Today while Karen, Debbie and Sieg held a press conference and met with the Rotarians, the rest of the team had the opportunity to visit two schools which were part of last year's distribution. The Rotarians
arranged a minibus again and Khuzem accompanied us for the day. We picked up Mr. Pure, District School Commissioner on the way.
The first school was in a small village about two hours outside of Pune. The village welcomed us with drums and dabbing the tilaka mark on our forehead by beautifully dressed young ladies. We joined former bedkit recipients and teachers in a classroom. A lot of the children were dressed in the items received in last year's bed kit. Parents and interested community members were jammed outside looking and listening through the door and windows. Mr. Pure introduced us and we all received the gift of a coconut and a momento. Different members of the team asked the students various questions about the bedkits received last year. A few questions were addressed to the teachers also. It was apparent both the teachers and children greatly
appreciated the items in the bedkit and the items were making a positive difference in their lives.
After a brief lunch we headed out to another school. On the way we visited a large dam giving a great scenic view of the area. The next village had a newer school. The children waiting for us included some kindergarten
students as well as bedkit recipients. After asking the questions, one of the students recited something for us. As it was in the local language, we did not know what it was but it sounded like a version of Little Red Riding Hood by her gestures. Both visits gave us excellent feedback to validate the contents of the bedkit as being good choices for the items. It was a school holiday for at least one of the schools but the kids still appeared to very happy to come out to meet us.
On the way home we stopped at a Hindu bathing ritual site along a river. There were many cement steps along the banks and a lot of people performing the ritual.
Thank you Mr. Pure and Khazem .
The evening was spent with a celebratory dinner hosted by the Rotarians. It brought together all the major volunteers and their families for a great social evening. A wonderful way to end our distribution…and, until we meet again.
Team Pune, 2014