20 September 2015

India Round Two - Bethapalli

As my time with GVI came to an end, I travelled back to India to help two friends conduct needs assessment research for a different charity, with the aim to use the correlated results to seek funding for future community based projects. We were situated in the very small rural town Bethapalli, in the central Indian state Andrha Pradesh. We were set up on the top floor of a widow's house and we ate, slept (with no mattresses), washed, cooked and worked in one room. We even adopted the cutest kitten ever, Kenny, after it was dumped on us one morning.

Bethapalli's population is predominately made up of people belonging to India's lowest castes, with the majority reliant on farm work for income, something that was very troubling as the area is prone to droughts. After a week of investigating the local area and organising translators to answer our standard of living questionnaire, we were finally in a position to carry out our research. Just as we began surveying more households we unfortunately ran into further complications with the police which led to our project being shut down. It is a great shame we had to leave as the community was so inviting and embracing despite their extremely poor living conditions. 

Nevertheless, we used this opportunity to do some travelling round India with our first stop being Hampi. 

Hampi was an incredible place, a world heritage site, brimming with clusters of ruins, dating back to the 15th century. What made Hampi so unique was that there was almost now restrictions on where you could and could not go. We were able to explore all of the ruins at our own leisure and climb the mountainous, rocky terrain to our hearts content, which we did for a number of hours.
After a twelve hour bus ride and before my flight home we also visited the very touristy state Goa. I found Goa to be a very strange place as I had never really seen India as a holiday destination before and to me it felt very out of place compared to the rest of places I had visited in India. Nonetheless, there were worst ways I could have finished off my travels but sipping a beer sat facing the sea wasn't one of them.

This was the unfortunate abrupt ending to my volunteering journey and already after being home for just over a day post travelling blues have set in. My plan now is to earn some money before I begin travelling again at the beginning of next year.

Once again thank you to whoever reads my blogs and has done throughout my travels, fingers crossed it won't be too long till my next journey begins.

Luke T.

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