From14th to 17th of June 2023, we threevolunteers, Margherita from Italy, Veera from Finland and Anina from Germany, stayed in Dhaki.
We arrived with the IIMC Jeep on Wednesday and got a warm welcome from Shyamal, the manager of the Dhaki campus.At first, we joinedRayashreeon her visit of the geriatric group to whom we gavesomefoodbefore we startedourwork in the outdoorclinic.
Afterlunchthe IIMC staffleftDhaki while we moved into our room and thenhadsome time to rest. ThenShyamalshowed us all around the campus. We couldfeel how caring and passionate he is with hissecond home, where he spendsmost of his time.Heplantedtrees and flowers all over, so we couldharvestmany different fruits – Mangos, Jackfruits and Guavas. He alsoshowed us the microcredit program, whichwasreallyinteresting to see. In the evening, we sattogetherat the pond and listened to Shyamal’sstories while havingsometea. At some point, the electricitywasgone, so we startedcooking just with the lights of our torches. Us volunteerswereresponsible for the Roti. Sushmitaexplained us really well but our resultswerefaraway from her perfectlyroundbread.Nevertheless it wasfun and verytasty in the end.
The night at Dhaki was a bit tought, because the electricity was low and it was very hot and humid outside. But after a long night we had the opportunity to join Shyamal in his morning meditation, which was really nice.
Afterwards we visited two groups of the Networking Program, where some food for older people was provided. Also we could see a cow and her calf from the cow project. We had lunch on the Dhaki Campus and then packed our stuff, because we should stay at another campus the next night. As in the morning, we took the boat to cross the river and then enjoyed the ride through the Indian countryside before arriving to an IIMC school. It was the first day of school after the summer break, so we started with visiting a secondary school. Unfortunately due to the heat, not all the students were able to attend the classes, however we were still able to visit some lessons. Then we passed by a 1000 year-old temple before we reached the Dulkerpul (?) Campus, which consists of a Primary School with a room for guest on the first floor. The afternoon was free and we really enjoyed the break, the silence and the sunset there. In the evening, we met Joy, a really nice guy who had dinner and tea with us, told us many interesting stories and showed us pictures with him and former volunteers.
The next day we spent at the primary school. The kids were very nice and smart and all of them motivated to present their dances, poems and knowledge. Also we played hanging man with them, the game where you have to guess the letters of a word. It was very fun and the kids enjoyed as much as we did. School was finished at 3:30 pm and a guy came to pick us up, but we were really sad to leave.
Back in Dhaki, we went to the market with Moumita and bought some vegetables for dinner. The evening with Shyamal was very nice again and also the night was better than our first one, because we could put our mattresses and mosquito nets on the rooftop and sleep there. Our last day, Saturday, started with some work in the garden before we went to see the primary school on the campus. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time there, because we needed to help in the outdoor clinic. Notwithstanding the short time, the principle was able to show us all the school and classes, and we were also able to speak to the teacher and learn more about the Indian school system. Overall, it was very nice and we left the visit with a really good impression of the school.
After lunch it was already time to leave and even though we were really tired after these three days, we were very happy about the experience. We saw many peripheral projects of the IIMC, met very nice people and could enjoy the beautiful nature of Rural India. We can just recommend the next volunteers to take the challenge!
Margherita from Italy, Veera from Finland, Anina from Germany