Andrew Rouse

Wow it’s been a little while since I’ve blogged. This has been so amazing. I know everyone says it’s impossible to describe, but it really is true. I’ll try and do my best (mostly because my mom and dad always get so mad when I don’t give descriptions.) I’ll try and paint a picture for you right now. I am sitting up on the balcony of Nishta, and I just finished lunch. I’m wearing a bright red Indian shirt that I bought in the village last night. The balcony is above a big green pond. There are tons of palm tree’s and old concrete buildings. I can hear the motorcycles and cars flying past, constantly honking their horns.

The scenery and the people are truly beautiful, (picture the jungle book), but the poverty is overwhelming. As I drive to my village everyday I see hundreds of bright green ponds along the side of the road. There are young children harvesting the rice neck deep in the filthy water. Everyday we have the opportunity to walk through different villages and see the homes of the girls from our school. It is unbelievable. We meet these beautiful happy girls in the beginning of the day, and play and laugh with them, and it’s a ton of fun. But then we walk through their villages and see some of their homes, and what they have to live in everyday. It is heart breaking. They have small mud huts that are built along green or brown ponds. There is cow dung stuck on the sides of the huts that they use to burn. I can’t believe these amazing girls have to live in this terrible situation.

The other day when my group was walking through a village we came to a kind of meeting place for the villagers, and there were a ton of people waiting for us. They had us sit on little mats on a porch, and then they all just stared at us. It was a little awkward since none of us can speak Bengali, and they can’t speak English. After a second I decided we should say something, so I pulled out my list of twenty five Bengali phrases and tried to find something appropriate to say. I stood up in front of all the villagers and said in Bengali “Would you like to be my friend?” They immediately started laughing and applauding. I then said, “You will be in my memory forever.” Mairead stood up and said something also. Although our list of phrases was very limited, and I’m sure our accent were awful, the villagers knew what we were saying. I could tell it meant a lot to them. It was a really memorable moment for me.

There is so much I wish I could say but we are all leaving to go back to the school. This has been incredible. I’m really not looking forward to coming home.

I’ll talk to you guys later.

Andrew