This article is by GlobeAware
I thought I could never do a trip to India, too many strange sights, sounds and smells. I’d heard so many things on the news, and always figured my age would prevent me from enjoying the country. But then I stumbled upon a friend discussing his recent trip to India, and how much he had loved it. Envy settled in, and I began to scour the internet, finally landing on a Globe Aware program in Jaipur.
“Globe Aware’s India program is based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Built in 1727 Jaipur was the first planned city of India and carries the title of “The Pink City.” This is in reference to its distinctly colored buildings, which were originally painted that color to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities. Being native to India, I was curious to explore this famous city, as well learn more about our current program for volunteers. Compared to Delhi, where I was staying with family, Jaipur is smaller, less congested and a friendly city, used to seeing the faces of curious visitors. On arrival, I was whisked away to my accommodations, a modest hotel, near the airport. I had access to hot water, wi-fi and convenient hotel restaurant was on the 1st floor which served hot meals. I was provided with an itinerary the very first day I arrived, which highlighted the times and locations of where I would be.
Part of my time included working with kids from an extremely disadvantaged background at a local school, assisting teachers in their classrooms. I got to choose which classes I would spend some time in, and given a day to brainstorm what we could do together. I decided to meet with the 4th and 5th graders and help improve their English language skills with some fun ice breakers. My program coordinator, Arpit, stayed by my side in order to provide translation and instruction. I also had the chance to engage in a yoga class, have henna applied, visit artisans, see the historical sites as well as visit an elephant village.
The Globe Aware program in the “Pink City,” is all about delivering on our goals of sustainability and culture. It’s easy to think nothing can be changed in just one week, when you are confronted with the hardships many people live through in chaotic India. But by giving your time, efforts and desire to learn, you not only make friends quickly, you also share your own skills and knowledge with those who would otherwise not have the chance to do so. Don’t let age and fear stop you. – Miki Nayak 2017 January Volunteer
If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at www.globeaware.org.
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