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Volunteering in India – Best Decision Ever!

Volunteering in India was the best decision I have ever made. I spent four weeks situated in Udaipur, Rajasthan, which is such a beautiful city filled with a lot of history and things to do! My first week was orientation week so I received info on the projects, had some hindi, yoga and self-defence lessons, and had classes on Indian cooking, religions, culture etc. This week was so much fun and really helped keep culture shock to a minimum. My favourite part was the sightseeing in the afternoons. We visited all the major attractions in the city including a boat tour on the lakes, a tour of the 3 palaces and a visit to the Shilpgram fair (A cultural market selling products from local artists).

The next 3 weeks after that I spent on the projects. There were two projects – In the mornings I worked with children from the Special Needs School in Udaipur, and in the afternoons I taught English in an afterschool community class. We took the special need children to the zoo and spent a lot of time doing crafts which they loved. As it was Christmas time we spent the last few days before their school holidays making a Christmas tree! It turned out really well and we then had a small party with cake and presents on the last day. As the kids went on Christmas holidays I spent the last week renovating the schools dining hall. We painted it blue and I hope it was a nice surprise for the kids when they came back.

The afternoon English classes continued throughout the holidays, but we also made time to make a Christmas tree, sing some Christmas carols and make some cards. Christmas is not celebrated in the area of India that I was in, as it is mostly populated by Hindus and Muslims. So Christmas was a real novelty for them.

I had a great time volunteering in India at the Community Aid in Rajasthan project and made friends with the kids and other volunteers. If given the opportunity I would love to go back.