Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ongole field trip

Our fieldtrip took us, 7 students from grade 11/12 and 2 chaperones, to Tangutur, a small town near Ongole in Andhra Pradesh. We went there to get to know the NGO (SARDS) that is active in that area and which concerns itself with children and education, HIV/AIDS & health, livelihoods promotion and natural resource management and irrigation.

Our focus was mainly on children and education and HIV/AIDS & health and in the light of this we spent a day and a night in a small fishing village where we interacted with the children, teenagers and fisherwomen. We painted murals on the walls of the small school which was set up by the NGO, there was a lot laughter and we really enjoyed interacting with the kids. We also spent time in a small AIDS hospital and painted some murals there too, following the suggestions of the 2 cutest kids there.

Then we went on to visit the STD screening centre for female sexworkers where we talked with the women who were working there, who were very keen to tell us everything about the precautions they were offering the sex workers. They explained the problems these ladies were facing and did this with such good humor that we couldn't help laughing.

All in all, our trip was a confrontation with a different reality, a confrontation with other kinds and ways of life and living that, given the choice, most people would not want. And with this kind of confrontation comes the realisation of how lucky we are to be here in this school, in this part of India and to be able to make informed choices for ourselves.

Elle Oenema
Field trip leader
HoD Health