Madgdelena is a weltwarts volunteer from Germany and is to spend the next six months at the Hope House, volunteering.
I have been here for more than a month now. And it's funny, because on the one hand it feels much longer than a month, but on the other hand it feels like my flight to India was just yesterday. So many indescribable beautiful things have happened to me in these 4 weeks.
To be honest, the first few days were worse than expected. Loneliness and overwhelm constantly haunted me. Of course, you try to be prepared for it, but then, really going through it, is something totally different. There are moments when I think back to that time and try to f igure out why I felt the way I did. I wasn’t alone, I was surrounded by people who were doing their best to make me feel at home and who deeply cared about me. But I came to the conclusion that it is normal and totally fine to feel that way.
Now, one month later, I can finally say that The Hope House has become my home. I know the staff, the girls, the food and the neighborhood. I have finally arrived and that is a great feeling. Actually, I hope my time here will not pass too quickly because I am already dreading the day when I will have to say goodbye, maybe forever.
I really enjoy the time here, the memories I make every day. Even only in these few weeks, I have made great experiences. I have witnessed a baby’s first smile, their first attempts at walking and they are growing bigger every day. Every minute I spend here with the girls, we get to know each other better and share our thoughts. I am truly grateful for their open hearts and the trust they have given me every day since we met. It is amazing to be surrounded by such strong, brave and intelligent women.
Besides what I experience at The Hope House, I was also able to visit an Indian hospital and explore the nearest city Vellore. The Sunday walks with Lili through the nature were exciting and also a relief from the honking cars, dusty air and crowds of people.
It's remarkable how quickly I could get used to these new situations. After just a few weeks it is normal for me to eat only with my right hand, to speak English throughout the day and to always take off my shoes when entering a room. The brief gesture, a slight tilt of the head from side to side to signal that things are okay, is now a daily habit. It's fascinating how quickly previously new behaviors can become normal.
All in all, I would say it was the most difficult, but also the most exciting time in my life. I look forward to the next few months and will appreciate every second of this unique time.