On Monday the 23rd of October, Magdalena and I went on our first invitation. Actually, we were not directly invited, but we joined July on her invitation. July volunteered in 2015/2016 for 9 months and is now here for a one-week visit. She is connected to another children’s home, the Shalom Foundation. This is where we were all invited to yesterday.
So Magdalena and I were putting on our “Kurtis” for the first time and got picked up at 3pm. On the way there, we got to know, that to date no children lived in the Shalom Foundation any more. Unfortunately, the boy's home had to be closed because the guidelines and rules of the government were too strict to be followed. But the “good” thing about the Shalom Foundation is that the building is still not empty. At the moment it is a boys nursery school. The boys and staff who supports them live there together.
After arriving we were warmly welcomed and got a house tour. It is a beautiful house. A tree that grows in the middle of the building over two floors is the main attraction there. In the roof is a hole - so it really just rains into the house.
After drinking tea and eating snacks, we visited the study centre that is only 1 year old. The idea is to create a space where young people can learn and study after school under surveillance and with help of a teacher. The boys in the Shalom Foundation also learn gardening. And what a great garden it was! I was very impressed. It felt like wandering through a botanical garden in Europe that you would have to pay entrance for.
But that was only the beginning: There were rice fields, palms and several fruit trees that I did not even know they existed. Mango, guaves, custard apples, mandarine oranges, bananas, jackfruits, lady fingers were only a few of them. The highlight was the sunset at this exact time, so we were not only able to see the beautiful green landscape, but also the sky in all imaginable colours. Truly a magical place!
After this wonderful experience, the children welcomed us with a dance and a flower bouquet, which was really fulfilling. I experienced the same heartly welcome and warm and friendly atmosphere that I knew from the Hope House. It seems to be in the nature of the Indians to treat their guests like kings and queens. This wonderful invitation finished with a very delicious dinner. We had Maggie’s and my favourite dish: chapathi :) and dahl. After dinner it was time to say goodbye.
So, thank you, Shalom organisation for this unforgettable day! Thank you to all the people out there who give so much to help others! Thank you, July, for bringing us to this wonderful place! Thank you, India, for your beautiful and fascinating character :)