A colourful mandala welcomed the German guests at the Peniel English Higher Primary School. Photo: private
In between adventure and recreation
Yearly trip leads humedica volunteers to the South of India
Once a year humedica organises a journey to one of the aid organisation´s many project countries for interested volunteers, who supported the team at the headquarters repeatedly throughout the year. In the last years the trip lead them to Sri Lanka and Sicilia, this year they travelled to „the country of a thousand faces“ – to India.
Together with humedica employee Carmen Wolf, who is responsible for the Indian projects, the ten members of the tour group set out to the East and finally reached Bangalore airport, albeit with some delay due to the onset of winter in Germany. The travellers were received by Benjamin Kern, general manager of humedica India and their guide for the next two weeks.
The first trip took the volunteers to the mining city Kolar Gold Fields. Here humedica India is located, whose new headquarters were to be opened the next day with an official ceremony in the presence of the tour group. But before they visited the Peniel English Higher Primary School in the Krishnapuram district.
The English spoken school is run by humedica India and has about 280 pupils, who welcomed their German guests with petals and team games and enthusiastically took many pictures.
On the day of the ceremonial opening the members of the travel group, always ready to pitch in at the German humedica headquarters in times of need, demonstrated once more their commitment for the good cause and helped with the last preparations so that the function could begin just in time. The German group watched the ceremony as VIP guests in the front row and afterwards viewed the new building together with the other visitors.
The next days of the journey offered the opportunity to learn more about the country, its people and Indian culture. The travel group strolled through the centre of the mega-city Bangalore, where throngs of people, motorbikes and cars blended into a dense turmoil while relaxed cows looked for something to eat at the side of the roads.
Afterwards the group went to see the big light festival in Mysore, situated 150 kilometres in the South West of Bangalore. 97.000 lights lit the city´s palace compound in bright splendour, a spectacle favoured not only among tourists but also the inhabitants.
At up to 35 degrees daytime temperature the group visited several temples as well as the Devaraja market, a special highlight for the German travellers. The probably most colourful market in South India offers vegetables, fruits and spices of all imaginable sorts. Especially the multi-coloured Kumkum powder, used for various religious rituals, made a lasting impression.
The trips of the humedica volunteers to their next destinations were time and again quite adventurous to Western taste. Pretty often they had to pass narrow mountain routes and steep slopes, which were rather a test of courage for some members of the group.
Other highlights were the visits to a silk and a tea factory, where their travel guide Benjamin Kern provided fascinating insights into Indian tradition and industrial life thanks to his detailed accounts. The journey ended with a trip on the famous Nilgiri alpine railway, declared human heritage patrimony by the UNESCO in 2005, which offered a magnificent view over the highlands and the many tea plantations of the region.
The final conclusion of the volunteers from Germany was unambiguous: a great journey in a fascinating country, which has much to offer, but where the continued assistance of humedica is certainly needed!