After what seemed to be a neverending journey, we have finally arrived! My first impression of India came from looking out of the bus window during the last stretch of our nine hour ride from the airport in Mumbai to CRHP in Jamkhed. We passed by many different slums and had the opportunity to see from a distance how these people live. The poorest slum I noticed did not consist of the typical mud hut with a thatched roof that we had been seeing, but of tents of their own making. As the sun was coming up, they began their day with cleaning, building a fire, and cooking. Before I came here I thought very highly of the population living in poverty in rural India because of their ability to make a life on practically nothing. After actually seeing what they must deal with on a daily basis, my respect for them shot up to the highest level. I keep trying to put myself in their shoes and can’t imagine me ever having the ability to live that life.
Upon arrival at CRHP, I was very impressed with the campus. First of all, I was unaware that this organization had its own campus with so many different buildings and amenities. It definitely exceeded my expectations. It is clean and I personally feel very safe here. My favorite part of the day was being able to interact with locals. The women that live here are incredibly friendly and sweet. We also got the opportunity to spend some time with the pre-schoolers while they were at recess. They are so adorable, and are genuinely happy kids.
Although we were all pretty tired and slept a lot during the day, I think we had a successful first day in India. I am looking forward to the different activities we will get to do. For our projects, we could be working in a variety of different fields. Some will be helping to build a house, some will be working on the farm, and others in the pre-school. I am hoping to work with Helping Hands, a business run by women where they make crafts out of recycled objects and sell them. We are also going to be visiting a variety of different places throughout the country. I can’t wait to get rested up tonight and get going tomorrow!