wet… and well, you know the rest of the story – disgusting certainly didn’t justify it. Only in India can someone be gross enough to throw up in your shoes and then say nothing as you put your feet into them.

A Holy Baptism

I was walking from the Indra intern house in Naddi to the main square to go to Omi’s for lunch, one particular part of the path is always slippy and has water on it. Clumsy me decided that this day was the day to completely stack it! I ended up lying in the field below half under barbed wire, half in a field and covered waist down in a combination of mud, cow poo and water. Only in India is being covered in cow excrement seen as a good thing.

Animal Encounters

o Raging Bull Being charged at not once by twice by an angry territorial cow in the Jaisalmer Fort.
o Stray Dogs Constant accosting on the way to McleodGanj.
o Cheeky MonkeysBeing completely surrounded by Langur’s on the walk home from Triund and having no idea what to do!
o Monsoon Critters Providing my feet as lunch for many a leech whilst in Shenney during the Monsoon.

Transport Frustrations

As a student in India utilising the cheapest transport option was always my go to, however this incurred many memorable moments:
- Never being sure whether a bus was ever going to arrive, let alone arrive on time.
- Driving from Naddi to Dharamshala and fearing for your life because the driver seems to have forgotten about using their breaks and official speed limit.
- Using overnight buses to get from A to B and the bus driver plays consistent Bollywood and Hindi music all night at full volume when you’re trying to sleep.

The start of a long 36 hours traveling from Naddi to Khuri.

My favourite method of transport, Tuktuk!!

Christmas in Kerala 

Kerala is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, so when myself and Siobhan decided our Christmas Holidays would be spent there I was over the moon. Whilst it certainly didn’t feel like Christmas in 30+ degree heat surrounded by sandy beaches and palm trees, the opportunity to experience a complete contrast to North India was amazing. The South of India is a land of chilled out people, amazing food and beautiful scenery and a great choice of location for a deserved rest!

Alleppey Backwaters

Fort Cochin
Khuri and Jaisalmer 

In October, I was fortunate enough to venture out of Himachal Pradesh and visit Rajasthan for 9 days during the coordinators retreat. Whilst the hot desert weather was something pale and ginger me hated, the Rajasthani lifestyle and culture was so so fascinating. The retreat was culminated by us all taking a camel ride (a very painful and jolty camel ride) into the desert for a night under the stars.

These are just a handful of the memories I’ve made and it’s a shame they have to be put on pause until the next time. But I’ll be back, Naddi is certainly not a place you can forget in a hurry!! And as for EduCARE, it’s been a crazy up and down ride but I’ve loved every second.

Rebecca Lewis - United Kingdom
Disaster Management and Emergency Planning Coordinator in Naddi

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