Had I been writing this entry a week ago I'd be cynical. I'd be bitter. Pretty much, I'd want to be hiding under a rock. For those of you who don't know, I'm the President of the 40K Home Foundation (see www.40khome.org), and we've raised over $AUD200,000 in cash and services to build the world's first eco-shelter and community learning centre for a severely underprivileged community in rural Bangalore. When I got here, I was excited. I thought we'd be finished by the end of the year, and that I could start looking into some projects in Africa early next year. But when I met our architect for the first time, that all changed.
The plans were way off what we wanted, and realistically we weren't looking at finishing until next April. And we had a lot more money to raise. And all Mother India's servings of frustrations were building up on me. So in short, I was really feeling cynical about the weight of responsibility resting heavily on my shoulders. I was cynical about the locals- why do I, as an Australian, and a young one at that, have to be here? Why can't somebody else do it? Why am I living in a concrete shell accompanied only by herds of mosquitos all by myself? I was miserable.
But something changed in me late last week. I can't define an exact moment- I think it was when I was reading about the US Presidential Race in the Times of India, and thinking about how exhausting and draining the campaign trail, with all its emotional highs and lows, must be. It kind of dawned on me that I have never even considered not being successful in this project. It's all part of the narrative, I thought to myself. I am learning so much about India, poverty, and myself. I am learning about money, and what it is like to have none of it. And I am executing a project that will accommodate up to 100 kids.
Out of the ashes, this phoenix arose in me. I became excited. I became settled. And now I can genuinely say that I am getting so excited about building, which we believe will start on June 1. We've had 4 sets of plans revised by the architect, and we are so close now- you can see them on the current projects part of www.40khome.org. And we've come up with some pretty cool fundraising ideas. So I'm sorry I wasn't honest with you last week- I should have written about how I was feeling.
Clary is over in Bangalore as President of the 40K Home Foundation, and STA Travel Trust Winner. 40K is building the world's first eco-shelter and community learning centre for 100 severely underprivileged kids. See the latest news at www.40khome.org