Before I came to India, I heard the following about how the process of cultural acclimation goes:
1. We eat with our hands??!!
2. :) We eat with our hands!!!
3. We eat with our hands.
I think I'm at step 2: starting to learn a few things about India and excited to share them when I get home.
Today we visited the village of Pipra, where we saw a water filtration system, school and a women's self help group. Pipra used to have an open well and get vomiting and diarrhea illnesses. Now they can pump water from underground into a sand and sieve filtration system. The whole system is solar powered and pumps the clean water to 21 hand pumps around the village.
We met Sharda, the amazing woman who was democratically elected to run the water program. She said women and girls, who are largely responsible for collecting, don't have to spend as much time waiting in line for water. Now, girls have more time to attend school. As we walked around to the water pumps, we saw kids walking to school carrying notebooks, pens and pokemon backpacks.
Later, we reached the school, where 1 headmaster, 7 teachers and 260 primary school students were working outside, during their 11am to 4:30 pm school day. They stopped to show us their workbooks and recite the English alphabet before we headed back to base camp.
Our train was cancelled/delayed (go figure) so we played our own schoolyard game of cricket in the afternoon sun. Now we head to Delhi for the next leg of our adventure.
Until next time, Namaste! (hello and goodbye in hindi),