1st Email from Nuala in Vidya Vanam

Hello everyone,

Hope you are all well.

My USB does not fit into this computer, so no photos yet I’m afraid. If I can work out what I need I’ll try and get that sorted.  Apparently the post is really reliable, Sarah got a huge package sent to her.

Tonight driving home we saw elephants, 2 big ones and one baby. We are so lucky but didn’t take any photos as my camera battery was dead and I didn’t bring it. One teacher has been here 4 years and never seen one. But some people say they see them all the time. One of the children lives in a place where elephants walk past every day at 5.30pm.

Currently sitting in the computer lab, internet is very slow and I’m surprised I’ve been able to write this without electricity cutting out. Dinner is at 8-which is now, but we are slowly adjusting to India time, and turning up at 9 would be more expected. Sometimes India time can get frustrating, we made two trips into Coimbatore for our police registration and it is not even complete yet (between 45mins-1.5hrs) and stopped a lot along the way – because it is so far away they do every single errand they possibly can. This morning we were meant to leave at 8.30am as the station only stayed open until 11. We didn’t leave til 9.30 and when we got there the man who had the forms we needed was at a meeting, we called him and were told to come back at 11.30, when we came back he was still not there and we went all the way back to Anaikatty just for lunch and then back to Coimbatore an hour later. We then had to go to 2 police stations and again tomorrow and on Monday.

Wore a bindi today and hoping to get a sari/salweer tomorrow. The dye on the womens foreheads is meant to be a good luck potion, kind of thing. There is a market in Coimbatore which is open on Monday so we may go then.

The village is wonderfully interesting and the politics surrounding everything are so intriguing. I’m staying very far away though, much too scary for me!

Adjusting to Indian life as well as possible, the stafff are all incredibly friendly and helpful and clever characters.

Will write more soon.


First Impressions of Hyderabad

Text from Nuala today – her first day in India.  It sounds a far cry from sleepy Balfron!  She’ll be staying in Hyderabad the capital of Andhra Pradesh – for a few days with the other volunteers to get sorted before heading off with her partner Caitlin to their project in Tamil Nadu, which is much more rural – and will probably be a shock in many different ways.

Literally just slept from 6.30am -3pm our time with a short break at 1 when we somehow woke up on time for food.  Really strange but tasty pancakes with chutney and spicy pastes.  Roads are wild – I don’t even think there’s a specific side to drive on or I cant work it out .  Cars beep their horns as they go past other cars which happens a lot even if they don’t know each other. One car even sang as it reversed. 

 Buildings all seem unfinished, cables and rubble and litter EVERYWHERE, people just lie in big lines in the street under blankets to sleep.  Still quite surreal and we are not even allowed to leave the building today!  Not allowed outside incase we get lost but will be allowed out tomorrow.  A man called Suuchi runs the guest house, doesn’t seem to be anyone else staying here except us – we’ve taken over.  Quite warm but not unbearable.  We have just put the air con on.