In March 2008 some of the sponsors from the sponsorship programme took the wedding of our executive board member Alexander as a chance to visit their sponsored children during a journey to Jharkhand.
Here some impressions from the travel report from Anke Keller (translated into English by Roman Bansen):
On the way to Chaibasa there is wonderful natural countryside to marvel about. The roads are partly in very bad condition and we were shaken thoroughly until we reached our campus in Chaibasa.
Clerks from the campus greet us heartily. We are served tea and a small snack. The welcome ceremony was really moving then. Many women and children came to greet us. Now we are here in Chaibasa, the place of which we have already heard so much. Never, in all my life, we had imagined to ever come to this place. And just now it has happened, we already think about the meeting with our sponsored children. Everything here reminds us a bit of a summer camp from our childhood. The huge premises, surrounded by little huts and in the middle a large square on which the boys are playing cricket right now. The campus is located at a little distance from the road. Here even the typical India noise is missing.
The sponsored children have just arrived and have gathered on the compound. We went out to them and have greeted all of them heartily, after the initial shyness was overcome. As it is quite hot outside on the school compound, we go into the building, where we have already prepared some delights for the children. We start to introduce us. As we want to know with whom we are dealing, the children did also introduce themselves and talked about their favourite subjects in school. They don’t even touch the candies, that we have put there specifically for them. The children are really very reserved and shy. Basti then asked them to take something from the plates. Only then they started eating. Afterwards we had the possibility to talk to the children individually. Our translator was with us after all.
In the end we used the time to take some pictures with the children. We had never dreamed, that one day we would embrace our sponsored children. Perfectly wonderful. Time has been flying and now it is time for the children, to set out for their long way home. We have to say good bye and can hardly keep our eyes from filling with tears. A very touching feeling.
One more thing seems worthy of mentioning to us: the often by India travelers bemoaned persistent begging, we encountered it only at the tourist attractions. In the small villages no one was begging. We have seen a lot and even more we have not seen. But we have experienced much from the “normal” India: life in rural environments, small towns and impressive landscapes. India is a fascinating country. It was good to be here. And maybe it was not the last time, as have not yet experienced all facets.