YouVA. take 1.

So I have finally figured out what to work on during my time in India, time that is moving faster than I thought it would be. I arrived a little more than a week ago, coming to work at an NGO, EduCARE, and completely lost on where to start and what to do. And now – I think I have a plan.

Besides working on cultural education and HIV/AIDS awareness the Project Worldview, I will be working on developing a youth conference for EduCARE called YouVA Week. Youva, in Hindi, means youth – and stands for Youth for Volunteer Action in coordination with the UN’s International Youth Day. Basically it is a week long program for 15-24 year olds in Chandigarh to learn about issues that impact their community, like the 20 different slums in the city, the prevalence of HIV-positive citizens, and the pollution of its water source by a city’s worth of trash, and then actually act on them. Working with the schools, the NGOs of Chandigarh, and EduCARE – it will be a chance for the people of Chandigarh to break the dichotomy of wealthy and impoverished and and realize these issues influence everyone in India, and everyone in the world, despite income or rank.
I’m excited – its something to work on with a goal and a tangible result. Something I have been needing for quite some time. (any ideas to help me – let me know!)

ok, getting down from the proverbial soap box…

went and hung out last night with a bunch of Canadians, a German, a Dutch, and one other American around some poker, pizza (Indian Pizza Hut is a little strange…like the fact that they use pizza cheese and paneer), mango juice, and Kingfisher. It was really interesting and fun. Partly because we got to hang out in the air-conditioned house of the Canadian Embassy, but also because these other trainees are so hilarious and fun to be with. And of course the fact that I won, always a good sign. And apparently, they didn’t know my name or where I was working until last night, so they had been calling me Atlanta for a few weeks. The name, for some reason, has stuck. Tonight I get to go to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 with them at some theater in Chandigarh. And it’s Johnny Depp, I mean, come on. It will be fun, and a chance to meet more of the trainees that live in Sector 21.

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