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Daily life at the Hope House

This blogpost is written by one of our German volunteers

After my last blog-entry about my vacation I want to create a small contrast. Sure, a holiday is nice, but let’s stay realistic, I don’t spend all days in Kerala on the beach or in Benny’s Café.

I will fill you in, in my daily life, activities and all the time I spend with the children!

To display my daily activities I will guide you through the day based on one day as an example. Today is Tuesday the 29th of November 2022.

I usually wake up at 7:30. Breakfast itself starts at 7:30 and the children would normally finish around 8 o’ clock. In the rushed mornings, when all the girls are getting ready for school, we (: the volunteers) tend to come and eat at 8 am, as we like to start the day calm and slow and take our own time for breakfast. So we basically start eating only when the “rush-hour” of the school-girls having breakfast is over. The graduated girls, who are not in a rush before getting to school join us.

We start working at 10 am. As the older girls are attending school, we take care of the small children. Surya, Swetha, Sathya, Clara, Lisa and I sing and dance to songs – for example “the days of the week” or “the months of the year” songs – we paint and draw, play games or learn the alphabet and numbers up to 10. It is really fascinating to see small achievements. Some of them have learned the alphabet after one month of training! Just recently we began to do little craft work – projects with them, like painting Christmas stars and making pop-up gift cards.

At 1 pm everyone eats lunch. Today we enjoyed delicious brinjal curry, which Priya cooked for us. After the lunch-time we take a break, as the children are also taking an afternoon nap.

Later on we start office work. I write articles, like this one here;) Moreover I start fundraising campaigns for my volunteer service or I spread information’s and campaigns for “The Hope House” to my friends and family in Germany. Just a few days ago I finished editing my first YouTube video for the Hope House channel. Check it out!

As the school-girls come home at 5 to 6 pm, some of them like to type mails and using a computer with my assistance. Some also like to look up on job options and possible career paths that they are interested in. Its nice to give them more perspective and a greater overview on what is possible.

We finish work at 6 pm and eat dinner at 8 o’ clock. In the evenings, I take time for myself and started developing a slow evening routine, by reading, listening to music and catching up with my friends from Germany or abroad.

What I definitely had to learn (maybe I am still in the prosses of learning it), is to maintain a healthy work-life-balance. As we work and live in the same building, we also eat three times a day with the girls and spend time with except from our working hours.

I am spoiled to be used to longer weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and more holidays in Germany. At “The Hope House” we work 6 days a week. I remember that as I was settling in at the Hope House I felt like I was overworking myself. I was tired a lot and sometimes I felt like I had a lack of motivation. I came to change my habits a bit and decided to take some time for myself. Before I came to India in September I just went to high school. I have basically no previous work experience. So far, I am learning every day, how to manage my work-life and meanwhile still focus on my free time, therefore also my mental health.

- Yours Zoe

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