After an adventurous 26 hour train ride from Jaipur to Kazipet, we have finally arrived at the base of our partner organization, Bala Vikasa. Here is where we will spend our last few days in India.
Today we visited villages in the area, talking with local people about their lives, their stories and their needs. For a lot of villagers, we were the first white people they had ever seen. So, undoubtedly, we felt quite popular. Children and adults alike followed us around quite closely, proudly showing us their homes and their families. It was wonderful to see the joy on children’s faces as we took their picture, asked their name or just touched their hands. Amidst unfurnished schools, unsanitized water and serious poverty, it was amazing to see children still smiling and playing as they would anywhere in the world.
Today was also the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival celebrating Ganesh. Children had the day off of school and many people were out singing and rejoicing. We have been very fortunate to see such diverse and interesting areas of India, including places unseen by Westerners.
There are still a few more days left to meet and see more people. And, miraculously, we have still managed to avoid “Delhi Belly.”
— Graeme Esau