On 22-29 February, a high level Fieldbase delegation - consisting of Rhys, Simon, and me (Christiane) - visited three project groups to get first hand insights into how they are doing and what they do (à The Loop). Stay tuned for news, photos, and blog messages from sanitation project Charlie 2 (1 March), biogas project Echo 4 (2 March), and eco-sanitation project Charlie 1 (3 March).
Our first stop was Charlie 2’s project site in Kadalakolly, a small tribal hillside village surrounded by Tamil Nadu’s lush tea plantations. I could talk for hours about the beautiful landscape, the lovely people, and the difficulty to get bricks down and well water up the (really, really steep) hill, but I’d rather open the floor to our guest blogger Victoria O’Callaghan:
|Guest blogger and birthday girl Victoria|
Our story begins in Bandipur National Park with Thejas pointing out wildlife in every direction, while team photographer Jonathan snapped glimpses of trunks, tusks and feathers. We gazed in awe at the sheer beauty of the lush rolling hills and tea plantations – a significant contrast to the arid landscape of Fieldbase. The “Thunderous Thirteen” a.k.a. Charlie 2 munched on juicy oranges and bananas still not believing that they had first seen a wild elephant. It finally felt like we really were in India. After about five hours and lots of dozing, we turned on to a narrow rickety road, and there was the sign for our village “Kadalakolly”. We hopped off the bus and were greeted by CTRD Deputy Director Vijay and villagers handing us a flower each.
|The group, their view, ...|
|... their hillside jungle camp (with certain hazards), ...|
|... and their shower with a Herbal Essences feeling|
|The cushdiest place to be|
|Probably another one of Haydn's elaborate Camp-Cluedo assassinations|
A more relaxed highlight is being on “Camp Duty”, which comprises collecting well water, tidying up, and getting nice things from the town, like fizzy drinks, fruit, and haircuts. It is lovely to interact with the locals in town and see some more of India. Interaction with the villagers is mostly carried out through fun activities like cow milking, dancing, and playground clapping games; we have not dared to involve them into our rather dark and solemn, massacre-involving entertainment of Mafia and Camp Cluedo yet.
Today, on 25 February, we are off to visit CTRD and a tea factory. We hope for great insights into CTRD’s work and into one of India’s most important – and most delicious - industrial sectors. However, above all, we look forward to our first meat lunch in weeks. Charlie 2 out.
And now: Messages from the love shack: