country of extrems: India, a personal and cultural enrichment
Graduation is a period of transition
in life where we do not have personal commitment, nor familial constraints
yet. It is the ideal moment to go backpacking and discover another
country, another culture.
We finally went to India for 6
months, my cousin Nathalie who is a nurse and I. We met there Father
Ceyrac who made us discover this great country through the numerous
humanitarian projects he is leading.
Through a humanitarian farm, we
discovered banks delivering micro-credits, savings by the employer,
small concepts allowing many families to survive. Around this farm,
we discovered poor rural India, small villages where the main room
of every house was a few square meters large. People there earn
little money, just enough to feed their families but they are always
happy to offer you tea and cakes, which represent 1/6 of their daily
We then discovered touristic India.
We spent our days bargaining and Indians are tough negotiators,
especially if you are white. We saw wonderful landscapes and met
many people. In this country, all the religions and social classes
are living together. Indians are very tolerant, allowing people
to have their own values. India is really the country of contrast,
with its slums on the one hand and its software engineers whose
skills are known around the world.
We then worked in a center where
120 children were living, headquarter of the Anbukarangal association
who is in charge of 30 000 children. I taught the 3 accountants/secretaries
of the association how to use a computer. They managed more then
100 000 dollars, this amount comes from the donations of Father
Ceyrac's association. The ASMAE association also leads projects
to help develop Anbukarangal. To their demand, I gave them a report
auditing the organisation of the association, giving my opinion
on the planification of the accounts computerization in order to
launch long term projects on this subject.
We continued our touristic visit.
From north to south, from a town to another, we went from one discovery
to another. We visited the famous Taj Mahal, but also other religious
monuments (mosque, jains and hindus temples, buddhists stuppas),
palaces of Maharadja, fortifications, fortified towns, Benares the
famous hindu holy city and not too far the town where Buddha made
his first sermon. A real touristic trip where we deepened our religious
culture and history of India, where we met people...
There are so many things to say
about such a long trip, everything I discovered and learnt there.
I know we are lucky to live in a comfortable and materialistic western
society but it should not refrain our freedom and generosity.
I have also learnt it is important
to remain open to the others, to take the time to listen to people,
to understand people's needs, to accept and receive others. I will
eventually give 2 quotations Father Ceyrac likes a lot:
"All that is not given is lost", "One only takes
once the path of life"
Claire de La Borderie, 11th October