The Bandhavgarh Anti-Malaria Club….and Us.

February 24, 2010

From the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2009, Immy and I were unsure about whether or not to return to Tala. Quite honestly, India is a huge amount of work…and never really ” a good time”. India is always an exhausting adventure–and its a big, wide world out there, and there was more to see of it! Our holidays are precious, and we were not sure if we wanted to commit to another 3 weeks at the same spot. Ah, but the people. And the kids. And Raju. And Mohan. And the club. And my mom….and quite frankly, I did not want to be one of those “white do-gooders” that capitalize on the misfortunes of others, so that they can make themselves feel good.

Truly, who were we doing this for? Ourselves or them? Did we truly want to help, or was this just a convenient way of patting ourselves on the back?

We spent pretty much the whole fall and early spring pondering these questions and more…like…can we stand the heat again? The trains? The bugs? The chaos? The confusion? The smiles? The joy? The gratitude? I dont remember what exactly the deciding factor was that prompted us to decide–I think it was Immy ( he would say it was me )..but we committed to going back one more time. We booked our  flights for July 19 2009 and with that, fundraising began again!

The Five Dollar Concept….

The concept of a managable, relatively small, yet specific donation really worked for the school uniforms, and we thought that it would be a good idea if we kept to that premise. We found out that the cost of one mosquito net is roughly 5$. With exchange, and tax…it was almost an exact match. Perfect.

We hit up friends, we hit up colleagues, we hit up church members, we hit up friends of friends….heck, we even hit up friends, of friends, of friends…all in all we left for India on July 19th with over 700$ raised for mosquito nets. Pretty cool. Again, I was amazed at how people gave willingly, happily and without question. Whenever I fund raise, it strengthens my faith in the innate goodness of man, and the generosity of the human spirit. There were even some little kids in my church, who happily gave their birthday money, which amounted to 20$ or 4 mosquito nets. How cool is that?

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