Greetings from Kolkata round two!
We are on our final day in Kolkata and it has been quite an excited 10 days here.
As soon as we arrived here it was obvious that there was a strong connection to the city with the whole group. Everyone seems to just love it here. Our usual schedule for the day is as follows: we wake up at around six oclock and try to leave the hotel by 6:30. We have about a thirty minute walk to the main Mother Theresa house and have a breakfast of bread, bananas, and chai with all the rest of the volonteers. After a quick prayer we all make our way outside to catch the bus to our various sites. The bus is quite an experiance in itself. We jump onto the bus with it barely stopping and it is usually too crammed to fit everyone on the seats so most of us have to stand.
Each of us shanti members are working in different sites so all of us have different experiences that I cannot personally share. But the site that I worked at was a house for people that need long term care. There are about 150 patients there which is quite a lot of people. But it seems like they are very well equipped with people to help and they seem to have plenty of food for everyone. Our volunteer work at my site consisted of a lot of cleaning jobs and then just spending time with the patients. A lot of the time the men need shaving becauses they are unable to do it themselves, and massages to ease their pain. many of them are unable to walk to they also need help with transport around the site.
We are done volunteering at around noon so we usually meet up with some of the other volunteers and grab lunch on the famous sudder street at one of the many great restaurants. After that we are free to do what we please. The city is so interesting in itself that all you really need to do to keep yourself occupied is to just walk around the city. We also went to a more westernized mall to catch a bollywood movie which was very interesting.
Tomorrow night we have an 11:30 PM train ride that is ten hours long to our next leg of the journey: Bodgaya. I think we are all very excited to go to the next step of the trip, but it will be very sad to leave this wonderfully insane city and the mother Theresa house.
Sincerely Jack and the rest of the Shanti crew!