India Day Two – Child Journalists, Sight Seeing and Diwali.by Carly Jacobs
We started our second day in India with omelettes at the hotel. We’ve developed a habit of ordering the same thing for breakfast each morning and it’s a comforting little ritual. We hopped in our car and ducked through the streets to get to the World Vision India office in the heart of Delhi.
These men were outside the office, stringing flowers together to sell for the Diwali festival that evening. They were laughing and chatting and when I asked to take their photo they came across all serious.
These guys did the same thing. I was taking a photo of the building and they started clutching at the bars and making sad faces.
This is the street that the World Vision India office is on. The building is dilapidated and falling apart. It’s literally and figuratively a world away from the shmick Melbourne World Vision office where Joy works. When I visit Joy, I get a full security check with a printed name tag with my photo on it. I’ve never seen her office, we just chat in the lovely cafe downstairs. In the India office there’s homeless dogs asleep on the doorstep, the stairs are missing their handrails and half the windows are smashed in so pigeons fly around in the hallways. It’s just bizarre.
We were then taken to a slum area to meet some children from the Child Journalist Program. We sat in this tiny room that I later found out was the community library and listened to these kids talk… and talk… and talk. They had so much to say and so many questions to ask. They were so confident and lively and passionate. The boys above are a part of a group called The Little Champs and that was started as a peer support group to help young boys who are into things like gambling and smoking to stop.
Joy, Kelly, Eden and myself chatting with a cheeky member of the Child Journalists program.
These kids are part of the Child Journalists Program. The girl next to Kelly with the glasses was a total firecracker. She says she wants to be a news anchor when she grows up. And you know what? I think she will be. These kids were selected to be part of the child journalists summit and they were taught to make films, do surveys, collect data and report on their findings. They don’t have access to computers or the internet in their community so the World Vision team work with them to create content and then upload it to YouTube. I promised I’d ‘embed’ their video on my ‘blog’ and then I had to explain what ‘embed’ and ‘blog’ meant. They were so excited. I’m going to organise having them guest post here on Smaggle.
We spent the afternoon sight seeing with our gorgeous guides Sam and Anilla. They’ve been so kind and helpful. Sam has spent every waking hour with us since we arrived and Annila translated our every word today. They are truly beautiful people.
There are street vendors everywhere selling everything from corn, to fruit salad, to bottled water with lemons on top.
Our Sam’s hand holding the ultra cool Delhi metro tokens.
We walked past this ‘patch of grass’ and realised it was actually a pond of scum. Awesome and so gross.
We walked along and saw the houses of parliament.
These guards were awesome. I asked to take their photo and the guy on the left picked up his gun and proudly posed with it.
We visited India Gate which is supposed to represent the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. It was packed as it was Diwali, a national holiday. I had the most bizarre experience there that afternoon. I get stared at in India more than I ever have any where else but for some reason on this particular afternoon, the fascination with this giant curly haired Australian woman reached a whole new level. This group of Indian teenagers decided I was famous and asked to have their photo taken with me. Then another group asked and another group. Then this guy wanted me to talk to his friend on the phone. It was really surreal. Anilla says it’s because I’m exotic in her country and that they would never in a million years ask to take her photo. I wish I could bring her to Australia. She is the very epitome of exotic.
These girls were weaving bracelets with lettered beads on demand.
There are homeless dogs every where. It’s so sad. I remember seeing this guy sleeping in front of one of the most famous tourist destinations in Delhi and thinking about how strange it would be to see a homeless dog sleeping out the front of the Sydney Opera House or on the steps of Flinders Street Station.
I had grand plans of playing catch up with my India posts tonight but today has been a big one and we have to leave for our next destination tomorrow at 4.30am. I’m exhausted but happy and having the most amazing time. Our little motley crew is splendid and we just laugh all day. Be sure to keep up with their posts too – Eden, Kelly, Misho and Joy.
Stay tuned for Day 3… it’s a corker.
To sponsor a child visit World Vision.