Checking in with Vicky McMahon in India

Hi Vicky, you have been in India for a few weeks now, how are you getting on? What are you doing on your project? Any tips for people thinking of Volunteering in India?

I am doing 3 weeks in Palampur. This is my second week in and so far.I really like it! It is very hot and I have been told that it is not usually this hot (36 degrees) it is usually cooler and wetter. But a lot better than New Delhi which was 47 degrees for the week that I was there! The house is very big and there are 4 people to a room. I have my own room as I was the only volunteer here for the first week. Another girl has come this week and she is across the hall.

The day starts at 8am for breakfast then at 9 to 9.30am we have a lesson planning meeting.  At 9.30am we leave the house to go the project.  The projects are a day care with young children, the second project is a 3rd class children’s school and the third project is a school for all ages for people with learning disabilities.  We finish at 12.30pm and go back to the house for lunch then depending on when you arrive you could have Hindi language lessons, cooking class etc.  At 3-3.30pm you have another lesson planning meeting for the girl’s English class to the house and dinner is at 7pm.  Then you are free to rest.

I have chosen to work in the school for disabilities in the morning and the girl’s English class in the afternoon. I have been assigned a boy of 14 to do maths and English with. He is really bright and loves maths!! We do study for an hour and then the whole school (about 32 students) comes up to the play area to dance, do yoga or play musical chairs. It is a really lovely school to work in and the kids are so sweet and always smiling! In the English class in the afternoon it has been split into two groups – junior and senior. I have been given the senior girls and we do writing and reading together for about 45 minutes and then the last 15 minutes they play outside.

The house is really nice and the food is lovely. The staff are really nice too and helpful! The rooms are spacious and there is wifi in the building and a television with satellite on the top floor. There are bucket showers which you get used to very quickly! There are also excursions you can go on and a staff member accompanies you but if you wanted on a free weekend you can do your own thing.

The town itself is lovely, quite traditional and it is literally at bottom of the mountains which are beautiful! The people are very nice
and friendly. There are markets which you can visit.

TIPS!!! Mosquitoes are starting to come out now with the heat so make
sure and bring some insect repellent! It is very sunny and warm so
bring sunglasses, sun cream and short sleeves! The clothing is quite
strict - short sleeves (not too low in front of top) and long trousers
for girls and similar for boys! Palampar is very high up as well so no
harm bringing some altitude sickness tablets just in case! And if you
are a smoker you can be fined up to 500 rupees if you are caught in
the town by the police so you must be a secret smoker! There are no
fans or aircon either just to say! But all in all so far so good!
Definitely an experience if anything in Palampur!! :o)


To Volunteer like Vicky, click here to find more information or chat to Cliona!