Volunteers Speak

Have a look at various feedback we gathered from those who have been a part of Mandore Project initiatives.

Latest Feedback

Rockina

rockina 1rockina 2rockina 3I'm honored to have attended the program!
First of all I have to thank everybody who made my stay just a wonderful time. To you for letting me join the program and for our talks in the evening about just anything I was interested in, the festivals ,culture and the evelopment in the Indian school system and culture.
Thank you Raj for taking so good care of me and to answer all my questions aswell as for the help. And finally Hem for driving me to the school and helping me translating within the class. Thank you!

The program is awesome, especially if you have never experienced something similar before and want to give it a try. I actually never teached kids english before, so I was a bit anxious because of this. Also because you don't have a teacher on your side or any plan you have to follow. So it's up to you what you teach and what you do with the kids.
But I figured out that this is just the right way, like this you can really choose your style and your topic you want to teach them and adjust everything to their speed and level. Quite fast you will get what the kids level is and whom you have to help a bit more. What would be helpful would be a logbook where you can see what the kids already learned, what you can maybe repeat and what you don't have to teach them again. But I get why it would be quite hard to do this, since the program does not just help one school or class and changes the schools for volunteers from time to time. Anyways for me it wasn't a problem to choose the topics and the kids are so motivated and eager to learn that you can try basically anything on a basic english level that you want to.
I just teached 2 hours a day, but I have to say this is enough time to do a bunch of exercises and games and also the kids get a bit nervous after 2 hours, so even if I expected to stay there longer this was the perfect amount of time.

I really enjoyed my time at the school, with the kids who are so lovely as well as at the Mandore Guesthouse which is just such a lovely quite and relaxing place and really luxurious.
Everybody really took care of me, even when I got sick. Surendra and his family are just so welcoming and lovely people that you will feel like home.

Again big thanks to the Mandore Project and everybody attending!
Best
Rockina

Rockina Sent : Mon, March 3, 2018 3:00 am

Lois Hewitt

Lois lewitt Hi Surendra,
" As my time at Mandore Project draws to a close I would like to invite others to come and continue this rewarding work. As I am trained to teach adults teaching ESL to children was something new. They were so willing I was able to sense what they needed, and with the help of a few teaching aids my lesson plans came to me easily after the first week. Most of all we had fun and they laughed with me! It was encouraging to see them lose their shyness and speak up. May this work continue well into the future."

Lois Hewitt Sent : Fri, January 5, 2018 1:00 am

Harriet Taylor

Harriet TaylorDear Surendra
Firstly, I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your email – I really don’t know where time has gone in the last 3 weeks!
Thanks you so much for a wonderful stay with you and your family at Mandore, it really was a magical experience and one I shall never forget. I feel we made a big difference at the school and one that will show its effect for many years to come.
All of the staff at Mandore were wonderful to us and so helpful. It truly felt a home from home.
Many thanks once again, I hope to return to Mandore one day in the future.

Best wishes
Harriet

Harriet Taylor Sent : Fri, January 3, 2018 1:00 am

Rasteen

rusteenDear Surendra,
Hello!
It was really my pleasure, thank you for the great once in a
lifetime opportunity to engage with the local children. I
miss them very much and I hope they continue to learn and
recieve further education from another teacher.
Is this likely to happen?
Best wishes and luck for the rest of your project
Rasteen

Rasteen Sent : Fri, January 7, 2018 5:00 am

Louise Dunne

Dear Surendra,

I have just finished two weeks volunteering at the Mandore School Project and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I was collected from the airport and taken to Surendra’s office in Jodhpur to meet Surendra. He was so welcoming and explained what he hoped I would be doing in the following fortnight. I felt instantly very comfortable with Surendra and consequently became even more excited by what the next two weeks were going to involve. I was then taken to Mandore Guest House where I was showed to what would be my room for the next fortnight and I loved it!! Lots of space, a very clean bedroom and bathroom set in a beautiful idyllic garden with lots of friendly people around the place.louise serving mid day meals

Due to the weather (it was between 40 – 45 degrees) school started at 8.30am and finished by 12 noon. I would get up at 7.15am to get ready for school and have half an hour to eat a leisurely breakfast of fruit, toast, pancakes and tea with Anu who would insist on preparing everything for me!! Plenty to last me until lunch J The drive to school would take about half an hour as it was 10 km outside of Mandore in the rural part of Jodhpur. Sanjay, Surendra’s son, accompanied me to school to help with teaching and to translate during my classes. He was a fantastic support and I appreciated having someone there to teach me about the culture and way of life of the village.

The children were an absolute delight. They were so excited to have a new teacher/volunteer at the school. I designed several worksheets that we spent time completing together. We covered areas such as basic conversation, the weather, shapes, body parts, the time, musical instruments, colours, fruits, animals and many other topics.

I spent most of my time with the older children who were aged between 9 and 14 years but for 3 days these classes had exams so I spent time with the younger children who were aged between 4 and 8 years. Here I taught the alphabet, numbers (counting to 100) and I was also taught to count to ten in Hindi!! The children did much better than I did!!!

As well as using small tests I would put together and then photocopy for each child, I played games such as bingo using all the different colours the children had learnt or the different types of weather. There was a lot of picture drawing and labeling, for example, the children were asked to draw a body and then label the different parts. We also sang songs such as ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ and rhymes such as ‘twinkle twinkle little star’.louise laring with student

The Government provides a meal per day for the students so at 9.30am each morning all the children would sit together and eat chapatti and Dahl or some rice. I had the opportunity to help distribute the food with the older children which was good fun.

As well as having a fantastic time at the school, Sanjay also took me around the village to meet some of the families and to witness first hand the different traditions of the village. We sat with a family and had some tasty chai before heading back to school to begin the first morning’s lessons.

The teachers were very friendly and so grateful to me for spending some time at their school but in the end it was me who was thanking them for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience at their school. I was fortunate enough to have both a welcoming and leaving ceremony with the teachers and all the children and I was very sad to say goodbye after the two weeks was up.

It is difficult for me to put across in words how much I have enjoyed this experience but what I can say is that if you are considering volunteering for even a short period of time it is makes a huge difference to the children of Mandore and believe me you will end up not wanting to leave.

Louise Dunne

Louise Dunne Sent : Friday, 23 April, 2010, 8:21 PM

Andrew and Charlotte Foster

Dear Surendra,

I know we haven't quite left yet, but we just want to say thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and that of your staff at the guesthouse. We have had an excellent time and our experiences at the school volunteering have been truly memorable. Hopefully the info below and attached in word format will be of use. Also, lots of pictures copied to the computer in the office

Thanks
Andrew and Charlotte

It brought me so much joy teaching yoga in the schools. Thank you for the opportunity. Although my intent working on the Mandore project was to give, I feel like I received so much interacting with the kids and the people from the villages. They are such happy, joyous, and gracious people. I will treasure for a long time seeing the kids’ big grins and hearing their squeals of joy as they practiced yoga.

During my time volunteering I spent most of it painting in the classroom, where I copied country maps on to the walls and painted them, including taking the bold step of painting India proudly above one of the blackboards! I also painted a mountain and volcano scene as I am a keen geographer, along with colourful numbers, alphabet and patterns around the blackboards. I finished with a scene depicting various animals we have seen in India as well as village life. The children would often come in after morning lessons and tell me my painting was “beautiful”; I hope they meant it! They certainly enjoyed reading out the English words that accompanied the paintings and also telling me proudly the different colours I had used which they had learnt from Charlotte.

At the end of each morning, there was always time to play with the children before we headed back to the guesthouse. The first few days we played some fun new games with all of the children, then after about a week, the boys were keen to play cricket with me. This was great fun and a good way for us to talk in English together to help them learn as well as for me to be taught some Hindi. Games were always very competitive and the only thing I lacked was enough local language to be able to diffuse tense situations if there was not another teacher around.

I also spent several days helping construct a small garden for the school which the children can take pride in caring for and enjoying in the future. One morning I cleared the whole garden of litter, which ranged from drink cartons to crisp packets and tobacco packets. I got the impression that this was found to be quite amusing as the children and in fact most people in India, do not seem to see litter as a big problem and will just drop packets or throw them out of sight. I think it would be valuable for future generations of India to understand how to be more careful with rubbish and the impact it can have on the environment; perhaps this is something which can be taught at the school? I understand it is a larger problem, but a little difference and change in attitude can go a long way.

During my time on the volunteering project I was made to feel very welcome, not just by the school and the local community, but also at the Mandore Guesthouse where we stayed. My wife and I were treated as part of the family and therefore we were quickly able to relax and enjoy our time here. There was never any pressure placed on us and it was always easy to turn to someone to ask for advice or an extra pancake at breakfast!

Andrew and Charlotte Foster Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009 4:58 AM

Alex And Lona Norton

Dear Surendra,

We have recently spent two weeks participating in a volunteer program run by Mr Surendra Gehlot of the Mandore Guesthouse. The program involved teaching English to children aged between eight and eleven, in a school around twenty minutes' drive from the Guesthouse.

Each weekday at around 10am we would be driven to the school by one of the Gehlot family or a guesthouse employee. This would normally be Surendra's son Sanjay. We would then stay at the school for around three hours, supervised by the person who had driven us. We endeavoured to cover basic English topics such as the weather, colours, shapes, etc. We prepared worksheets and, in breaks, played with the children outside.

We have found all of the aspects of the volunteer program (and our stay at the guesthouse) highly enjoyable. The accommodation and food were delightful. Moreover, all members of the family, and employees of the guesthouse, were most welcoming. Surendra's son Sanjay was particularly helpful in all that we did. He and his family were eager to help arrange any additional resources we required for teaching. He also showed us the village that was the childrens' home, in order to better understand their background.

We were free to spend the rest of our time in whatever manner we chose; and the family was most helpful in recommending and even organizing other activities. These included being taught cooking in the kitchen and going on a weekend trip to Ranthambhore National Park.

Thank you so much,
Alex and Iona

Alex And Lona Norton Sent : Fri, January 13, 2012 5:46 am

Anna & Sarah Macwilliamss

Professions :
Anna : Background is forestry and I now work in public land management, with a focus on encouraging sustainable tourism and recreation on public land. This involves policy development and managing more specific projects to grow tourism in rural areas to generate income for communities.

Sarah : Background in psychology and counseling and I now work in support work for people who have many issues which prevent them from working (e.g. mental health, drug + alcohol addiction, family relationship breakdowns).
The Project Work :Length of working day and variety and number of activities was perfect.
It was a fabulous and authority insight into village life, and it was great to build something and then see it in use.We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the community for the week, and learning about their way of life and culture.

anna sarah (1) anna sarah (2) anna sarah (3)

Overall : We had a wonderful week, we learned a lot about Rajasthani culture and we would highly recommend the program and the guesthouse to other travelers. Surendra’s knowledge and connections within the community ensured that we felt comfortable and welcome in the village. This is a credit to him and the work of his organization.

Contact me at: Anna :- anna_macwilliams@yahoo.com.au , Sarah :- sarahladak@hotmail.com

Anna & Sarah Macwilliams Sent : 2nd June- 9th June 2006

Anna Igler And Nicholas Mantini, USA

Education : Anna received her Bachelor’s of Science in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin Madison and has just finished her first year of medical school at the UW Madison Medical School. Nicholas received Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion at Davidson College and has just finished his first year of medical school at University of Washington.

Comments : Before we began our volunteer project we had some skepticism about the transparency of project operations. However, Surendra cast aside our doubt immediately. He relentlessly spoke of his grassroots approach to working in villages. After visiting the village on the first day the interaction between Surendra and the village leaders demonstrated a strongly forged trust. The villager’s confidence in his work reflected a storied history between the Marwar project and vishnoi villages. His connection to the villages allowed us to relate to the people frankly.anna igler

The Project Work : We helped paint the village temple and meeting hall, built stoves and taught the local school children. Additionally, we both attend medical school and Surendra arranged for us to shadow a primary care physician and general surgeon in a government hospital. He also arranged for us to observe the operations in a private hospital so we could contrast and compare the public and private medical system. Surendra was flexible and pursued activities that suited our interests.

The accommodations were comfortable, clean and tastefully decorated. The friendly staff catered to our requests even before we made them. All in all, this experience added a perspective to how we understand India that would have been lost on us otherwise. It was informative to accompany a well organized and efficient NGO. In our opinion, this is a rare find in the developing world.

Anna Igler And Nicholas Mantini, USA Sent : From Oneida & Davidsonville

Heather Mollart

hellow!!,

Well I´m now safely arrived in Ecuador and looking forward to starting teaching early next week. But I had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed the village project and that I'm missing India and all you guys terribly!!

The way you run the project was just wonderful. I felt so welcome both at the guesthouse by your family, and by the people in the village. It was such an incredible experience to work amongst these wonderful people and kids for the month. I especially enjoyed getting to know the daily workings of life in the village.

heather mollart modified Stove by volunteerMy memories of India shall stay with me forever as such a beautiful and fascinating place. I will definately return when I next get the chance. In the meantime, as I mentioned before, please feel free to give my contact details to anyone enquiring about the project as I shall be happy to sing your praises!! And once I am settled back in England, I will endevour to find ways to promote Mandore Village Project.

with much love
Heather Mollart

Heather Mollart Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 12:01 AM

Cordens Bruno

cordens bruno welcome by villegersNous avions sejourne a Mandore Guesthouse durant l'ete 1996 et avions apprecie de partager la vie de famille de Surendra. Maintenant que, profitant de notre retraite, nous voyageons tout l'hiver au soleil, nous sommes revenus a Mandore et avons retrouve le meme accueil avec une famille agrandie, enfants maries et petits-enfants en prime. Nous avions conserve un excellent souvenir d'une journee safari-photos et visite de fermes vishnoi. Surendra y soignait les malades gratuitement.Nous lui avons donc apporte des medicaments pour ses proteges. Cette annee, grace a son association,nous avons

pu aider personnellement un peu ces villageois, financierement et manuellement,en construisant des foyers en beton avec evacuation des fumees pour preserver les yeux et les poumons des femmes.Ceux-ci leur servent a cuire leur nourriture . Nous avons partage ces moments de travail avec la famille mais aussi un groupe de jeunes Anglais qui construisaient des tables et des bancs pour une ecole ( les eleves etaient assis par terre); ils ont peint les batiments exterieurs et interieurs, ils ont installe l'electricite, ce qui va permettre aux eleves de beneficier de ventilos et d'eclairage ; ils ont carrele une douche et construit une cuisine sous abri , le tout finance par une association anglaise.cordens bruno making stove by volunteer

Notre projet est de revenir l'an prochain pour installer un meme type d'ecole , dans un autre village dans le besoin, avec l'aide financiere et materielle d'amis et d'associations belges. L'ideal serait un petit de retraites comme nous qui voudraient s'investir et se sentir utiles

Ces vacances d'hiver auront ete differentes, ouvertes sur une autre maniere de voyager et de permettre des contacts avec d'autres populations.Nous esperons continuer dans ce sens dans les annees a venir. Merci a Surendra et sa famille, merci a tout le village vishnoi qui nous a tres bien recu, de nous avoir permis cette experience et a tres bientot.

Contact me at: bruno_cordens@yahoo.fr

Cordens Bruno Sent : Thursday, December 15, 2005 6:14 PM

Francessca Family : Isabel, Sophie and Anna

Dear Surendra,

Being at the Mandore was a bit like stepping out of the crazy madness of the Indian streets: the tuk-tuks and the cows and the people staring, and being in a much calmer place. Unlike the other places we stayed, it still felt like being in India. It was a very easy place to be in - there was lots of space and it felt as though we fitted in. One of the loveliest moments of the stay there was when Vijay heard that I had bought a sari and insisted on showing me how to wear it. Once it was on, she took one look at me, and then peeled the bindi off her head and stuck it onto mine.

While I was in India I noticed lots of things about the people - black belts on babies, different coloured turbans, eyeliner on children, and at the Mandore I was able to ask what it all meant. Perhaps the loveliest afternoon I spent at the school was on the second day when I helped teach the older children some English, drawing a person onto the chalkboard and then pointing at the hands and them all shouting 'Hand'. Teaching the younger children was also lovely: the language barrier didn't stop us being able to make a real connection with the children as we played clapping, stamping, shouting games.

The henna that the school arranged to have painted onto my arm hasn't faded yet, and neither has the feeling of being made so welcome at the school, and at the Mandore and of having made a real connection with some people in India.

Isabel, 16

Staying at the Mandore was one of my favourite bits of my holiday in India. When my parents first told me we were going to be staying for six days in one place, i honestly didn't know what to expect and whether or not i would like it. However, from the second we arrived we were made to feel so welcome, it was lovely.It was unlike any other place I had ever stayed in on holiday. The first thing we were told when we first arrived was that we were to treat it as home, and by the end of our stay we really did. I felt that I really could ask anything I wanted to know, and I learned so much more about India than anywhere else I had been in and I felt comfortable talking to everyone.

Helping at the school was just a lovely thing to do, as the children and teachers were so grateful for absolutely everything you do. It was nice to actually talk to real Indian people and not just see them as a tourist. I really enjoyed the whole experience and hope we can stay in touch with both the school, and guest house.

Anna,13

In our first week of holiday in india we toured around rajasthan staying in hotels. lovely as it was, i didn't truly feel that we had arrived in india until we got to the mandore. i was a bit scared when we first arrived because i knew that even if it was awful, we'd be there for 6 days. luckily it was completely lovely and the best possible place to stay for a week. i have never stayed anywhere like it and as soon as we got there i knew it would be very different from the hotels we'd visited. we all just felt completely at home, with the people and the accomodation. we were made to feel so welcome by every one who worked there.

we spent each morning helping at a local school and the welcome we got there was just as great as the one at the mandore. we went to an independance day celebration at a different school on our first day and we were greeted with beautiful flower garlands and bindis. they made us feel so welcome and as if we were a part of there community even though we couln't speak their language. volenteering at the school was really fun as we got to help teach the children english as well as paint on the classroom walls. i loved being with the children and i hope our painting helps them to learn english.

i met a lot of amazing people at the mandore and i would definately reccomend going there.

Sophie,13

Isabel, Sophie and Anna Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 8:18 PM

Gemma Cribbin And Tom

Hi Surendra,

tomFirstly, we would like to say thank you for the two weeks we had at Mandore - it was a superb experience and one we feel we will never forget, with everything about it being superb.

We felt that the whole volunteering side of our stay was very rewarding and we wish we could have done more with the children over the two weeks we were there and felt perhaps could have engaged more with the village as a whole.
We are just in the process of emailing the Rough Guide to recommend the Guest House and the volunteering programme. Please give our love to Sanjay and everybody else.

Regards,

Gemma and Tom

Gemma Cribbin And Tom Sent : Friday, October 21, 2011 5:11 PM

Jessica Amsellem And Josh

Greetings !

I would like to thank you for providing such a great experience for both Josh and I, we both really miss the lovely guest house and the amazing people and the food! I truely hope that next year I will be able to return again Below I have written out what you requested, about my experience and time during the volunteer program All the best and please give mine and josh's love to everyone there - especially Annu. Prateek took some nice photos at the school, he said he would send them to me, please may you pass on my email address so he can send them.
My experience – The volunteer program

jessica teaching childrensThe two week volunteer program that I participated in was an amazing experience, both as a volunteer and as a teacher. I found teaching English in the village school to be very challenging, mainly because of the language barrier but also due to resources at the school being limited. It was essential to be creative, lively and dynamic within the classroom in order to achieve maximum results. By the end of the two weeks, the progress of the children was visible both academically and in terms of self confidence. Even though I came to teach I feel that I actually learnt so much more from the children, the children's motivation, participation, and immense show of affection that I received just filled me up with such self satisfaction every day. In a way it left me feeling that the whole experience was slightly unfair, because I came here to give but no matter how much I gave I always felt that I was receiving so much more. Apart from teaching at the school, my time at Mandore Guest House was like finding a new home and family. Everyone who works there makes you feel like you are part of the family, whether you come for two nights or two weeks. I have the warmest memories of the beautiful place and the people, both of which I hope to see again.

Thanks
Jessica Amsellem

Jessica Amsellem And Josh Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 12:58 AM

Louise Dunne

Dear Surendra,

I have just finished two weeks volunteering at the Mandore School Project and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I was collected from the airport and taken to Surendra’s office in Jodhpur to meet Surendra. He was so welcoming and explained what he hoped I would be doing in the following fortnight. I felt instantly very comfortable with Surendra and consequently became even more excited by what the next two weeks were going to involve. I was then taken to Mandore Guest House where I was showed to what would be my room for the next fortnight and I loved it!! Lots of space, a very clean bedroom and bathroom set in a beautiful idyllic garden with lots of friendly people around the place.louise serving mid day meals

Due to the weather (it was between 40 – 45 degrees) school started at 8.30am and finished by 12 noon. I would get up at 7.15am to get ready for school and have half an hour to eat a leisurely breakfast of fruit, toast, pancakes and tea with Anu who would insist on preparing everything for me!! Plenty to last me until lunch J The drive to school would take about half an hour as it was 10 km outside of Mandore in the rural part of Jodhpur. Sanjay, Surendra’s son, accompanied me to school to help with teaching and to translate during my classes. He was a fantastic support and I appreciated having someone there to teach me about the culture and way of life of the village.

The children were an absolute delight. They were so excited to have a new teacher/volunteer at the school. I designed several worksheets that we spent time completing together. We covered areas such as basic conversation, the weather, shapes, body parts, the time, musical instruments, colours, fruits, animals and many other topics.

I spent most of my time with the older children who were aged between 9 and 14 years but for 3 days these classes had exams so I spent time with the younger children who were aged between 4 and 8 years. Here I taught the alphabet, numbers (counting to 100) and I was also taught to count to ten in Hindi!! The children did much better than I did!!!

As well as using small tests I would put together and then photocopy for each child, I played games such as bingo using all the different colours the children had learnt or the different types of weather. There was a lot of picture drawing and labeling, for example, the children were asked to draw a body and then label the different parts. We also sang songs such as ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ and rhymes such as ‘twinkle twinkle little star’.louise laring with student

The Government provides a meal per day for the students so at 9.30am each morning all the children would sit together and eat chapatti and Dahl or some rice. I had the opportunity to help distribute the food with the older children which was good fun.

As well as having a fantastic time at the school, Sanjay also took me around the village to meet some of the families and to witness first hand the different traditions of the village. We sat with a family and had some tasty chai before heading back to school to begin the first morning’s lessons.

The teachers were very friendly and so grateful to me for spending some time at their school but in the end it was me who was thanking them for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience at their school. I was fortunate enough to have both a welcoming and leaving ceremony with the teachers and all the children and I was very sad to say goodbye after the two weeks was up.

It is difficult for me to put across in words how much I have enjoyed this experience but what I can say is that if you are considering volunteering for even a short period of time it is makes a huge difference to the children of Mandore and believe me you will end up not wanting to leave.

Louise Dunne

Louise Dunne Sent : Friday, 23 April, 2010, 8:21 PM

Michele Pauker

Hi Surendra,

We wanted to thank you so much for our experience staying at the Mandore Guest house and working on the Mandore project. We really enjoyed our time in Mandore and are walking away with so many fond memories that we will treasure for a long time. We greatly appreciate the warmth and hospitality we received from you and your family and the staff. We truly felt like family staying at the guest house.

michelle jeffIt was so nice to get to know you. You are such an inspiring person. I really enjoyed hearing about your life’s path. Thank you for catering the project to our interests and for allowing us to see, meet and interact with so many people in the villages. We really appreciate the way you and your family brought us to the schools and helped facilitate our volunteer work. It really helped us to communicate with the kid’s and the teacher’s and made it so easy for us to interact with the children.

It brought me so much joy teaching yoga in the schools. Thank you for the opportunity. Although my intent working on the Mandore project was to give, I feel like I received so much interacting with the kids and the people from the villages. They are such happy, joyous, and gracious people. I will treasure for a long time seeing the kids’ big grins and hearing their squeals of joy as they practiced yoga.michelle jeff jodhpur

We are so touched that the school’s welcomed us so whole heartedly with their ceremony, and with the extremely thoughtful gift of jump ropes. We have been using these in our travels and are so thankful for them. Please send our gratitude.

Thanks
Michele & Jeff
Michele Pauker,Health Counselor

Michele Pauker And Jeff Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 4:27 PM

Andrew and Charlotte Foster

Dear Surendra,

I know we haven't quite left yet, but we just want to say thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and that of your staff at the guesthouse. We have had an excellent time and our experiences at the school volunteering have been truly memorable. Hopefully the info below and attached in word format will be of use. Also, lots of pictures copied to the computer in the office

Thanks
Andrew and Charlotte

It brought me so much joy teaching yoga in the schools. Thank you for the opportunity. Although my intent working on the Mandore project was to give, I feel like I received so much interacting with the kids and the people from the villages. They are such happy, joyous, and gracious people. I will treasure for a long time seeing the kids’ big grins and hearing their squeals of joy as they practiced yoga.

During my time volunteering I spent most of it painting in the classroom, where I copied country maps on to the walls and painted them, including taking the bold step of painting India proudly above one of the blackboards! I also painted a mountain and volcano scene as I am a keen geographer, along with colourful numbers, alphabet and patterns around the blackboards. I finished with a scene depicting various animals we have seen in India as well as village life. The children would often come in after morning lessons and tell me my painting was “beautiful”; I hope they meant it! They certainly enjoyed reading out the English words that accompanied the paintings and also telling me proudly the different colours I had used which they had learnt from Charlotte.

At the end of each morning, there was always time to play with the children before we headed back to the guesthouse. The first few days we played some fun new games with all of the children, then after about a week, the boys were keen to play cricket with me. This was great fun and a good way for us to talk in English together to help them learn as well as for me to be taught some Hindi. Games were always very competitive and the only thing I lacked was enough local language to be able to diffuse tense situations if there was not another teacher around.

I also spent several days helping construct a small garden for the school which the children can take pride in caring for and enjoying in the future. One morning I cleared the whole garden of litter, which ranged from drink cartons to crisp packets and tobacco packets. I got the impression that this was found to be quite amusing as the children and in fact most people in India, do not seem to see litter as a big problem and will just drop packets or throw them out of sight. I think it would be valuable for future generations of India to understand how to be more careful with rubbish and the impact it can have on the environment; perhaps this is something which can be taught at the school? I understand it is a larger problem, but a little difference and change in attitude can go a long way.

During my time on the volunteering project I was made to feel very welcome, not just by the school and the local community, but also at the Mandore Guesthouse where we stayed. My wife and I were treated as part of the family and therefore we were quickly able to relax and enjoy our time here. There was never any pressure placed on us and it was always easy to turn to someone to ask for advice or an extra pancake at breakfast!

Andrew and Charlotte Foster Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009 4:58 AM

Sophie Broadhead

shopie

Sophie Broadhead Sent: Mon, September, 2008 4:58 AM

Mandore Project

The project aims to organize fun, educational activities for rural schools children in order to inspire them to learn and give them some much needed attention. You’ll play games and sports, sing songs and do some arts-and-crafts, all aimed at teaching the kids basic English, while giving them the attention and love they need and deserve. You might also expect to prepare and teach your own lessons as well, depending on the local need. You may also assist with some painting and renovation work as well.

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