On our first day we drove from Delhi to Jaipur. The roads are amazingly scary but amazing none the less! When driving, on one side you see slums, and on the other side, new flats. It’s was just so surreal.
Although it is something so completely different and something I’m not used too, I’m loving it! We get stared at a lot. It’s strange to have so many people waving at us all the time just because we’re white. This was the first day so I’d imagine we’ll get used to it.
Following this we all got to try on beautiful saris. It’s like when your younger trying on a princess dress (Dad, don’t pretend you didn’t). We all felt like a million dollars.
Lastly we got henna to go with our saris, it was done by the lovely women who is in charge of our hostel (Briya). She did all of ours in such detailed patterns.
Jaipur is incredible, hectic and colourful. I feel so much more comfortable in India in than I ever thought I would. We have managed to escape illness so far so that’s probably why. We went to the Amber Palace and rode an Elephant. I called mine Nelly. The last few days we were in the desert, we rode camels there and back. I called mine Camel ‘toe’. Following that we stayed at a lovely camp that had a camp fire and T-pee tents to sleep in. The guys cooked us a delicious meal. You could see the stars so clearly is was crazy, Lots of hysterical laughs were had.
On our drive back we saw some kids going to school. It was so sad because the school was mixed and there were hardly any girls. It’s tragic because many of the girls were left at home to help their mothers around the house. Their jobs extended to things such as getting water for their family etc. It was so sad to see, many of them didn’t have shoes either.
So far we have done 2 days volunteer work at a school I’m Jaipur (about an hour away). The village is called the Elephant Village, it’s a compound where only Muslim families are allowed to live. The girls are never allowed to leave the compound because the families feel the world is too dangerous for them. They can only ever leave if they get married. All the children are so uneducated, they’ve only started the school for 2 weeks now. The kids are very sweet and so happy to see us! They use us like climbing frames to it is exhausting!
On the weekend we ended up going to a village for international women’s day. It was genuinely horrible, we asked the women what there dreams were and some of them were saying that there was no point in even having a dream because they knew they wouldn’t be able to accomplish it. A few of the women got married at 13, first kid at 15 and 10 years later they now have 5 kids. They live between 2 rooms probably only double the size of the office!
The girls here need to be taught from an early age that they should have a career and accomplish things they want to accomplish before they get tied down and baby making. This weekend was one that I just ant get my head around because it is so different! It is so strange and sad to see the difference between the support I had throughout my education and the encouragement I was given to succeed in what I want to do compared to how these children do!