Emma Quinn in India
Emma Quinn in India – Review 2012
What members of staff do you remember the most and why?
Bala was very friendly on arrival, eventaking us to our first Indian breakfast! The security was slightly humorous in the form of three, elderly looking women, lying sleeping on the dusty ground as we slept.
What were your impressions of the accommodation?
The accommodation was shocking upon arrival –extremely basic. But this after all was what we had signed up for!
Why did you want to volunteer?
I’ve have always wanted to travel to India andso this presented the perfect opportunity as it combined this with my love of education. Perhaps selfishly I thought it would also help me in the long run as I consider a career following this path.
Do you feel you made a difference, how?
In terms of educating I don’t feel we really made a great difference. I got the younger kids, and gaining their attention never mind trying to teach them anything was a daily struggle. Due tothe sheer heat and lack of ventilation, they usually just cried on the ground or passed out!
What did you do for fun?
We travelled in the local town A LOT. We were staying in a very rural area with nothing much to do. We went on an hour long walk up to an amazing sightthat looked like something from an other planets, a rock wonderland. Often we brought the newer volunteers here after they had settled in. this was the way of life – passing on information from your forfriends to the newbies! We ate out A LOT also. This was always afun experience. The locals would come and watch us eat which was a little strange at the start. A few of the other volunteers also went to the local swimming pool – in full attire.. I didn’t fancy it myself.
When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
Weekend trips to Mammalapurum were HEAVEN.When you had something that resembled a REAL SHOWER!!! And also a toilet… witha seat! These little luxuries are something you forget about, but when you live without them you come to appreciate things. The weekends here were super fun. Back at the school you didn’t have the opportunity to do much and Bala wanted us backbefore it got dark – and dangerous…dun dun dunnn. These weekends we would try the local hotspots, the ridiculously overpriced clubs that were empty, nights of oh so disgusting beer, and generally having a good time with people you may never have met.
Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
I made friends with all the other volunteers, a few I am very close to! We are in the middle of arranging another little get together now were all back on home turf. We were always in close proximity and never apart nor alone, so you forge strong relationships that will hopefully last time.
What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise
Mammalapurum – perhaps spelt wrongly. A little rice stand in Kanjanur village itself – local food was fine to eat despite all the stories of Delhi belly.
Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
Most definitely. I would go to another destination.
What items would you suggest future volunteers take?
TORCH. I FORGOT ONE! ENTIRELLY NECESSARY. LOTS OF INSECT REPELLENT. TOPS WITH ¾ SLEEVES. LOOSE FITTING LONG TROUSERS.
How much money would you suggest you take per week?
I really don’t recall what I spend but I know everything was dirt cheap. It just depends if you want to buy a lot of gifts etc in the more touristy towns.
Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Don’t expect anything. Go with an openmind, and throw yourself into the new environment!