I woke up with a message from the leader of the organization in which he was telling me where was he going and how amazing was I and he was wishing me a great day until we see each other later in the center with the kids. I didn’t mentioned this before because it is not commendable and is a little strange.
I decided that today I was going on a tour around the city by myself because I had never done it before. I was spending all of my time either with the kids or with the leader of the organization that I was working with and he was the one showing me the city, so this time I wanted to explore Udaipur alone.
I put on some sports-wear and a huge t-shirt so I wouldn’t attract any unwilling attention.
I walked around a lot and at some point, when I reached Chitak (circle in the middle of which there is a big plastic statue of a white horse), I was really tired. At that moment I saw two women who were holding maps and I decide to ask them how can I reach the tourist area. It turn out that they were sisters at around 40s coming from France and they were going in the same direction, so we took a Tuk-tuk (Indian small vehicle) together.
On our way, they told me about their impression from India and what they found interesting while travelling. When I curiously asked which was the place that so far fascinated them the most, they both agreed it was Taj Mahal – the temple of the true love. Here I should mention – my sister was coming in India to visit me in 2 weeks, and after I was done with my work as a volunteer, we were going to travel around India together. I was so happy about this fact and we also planned to visit Taj Mahal – situated in the city of Agra.
I greeted the frech ladies for goodbye after reaching our destination. In the very middle of the tourist area we stopped at the most active zone , and there there was situated an interesting white temple.
Before going inside as I already told you in my previous articles, the tradition is to take off your shoes and leave them ouside the temple. It was very interesting how all the people were praying, sitting on the floor in the temple and there was not even a free inch. I found that they were really religious nation. To be honest – I liked it.
I want to tell you something. Yesterday, while I was having a meal in a cafeteria there were one man who sat next to me and asked me for some general information about the city and the tourist places. Then we talked a little more and when I finished eating he told me that I am very kind and he would like to pay for my lunch. I refused but he continued insisting and I answered that I find him very generous but my father always tell me that «there is no free luch» which is a metaphor of the fact that usually when people are offering to do or pay something for you, they always want something in return-sooner or later. In my country, Bulgaria, we use the phrase «Even the cheese is with money». Which has the same meaning. Then the man who seemed to be quite intelligent said to me that he got my point but he is respectful and added «Even in the church nothing is for free, right?». And this is true. Nowadays many people use even the religion to make some profit out of the people. But when I saw all the people in this temple my perception about the need of religion has changed. All of the people sitting and praying, all of them together, one unit, one comunity… seeing all this I felt really nice. I was happy to be a part of this even though it was only for 20 minutes. Lovely feeling, lovely spirit!
In terms of money or not I like the union that these people have. The unit which is created by the strong believes and respect in their religion. Indians believe in their gods and this affect also their moral. And what is life without a moral? I believe people must be free, must have the opportunity to live their life in the way they want and dream of. But without the moral everybody starts living by their own perception without showing respect for the others. And what I see in my life is that too much freedom is not beneficial and even brings degradation in people. Because when you can do everything it is inherited in our nature to tend to immoral or illegal behaviour which leads in long term to bad consequences. That is why I strongly believe in good education, in good moral and I was really amazed how religious and humble people in India are. I admire this and their culture.
So, after I had the chance to go around the tourist area and to make some bargaining for scarfs with local traders, it was time to go back to the center with the kids.
That day after long time of efforts I made a test to examine the kids on the material they were studying for the past 2 weeks. After the main exam we did and an oral one. I was asking each of the kids about the things they have written on the test. It was a good decision because I found out that many of the kids knew the words in English but didn’t know how to write them or the opposite – they could write them but didn’t know how to pronounce them. There were 3 kids that did the test without making a mistake and I felt so proud of my students and decided to encouraged them with some new pencils and notebooks. But also something disturbing happened. Some of the junior kids knew the words included in the text because they were able to point each of the vegetables in the pictures I was showing them but didn’t know how to write them in Hindi. While I was teaching them I was memorizing also all the words in their language, because I wanted to give them an example and motivation to study harder.
I also made a profile of most of the kids and our learning program so it would be easier for the next volunteer and the kids will be able to continue their studies from where they stopped with me.
I was very proud of their results and it was a fantastic ending of the day and a fantastic reward of all of my efforts until now! I was really in love with my work, in love with India, the Indians and the moral and culture they have and believe in. I was so thankful having the chance and the opportunity to volunteer as an English teacher there! And the kids and their achievements were as a prize, as a big gift of happiness for me! And at the end of that day I figured out the importance of our moral, of our intelligence and efforts while learning or showing or teaching somebody something we already know. Because after all, the intelligence and moral is what differs us from animals. Those things make us incredible human beings having an infinite capacity of doing what we really want and love fully with our heart!