Friday, March 23, 2007

Extreme Makeover

The past couple of weeks (really the past month if you consider all the health centre room work anna and I have been doing) have been fun and rewarding! A team of dutch architects, civil engineers came to India and the school I have been working with in rural Marharashtra and spent their two week holiday working to improve the school facilities.

They are a group of college friends who every year try to meet up and one year trek and the next spend volunteering, doing construction work. They helped in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami in 2005. And 2007, we were the lucky recepients of their hard work.

The students love it, on the final day a couple of mysterious holes (they would not tell me) turned out to be for a new swing set and sea saw. There were some tire swings hung as well from nearby trees....the students were busy climbing 3 on each end of the seasaw, with several helpers all around to help it balance back and forth.

The event ended last night with a dinner celebrating all their hard work!
Female workers, local labor was hired to help the dutch team. Interesting that women are paid 10 rupees less per day than men, and I saw the women doing more work.
(men Rs 60 & women Rs 50).

I don't have very many good photos of the work they did, I was playing with Anna's nice SLR so I did not use my 5 mega pixel much. But Anna (dr from netherlands who is also here volunteering, but for 3 months! yeah!) and I tried to keep our selves busy, when we weren't making toast and salads, we finished up the shoe distribution. Generous donors gave money to buy the 1st to 7th standard students shoes.

Student models in their new slippers.

Organized a health and hygiene education day, one of the projects the dutch team worked on was a new hand washing area outside the dining all. So we were putting the education together with the new environment!
... and keeping biscuit out of our room and from stealing shoes was another ongoing task. The students made newspaper hats before they made their 'dustbins' or trash cans.

And we played! out of sequence, but prior to the dutch team arriving was HOLI! the festival of colors, celebration of spring, powder colored (and some oil ones) and water fights!!
After photos of me, Kajal (student) and Anna.

No comments: