Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 8:18 PM
Subject: Isabel, Sophie and Anna's
Being at the Mandore was a bit like stepping out of the crazy madness of the Indian streets: the tuk-tuks and the cows and the people staring, and being in a much calmer place. Unlike the other places we stayed, it still felt like being in India. It was a very easy place to be in - there was lots of space and it felt as though we fitted in. One of the loveliest moments of the stay there was when Vijay heard that I had bought a sari and insisted on showing me how to wear it. Once it was on, she took one look at me, and then peeled the bindi off her head and stuck it onto mine.
While I was in India I noticed lots of things about the people - black belts on babies, different coloured turbans, eyeliner on children, and at the Mandore I was able to ask what it all meant. Perhaps the loveliest afternoon I spent at the school was on the second day when I helped teach the older children some English, drawing a person onto the chalkboard and then pointing at the hands and them all shouting 'Hand'. Teaching the younger children was also lovely: the language barrier didn't stop us being able to make a real connection with the children as we played clapping, stamping, shouting games.
The henna that the school arranged to have painted onto my arm hasn't faded yet, and neither has the feeling of being made so welcome at the school, and at the Mandore and of having made a real connection with some people in India.
Staying at the Mandore was one of my favourite bits of my holiday in India. When my parents first told me we were going to be staying for six days in one place, i honestly didn't know what to expect and whether or not i would like it. However, from the second we arrived we were made to feel so welcome, it was lovely.It was unlike any other place I had ever stayed in on holiday.
The first thing we were told when we first arrived was that we were to treat it as home, and by the end of our stay we really did.
I felt that I really could ask anything I wanted to know, and I learned so much more about India than anywhere else I had been in and I felt comfortable talking to everyone.
Helping at the school was just a lovely thing to do, as the children and teachers were so grateful for absolutely everything you do. It was nice to actually talk to real Indian people and not just see them as a tourist. I really enjoyed the whole experience and hope we can stay in touch with both the school, and guest house.
In our first week of holiday in india we toured around rajasthan staying in hotels. lovely as it was, i didn't truly feel that we had arrived in india until we got to the mandore. i was a bit scared when we first arrived because i knew that even if it was awful, we'd be there for 6 days. luckily it was completely lovely and the best possible place to stay for a week. i have never stayed anywhere like it and as soon as we got there i knew it would be very different from the hotels we'd visited. we all just felt completely at home, with the people and the accomodation. we were made to feel so welcome by every one who worked there.
we spent each morning helping at a local school and the welcome we got there was just as great as the one at the mandore. we went to an independance day celebration at a different school on our first day and we were greeted with beautiful flower garlands and bindis. they made us feel so welcome and as if we were a part of there community even though we couln't speak their language. volenteering at the school was really fun as we got to help teach the children english as well as paint on the classroom walls. i loved being with the children and i hope our painting helps them to learn english.
i met a lot of amazing people at the mandore and i would definately reccomend going there.