We’ve just been to visit Charlie 1 to see how they’ve been doing in Malligalli. It was lovely to see them and find out how they’ve been getting on. Today’s blog comes from the whole team!
“A big hello from Charlie 1, all the way from Malligalli, somewhere in the middle of South India.
“Malligalli is a sleepy little town with friendly locals, but with atrocious timekeeping! We have a sweet deal here, we’re currently staying in the local school and being catered for by the talented Ganesh, he struggles with variety in his food, but it tastes amazing nonetheless. Our staple diet consists of porridge, rice, vegetable curry, chai...and that’s it. Occasionally we cook for ourselves, imitating the food we get at home with modest success. Our best creation so far, mac and (soy) cheese.
“After our morning porridge, we’re collected by the infamous Mr. Puterage. A man who typifies the Indian mentality, we affectionately call him ‘boss’. He escorts us to our separate building sites, where we learn the craftsmanship of building eco-sanitation units. This includes laying bricks, mixing cement and plastering. We work under the supervision of local builders. Our communication with them is improving daily, from the occasional shout of “brick” “brick” and “fast” “fast” to discussions about family, culture and, of course, relationships.
“At the moment we’re all proudly sporting the farmers tan. Working in 35 degrees without shade is a challenge. However, as we found out yesterday, working in the torrential rain is even harder.
“We have discovered the builder’s passion for music, which they blast constantly through their phones. A particular favourite is ‘rickshavala’ which we can now all sing along to. The builders turned into real party animals outside work hours and entertained us with their crazy dancing during a trip to Malligalli’s world famous waterfalls. During the day, they introduced us to some typical Indian music and a Bollywood film, featuring an Indian styled Zoro in blue camouflage. They also tried to make us feel at home by buying us an Akon CD and playing it at full volume, in our pimped up bus, which even came with its own blue disco light!
“During our stay, we have had many other interesting experiences and visits. The most bizarre was a surprise visit from the Minister of Agriculture with police escorts and accompanied by, what felt like, the whole village. The Minister unexpectedly popped by for no more than five minutes to express his gratitude and wish us the best of luck.
“At the moment, we are putting the finishing touches to our eco-sanitation units and preparing for the opening ceremony. We are also really excited about the festival of Diwalli and have been invited to the generous Mr Lingerage’s house for celebrations. The locals have already started their preparations and it has been a challenge dodging their frequent firework frenzies.
“Anything can happen in Malligalli – we can’t wait to see what’s round the corner and looking forward to Phase Two!”