Our Fantastic Experience in Chhota Udepur – Gujarat – India

Volunteering India 2011_10
The experience of a different culture, which keeps you primarily shocked upon seeing so many different things; the smiley faces; the beaming looks; the incredible hospitality; making an effort to look similar to the locals; the feeling of being appreciated for every tiny gesture you make - All this makes our voluntary experience one which we will surely never forget.

We look back at our experience in India and inevitably we smile. It has taught us so much in so little time. The impact of such an experience is felt upon one's arrival in Malta. The main quote of this experience (told to us by one of the Brothers) is: ‘People will not remember what you did for them but how you made them feel' This applies equally to us.

First of all the fathers and brothers were thoroughly kind and patient with us. They were always responsive to our enquiries and always made sure that we were comfortable and not in need of anything.

We used to wake up at 6.30 in the morning to get ready for mass which started at 7am. It was done in a small chapel with few people sitting down on cushions on the floor and it was celebrated in the Gujurati language but that in itself is an experience. We would then proceed to breakfast and right after we would go to a daily 2 hour trip to the tribal villages accompanied by one of the fathers. We used to visit schools in the villages and do games and crafts with the children. Children and their teachers were always extremely polite.

In the afternoon we used to play with the borders. This time showed us how children can be playful and joyful with basic things. Occasionally we used to do some crafts with some boys. The boys used to work hard on everything we asked them to do and the result used to show how much effort they had put in the execution of the task.

The evening activities which were organised by the Brothers for the children were always a show of how good practices, group work, hard work and positive attitudes pay off and can make everyone happy and self-fulfilled. It was always our extreme pleasure to give a helping hand to the Brothers and the boys.


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