1st Week Here-By Nuala

Hello everyone, great to see Dad has been keeping you informed.

India is crazy, a complete explosion of the senses. It is exactly what you see on the TV, but it is in fact real. I am constantly covered in dust and dirt and there is creepy crawlies everywhere. Cockroaches roam about our room at night as they  come in through the ventilation gap and there is lizards which share our showers (cold water and a jug) with us. We have unpacked and I have stuck millions of photos on the walls.

The food has been amazing, nothing like curry in the UK. We eat with our fingers, but only our right hand as the left hand is toilet hand. Tonight for dinner we had Chappati, Aubergine and veg curry, Onion Pakora and curd. The American vol Sarah, who is here for most of the year also, has advised us that eating bread instead of rice will stop us gaining a bloated rice tummy. The rice here is very bland anyways and I much prefer the bread.

The school and village are amazing. So surreal. The families in the village are all of the lowest caste, which is split into tribal and non tribal untouchables, apart from a teeny minority who are still so low they are called the ‘backward’ class. It is bizarre how important caste and religion and money are, it is even embedded in the minds of the youngest children. They constantly ask how much things we wear are and love to touch you.

The staff here are wonderful, they have some really innovative opinions, especially for India. The two main ladies who work here and have started the school are Brahmins, the highest caste, and they try to disintegrate the idea of caste, they have also both had love marriages, which is almost unheard of. When we are walking in the city we get called ‘Madam, Madam’ as we are white, western and seen to be really wealthy. It is frustrating, as the Indians we are with get completely ignored. Being given special treatment is not so enjoyable when you know it is only due to the colour of your skin.

There have been a few issues with our project initially. It is a new project so there has been lots of misunderstandings, but it is nobody’s fault. So we shall be heading back to Hyderabad briefly. This is not a problem though.

Overall I’m loving my time here and I know I’ll have a fantastic year, I cannot believe everything that I see and hear. This country is crazy and I am sure I will continue to enjoy myself.

Hope you are all well.