Angie's serious blog! (AB)

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January 14th 2013
Published: January 14th 2013EDIT THIS ENTRY

India: to summarise so far, 14.01.13
To say that we have been welcomed is an understatement. In India a guest is like a god. Our hosts can not do enough for us. We have been piled up with presents much too heavy or bulky to carry home. One day last week I was taken to a large private school and asked to address the 1,200 students. That was relatively easy, since I could tell them about the Lake District and explain why we were in India. I was then asked to present prizes to the cutest tiny kids, all about five years old. To my surprise, I was told later that most of the students had gone home and told their parents all about me, even remembering my name. Imagine that in a British school! Later in the day I was taken to a meeting, where everyone had heard about me and milled around as if I was some sort of celebrity. This was particularly true of the youngsters. I felt like a pop star. I was followed all evening by a local journalist, who kept thinking of new questions to ask me. His English was really difficult to understand and my answers had to be translated to him. I haven't seen his article yet. It will be interesting to see how closely it reflects what I said. Our hosts have been at pains not to make their food too spicy, but I think they have offered us every type of southern Indian cuisine. They have been fascinated by Nicola, our chef, and she by them. Emily, as an agriculturalist, has also had a very interesting time, gathering all manner of information about a wide range of crops. As for what local Rotarians do for poor people in India, we have heard a lot. We visited a very well appointed school for the mentally challenged, who are hoping that clubs in District 1190 will partner the Mangalore North club in applying for a matching grant to help them to buy a bus to ferry students across Mangalore to get to school. If you could see the traffic and the public bus services, you would recognise how important this is. We in Britain wouldn't dream of letting such vulnerable children travel by public transport and their families are far too poor to pay for private transport. We have also heard about work in the field of health and helping youngsters with solar lamps for when there are power cuts, which prevent them from doing their homework. There is another difference, British children would just use that as an excuse for not working, but education is a high priority for young people here. Other clubs have shown us a home for special needs adults, funded by them, a cancer help initiative and a play school, where I was asked to hand out sweets. One tiny tot was so overwhelmed that he burst into tears. There are so many other initiatives, too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that we have been impressed by their enthusiasm to help those less fortunate than themselves. To return to traffic, by British standards it is dreadful. It is hard to describe how unconscious they are of anything like traffic lanes. It is just an inexplicable mess. I'll try to take a video of it from the bus window some time. Almost no one wears a seat belt or a crash helmet. I think that's enough for now. Considering this is the IT capital of India, it is most surprising how few homes have Wifi, but I'll email this to you as soon as I can find it. To Tim Keegan and all at Kendal Rotary Club, Len Baseley, David Simpson, Vas (or Vasu, as they would say here), John Alderson and all at the Rotary Club of Upper Eden, Margaret Morrison and all at Kendal Inner Wheel Club Love from Ange


14th January 2013

Make sure you come home..!!
Hi Ange, Sounds like you may be falling in love....!! with India and its people..!! Hope you can manage to leave them there and come home to "sunny" Lancashire and Cumbria (not!!) DG David

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