I wish I could explain simply how life is going here, but for some reason India is not so black and white. I am staying in the village with the kids and commuting every day by scooter to get to the office. Last night, a new volunteer from Germany arrived- he's a young bloke only 19 years old, and he's here for one year. He reminded me of how I felt when I arrived for the first time in 2004/05- completely isolated, helpless and powerless. It's quiet out in the village- when the kids have gone to bed and you go back to your room, night time reminds you of that. I reckon it takes a solid month to settle in for the first time. I reckon it takes a solid month to settle in here for the first time.
On a lighter note, I had a typical Indian moment yesterday. We were going to a sponsorship meeting with one of the big IT giants here in Bangalore and stopped at a petrol station. It was a hot day so I wandered over to the fridge to get a Sprite. I pointed to a 375mL can. "How much?"
The girl with long black hair and big black eyes said, "25 Rupees."
I then pointed to a 600mL bottle. "And this one?"
"20 Rupees," she calmly replied.
I just stared. "So the big one is 20 Rupees, and the small one is 25 Rupees?"
The girl nodded. With a puzzled look on my face, I said "I'll take the bottle" and gave her 20 Rupees. She smiled.
I will never understand this place!
To see more about 40K Home's Project in Bangalore: the construction of the world's first eco-home and learning centre for severely underprivileged kids in India, see www.40khome.org.