Friday Oct 24th: Final Thoughts And A Bittersweet Goodbye October 24, 2014

Decorated elephant India

Posted in on October 24, 2014

With Bob feeling under the weather and out for the count with a head cold the rest of us set off to sightsee the Chittoorgarh Fort. It is located a few kilometers south of Bhilwara and is the largest fort in India. It was once the capital of Mewar and is now a World Heritage Site. It is definitely quite grand and a site to behold. 
We gathered once again for dinner in the palace courtyard. The mood was joyful but certainly tinged with a hint of sadness as it is our final dinner at the palace and amongst our new friends. The princess had a beautiful cake brought in to celebrate the final day of Diwali and some final rounds of fire crackers were lit off. 

Given that it’s our final day together as a DWC group we decided to leave you with some parting reflections from each of us. Tomorrow we’re off to Delhi.

It is a bitter sweet morning excited to see Delhi but sad to leave my new friends and family. These past weeks were truly eye-opening. The people we were here to help, unknowingly, were helping me find myself. I am leaving with a better sense of family, the true meaning of friendship and giving of oneself without expecting anything in return. I am truly blessed to have also met 5 wonderful team mates who will be my friends forever. Looking forward to our next adventure with DWC.

Coming to India has been my first visit to a developing country. It has been an amazing experience to be involved in a project such as this. As a part of the program we have been able to immerse ourselves into the local culture while contributing to something that will benefit a community. While the work has been challenging, it has provided us with a unique insight into the daily lives of the villagers. Despite the additional hardships that they face, they have all warmly embraced us and allowed us all to feel welcome. It is an experience that I shall never forget and I am glad to have shared it with such supportive, like-minded people. I shall leave India with many new friends from across the globe.

I could not have asked for a better team and a better project. A huge thanks to Bob for taking the lead in my absence the first week and thank you Anya for the daily communications and updates. It was a challenge to lead from home but it worked out just fine, all because of the wonderful team. After arriving to the project site it was clear how big of an impact the dam will have on the villages in the area. Our host partner did a fantastic job in organizing the project and what a pleasure to work side by side with the locals. It amazes me how strong both the men and women are and could feel the excitement among the villagers. They clearly understand the long term benefit from all the work.

I can’t say enough about our team. So much to appreciate from all the hard work to being flexible, respectful and caring. I hope I get to travel and experience new places with each of the team members again.

My biggest lesson: No matter where you come from, country, religion or culture, anything can be accomplished as a common community.

This was my first DWC experience and first time in India. It has been a great experience seeing how our efforts will impact the community. I felt warmly welcomed and enjoyed the time with the villagers with whom we were building. We worked hard but still had time to visit with the local villagers and learn about their daily lives. I have really enjoyed getting to know the other volunteers and forming connections with them. I would encourage others to participate in an experience such as this.

This has been an awesome experience, it has lived up to and surpassed all my expectations. It always surprises me the commonality of the people we meet on DWC trips, we all want a better life for ourselves and the generation that follows us. The key word is always sustainability. In our small way we are adding to the quality of life of those not as fortunate as we. It’s never too late to get involved.

Although this was my second volunteer opportunity with DWC the experience was no less profound. To be able to work cooperatively alongside and bond with people despite language barriers and cultural differences is truly extraordinary. I have no doubt that the work we have done will make a significant and positive impact for the villagers of Kosafala. I leave this trip with an incredible sense of gratitude and a love for India and the people we’ve bonded with. It has truly been an experience of a lifetime.

DWC Team

Udaipur, India: October 2014

Posted in on October 24, 2014