Thursday, December 31, 2009

City Guide New Delhi Part 8

The early morning drive to the school was quick; unlike the day
before. The school officials had recently purchased a two room house,
planning to convert it into classrooms. I indicated that I would be
willing to help prepare the house for this use. On arriving, I was
given a large paintbrush and a five gallon bucket of whitewash. With
the use of a sturdy bamboo ladder, the first layer of whitewash was
applied. The rooms were very hot. My comrades and I took breaks
outside the house to find refuge in the cool shade. Curious
neighbors gathered to admire the clean white walls. One man from the
neighborhood let me ride his bike to the end of the street and back.

From New Delhi

Later in the day, Uncle Jay arrived in the taxi. After he looked
through the freshly whitewashed rooms, our painting crew joined him
for a two hour journey to the children's home where we all played
soccer until it was time to leave for dinner. Jay's friends had
reserved seats for the evening at a very nice restaurant called Hi
Marchee. We stopped at Rod's house to quickly clean up and change into
our nicest clothes and then bundled into the taxi for the ride
downtown. I sat across the table from a young man named Bennett and
his friend. We talked about soccer and their experiences in school.
The drink we were served was new to me. We had a pitcher of club soda,
a vial of lime juice and a small jar of corn syrup which we mixed
together to make a lime drink.

The next day, a visit to the converted school house we had whitewashed
the day before was first on our agenda.
From New Delhi

Jay's friend was excited to
show us the finished product. We were amazed to find the two rooms
packed with students learning to add numbers and recite Hindi poems!

Leaving the school, we ventured a little further outside the permanent
neighborhood to a collection of structures held together by sticks and
discarded sheet metal. Many of the children in this slum were
obviously very malnourished. Jay's friends wanted to show us a
permanent community center they were building. Although the one-room
center was simply four cinder block walls with a tin roof, it stood
out boldly among the surrounding shacks. This center would be well
used in improving the lives of children and adults, and in giving them
a different outlook on life. One of the workers invited me to take a
tour of the neighborhood on the back of his motorcycle.

From New Delhi

Even though
it had begun to rain very hard, I couldn't refuse the offer. Our ride
took us past a large market where every stall was decorated with
colorful ribbons and advertising. Beyond the market was a large
secondary school. At one point, my motorcycle friend stopped and
chatted with some of his friends. By the time we returned to the
office, I was completely soaked, but glad for the opportunity to
experience this unique part of this city.

Continued in Part 9

No comments: